I’ve always used lists with Twitter. It’s a great way to compartmentalize different interests. However, I’ve been known to follow someone and forget to assign them to a list. So, I spent a few days going through the people I follow and putting them where they belong. Sounds kinda mean when you say it like that.
Anyway, my endeavor became a frustrating process. You see, it’s easy to know where to put the ancestry buffs, entertainment folks and political ranters, but writers are another story entirely.
I’d thought to create lists for genres, combining two or three genres into one list. In so doing I ended up with a list of just plain writers. I don’t know exactly where they fit into the writing spectrum. You can’t immediately recognize in which genre they practice their craft. Their profile doesn’t announce it, their tweets are about writing but non-specific. Oh, some say they are novelists or authors and share hashtags they use frequently like #amwriting #editing, etc. What do those things really tell someone about you?
This led me to update my profile. I’ve added Women’s Fiction, Poetry and Short Stories as identifiers of who I am. Now others can categorize me. That sounds mean too, doesn’t it.
If you’ve gotten this far with me, you may be wondering why I want to profile people. It’s easy to understand why I would separate my genealogy friends from the writing community (though truth be told, there are several genealogists who are also writers). Well, I’m trying to build a network. I even have lists for folks who I believe will help me in my quest for publication and marketing. However, my women’s fiction connections are lacking and I wanted to filter them from the rest of my writing buddies. That way, I can focus on and increase my interaction with them.
I don’t plan to ignore writers in other genres, but these lists make it much easier to go through feeds and pick and choose the tweets I want to comment on or re-tweet.
So I implore you to be specific in your Twitter profile. If you write horror say so or at the very least tell us you write about scary or creepy things. Romance authors should refer to the romantic elements in their writing. You get the picture. You’re an intelligent lot. Don’t hide behind generic terms. Own your genre(s), be proud of your interests.