#WriteChat on Twitter

Right now I’m participating in #writechat – which is a rather cool Twitter phenomena. Every Sunday writers form a free-wheeling chat group in the Twitter stream that weaves in and out of other conversations. Topics are about writing: inspiration, mood, tips, techniques, publishing, etc. For those new or unfamiliar with Twitter, the chat/microblogging platform, hashtags are used to separate out topics and make them easily searchable. If you have software like the Tweetdeck on your computer you can actually create a ‘group’ for any topic you want to follow and it separates them out for you, regardless of whether you follow that person or not.

One of the recurring topics on #writechat is often how such conversations help inspire writing or writers. I don’t really find that to be true. Actually I tend to think of such activities as a bit of procrastination from the act of writing itself. After all if you’re reading a bunch of ‘tweets’ about writing and then jumping in yourself you can hardly be busy at work.

That said I still think it’s a very valuable tool. One of the reasons I’m a big fan of collaborative writing is that I’m a social animal. Traditionally writing has tended to be a lonely business with its fair share of misanthropes in its austere and often dusty ranks. Activities like #writechat connect up different writers to each other and shake out the cobwebs. So even though it doesn’t always lead me to more or better writing, I would be the last one to deny the benefits of just hanging out and getting to know other writers.

And for those that argue that they can see no point in Twitter it’s definitely one of the better uses of the application. It is an excellent Petri dish for meeting and breeding new writers and just one of the examples of how Twitter can be used in a good way to increase connections between people, rather than magnify the modern malaise of alienation, as many detractors of social media claim.


About panhistoria

writer, online community creator, and artist View all posts by panhistoria

5 responses to “#WriteChat on Twitter

  • Saoirse Redgrave

    I agree with the VAST majority of what you’re saying here. 🙂

    Activities like #writechat can stop you from the production of writing while you are “present.” But, if you treat your participation in such social events as a reward for all the hard work you’ve done–all the goals you’ve set and achieved–during the previous week, #writechat (and similar events) can be the carrot that leads you forward ;-). And, if you then take a nugget of what you’ve conversed about (or read about) via #writechat and apply it to strengthen the following week’s writing, well then it’s a win-win (at least in my opinion ;-).

    Nearly everything in life can be something that empowers us or weakens us–it depends on how we use it (and frankly, I should add “do as I say, not as I do” since I’m procrastinating here… ;-). And, I’m sure I’m probably “preaching to the choir.” 😉

    The social connections are important to broadening a writer’s horizons and the wider your scope, the better your understanding of people (“characters”) and the world(s) they inhabit.

    Great post!
    Author of “13 to Life” a werewolf tale, coming from St. Martin’s Press in 2010

    • panhistoria

      Hey, preaching to the choir can be fun! I do like your idea of making events like #writechat a reward for work well done. I’ll certainly add that particular carrot to my smorgasbord of treats.

  • Gayle McCain

    I suspect that a big part of why you do not find groups like #Writechat to be inspiring, is that you’re self-motivating. I’ll bet that you don’t really gravitate toward groups in any form.

    I find myself wanting to hear from people who know more than I do about successfully creating. The people that have less skill than I, regardless of forum, don’t hold my interest, and I find myself getting impatient. Perhaps that makes me shallow. But when I’m there as a student, I want teachers. When I’m there as a teacher, I want students that are looking for what I have to offer today.

    Nice Post.

    Gayle McCain
    http://www.gaylemccain.com – Coming July 2009
    Author of What If… A Woman, A Pen and Life Again – coming July 2009

  • Helen Ginger

    I haven’t gotten involved in #writechat. Nothing against it. It sounds like a nice group to get in to meet other writers and maybe pick up some tips and ideas.

    Straight From Hel

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