Happy 2nd Birthday, #amwriting! #Amwriting is a hashtag — a code word writers use to connect with each other on Twitter. Another way to put it: #amwriting is a conversation, that anybody can pop in and join, and that conversation's been going on for two years! We're having a blog party to celebrate!
Around 2008, I said, "Twitter's too A.D.D. for me." I wasn't interested at all in short, seemingly random fragments about what strangers had to eat for dinner. By 2009-2010, I was checking Twitter before my e-mail. Now, I pretty much check Facebook and Twitter everyday and avoid my e-mail as long as possible. Here's why I became a tweetaholic:
1. Twitter is completely customizable. Through searching on certain words and hashtags, I've connected with genealogists and writers around the world. One of the first people that ever followed my blog was an American ex-pat writer in Turkey. Johanna Harness, creator of the #amwriting hashtag, is a shepherdess in the midwest. How else would I have ever found these interesting people?
2. It's community. After finding people that have something in common (like writing the great American novel), we cheer each other on. Yes, there are a few self-styled gurus and "coaches" that have found us and use the hashtag to plug their websites while ignoring the conversation that's going on (often the people with links in their posts), I just ignore them back. You can tell the people who are really there to write. They're saying that the kids are still in bed and they can steal a few pages. Or they suddenly want to kill off their main character. Or what's another word for chaos? We cheer each other on and sometimes answer. "You can do it!"..."I know the feelin'"..."Mayhem!"
3. No guilt. While my e-mail inbox gets so full it blinks red lights at me, — full of read me-reply to me-put this on your calendar-buy me — I can come back to Twitter (or Facebook) after several days of busyness and still have one page to read. Or more, but only if I want to. It's like running into your friends after not seeing them all week. You just catch up, and nobody feels bad that you've been apart for a few days because that's life.
Thanks, #amwriting tweeps, for the funnies, the tips, the kindred angst, and most of all the writing encouragement. Even when I've been gone for a while. (And happy #amwritingversary, Johanna!)
For those of you joining the party by blog tour, step on over to Robyn's TheOneAMPen. If there's no path to the next blog, knock on Nikki's door for the final blog party post.