It wasn't that I lost my writing mojo. Ten months ago, I agreed to give a workshop in Portland on Twitter basics for authors. Knowing the class was slated for Saturday, and that attendees might expect me to stand before them offering something more than penis jokes, I switched gears last week and devoted all my free time to prepping for the presentation.
I'll admit it – I was annoyed.
|Part of my prep work for the presentation|
involved making myself this shirt that says,
"I tweet my blog and it feels good."
Oh, and accidentally arranging my
skirt to look like I have a penis.
I was annoyed at myself for committing to something that gobbled up precious writing time. I was frustrated at losing a week of productivity, plus seven hours of round-trip driving, plus money spent on gas and food and time I should spend packing to move my entire household in two weeks and . . . do I sound like I'm whining?
Because that's a rarity for me, and I don't do it often. I'm very much a glass-is-half full sort of person, so when I catch myself spiraling into negativity, I like to pick up the glass, spike it with a healthy shot of bacon vodka, and remind myself that what I get out of experiences like this doesn't always translate into author-tangibles like book sales or new contracts.
Sometimes, I get something better.
If you attended my talk and thought it sucked, feel free to disagree with me on the following. But from my vantage-point at the front of the classroom, I saw about 40 authors who were excited and eager to learn. I heard people asking great questions, and more surprisingly, heard myself offering intelligent answers. I got to discover all over again why I'm passionate about social media and helping authors use the various platforms to connect and engage, rather than sell sell sell.
And most importantly, I got to remember why the question shouldn't always be "what's in it for me?" but rather, "how can we all take turns helping each other?"
Take last week's contest, for example. Oodles of you came through for me when I asked you to share your best Twitter advice using the hashtag #tawnatweettips. You offered tons of great tips, and I displayed them in my Powerpoint slides during Saturday's talk. As promised, I drew a name from the bunch, and Mary Brebner has won her choice between a signed copy of of either Believe it or Not or Making Waves. (Mary, email your pick, along with your snail mail address to tawnafenske at yahoo dot com.)
And here was Mary's advice, which I think holds true in real life as well as in the Twitterverse:
Oh, and in the spirit of sharing, I'd like to pass along a few of the links I shared during my talk. These are some of the best roundups I've found of Twitter-related information:
- Michael Hyatt's awesome The Beginner's Guide to Twitter.
- Caitlin Muir's fabulous 44 Essential Twitter Hashtags Every Author Should Know.
- My personal favorite, Jessica Hische's Mom, This is How Twitter Works (the best explanation I've ever seen for demystifying the animal that is Twitter).
And shout if you'd like to help me move. Just don't look inside any of the boxes that vibrate, OK?