First of all, I want to start by saying I’m so glad I’ve gotten my blogging mojo back! I hit a serious iceberg on my publishing journey and my creativity ship sank, making me struggle with blogging about this path. Feeling eager now to write this post, made me realize my ship is gradually setting sail once again. 😊
Anyways. Without further ado, let’s delve into this chat: Publishing Twitter.
Before joining the writing community, I was very involved in the Twittersphere with my other Nigerian account. I mostly just used to tweet about music/lyrics and sprout opinions during our infamous boys vs girls wars. But despite what I focused on tweeting, I saw a lot of toxicity there that eventually made me leave.
I stopped tweeting in general for about a year, and then I found the writing community on Twitter—which seemed like the best corner of Twitter for me. At first, it was great with the love for writing and books the main forefront. It’s effective for keeping up with publishing news and all its trends. I also met all my awesome writing friends there. The longer, I spent/spend on the app though, the more I see how it can be a field of mines and how the wrong step can blast you into smatterings.
Publishing twitter these days has become (or maybe has always been) charged and sort of scary. There’s a whole lot of toxicity seeping through there, and once again it’s taking me back to the reason I’d left Twitter the first time.
I totally get it: the publishing crawl can be difficult and long, and seeing writers achieve what you’ve been working months/years for can be tough. But this seems to stir lingering bitterness and envy in many, therefore there’s a kind of waiting for writers to make mistakes or missteps so they can be dragged and cancelled. The moment there’s even a flicker of fault concerning an author, pitchforks are raised and every dirt on that author is dug out, and then there’s a call by other writers for the author’s books to be cancelled. This has happened too many times over the past few weeks and right now, it’s like writers are treading eggshells over there.
Why this rubs on me is that I attended a military boarding school, and one thing I learned there was the strength of solidarity amongst brethren. (Dramatic, yes, but true.) So seeing not readers or the engineering community, or baking community, but fellow writers constantly waiting to see each other trip so they can drag them and rip apart every achievement they’ve made on their publishing path, is just something I struggle to swallow. I mean, it makes you wonder if the tweeps who crowd your tweets to celebrate your successes are truly happy for you, or if they are just poker-faced and waiting for you to fail so they can trump those successes.
It’s really bothersome. Hence, my advises to tweeting writers walking this path are:
• Avoid Drama
Honestly? I personally don’t respect people who are quick to stir up drama or love to speak the loudest when there’s one unfolding, and I believe it’s the same for many people. By being a drama enthusiast, you’re painting yourself in a bad light, both to fellow writers and to potential readers. So just avoid it whenever you can.
• Know That Negativity Will Come Back To Bite You
I’m a big believer in karma, and I’ve seen it at work often in the twitterscape. Don’t be so quick to drag people, because your turn WILL come. Why? When you’re so quick to point out other people’s faults, folks will peer at you with microscopic lens. And they will find that fault. It might be now while you’re still working to get published—and it might be years later when you’ve made a name for yourself in the industry. But boy, when your turn does come, they’ll dig out the ‘forgotten’ tweets from months/years ago, and have no mercy when they drag you through the mud.
• You Don’t Have To Voice Out Every Opinion
Because of how capricious the Twitter writing community is, I’d like to say ‘keep a low profile’ but that wouldn’t be accurate because we aspiring authors need some spotlight. But even in the bid to draw attention to your brand and work, it’s not every topic you have to speak up on. I know a writer who speaks on anything and everything, and now? That has turned out to be a negative because there’s a major drama they aren’t even the main party in, but because of how loud they often are, it’s now blowing up for them as if they are the main propagator.
So don’t be a loudmouth. And if thats just who you are as a person, then at least try to keep matters around your name positive or neutral.
In summary, I’m not saying bad behavior should be overlooked out of solidarity. But before you drag another writer’s name through the mud, ask yourself why you’re doing it. Ask yourself if the length you’re going to tear them down is fair or if you’re going overboard out of spite. Ask yourself if you are entirely blameless as a writer and how you’d want folks to treat you when you make your own mistakes.
Publishing Twitter really is a mine field so tread it with care!
L.O. Nobi is an avid writer, with numerous novels constantly blinking at her on her laptop. She’s a lover of words, reading, and Disney. You can find her tweeting here, or visit her personal blog here.