Writing and Twitter: The Case for the Opposition

So – the validation thing.

I have this theory (stone me if you will): the point at which you stop needing validation is the point at which you’ve learned to write like yourself (not like Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk or Dan fucking Brown). Don’t get me wrong – we all need feedback, positive or negative, that’s how we learn – but thirsting for constant reassurance means you’re still seeking your own voice… and your own feet. As you’re finding these things, and becoming secure in them, that need will thin and fade.

Those authors who have success as their feedback seem to forget this – they, too, started somewhere.

I’ve blogged before about Twitter as a distraction (and Gods fucking KNOW it can be!) but the Case for the Opposition is that Twitter can provide three things (other than helping you market your title, we got that one already): –

Support and reassurance: we all have to take those first steps.

A smack round the head: as well as being a distraction, Twitter can be a motivation. Whether you gain your necessary arse-kick from stating what you’re going to do, or from a friend’s booted foot, that doesn’t really matter. Perversely, Twitter can be good for actually making you work.

Research: neatly bringing me to where I was going.

While the Great Prophet Google goes almost all the way to making research easy, there are times it genuinely can’t help you. So, when you find yourself asking a question, a question that’s so spectacularly simple, so downright fucking dumb, a question that’s so ridiculous that you didn’t even know that you didn’t know…

…you ask Twitter.

And Lo! Where the Great Prophet fails, the Little Blue Bird offers up the answer.

So – this blog is a thank you to all those people who answered the idiot query ‘Do you open your glove compartment with the same key as you open your car?’ It’s also a thank you to Lloyd Davis over at Perfect Path for chipping in with his busking experience – and a shout out to all those people who make Twitter, not about pointless validation, but about help that actually matters.

Twitter can be like the bottom of the bird-cage – what you get out of it depends entirely…

…you know what I’m saying.

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