For many writers, Twitter is their preferred social media platform. I’m not one of these writers.
Many writers, especially women have been discovered on Twitter. The most famous example is a fellow screenwriter and fellow Canadian Kelly Oxford. She currently has 841.5k followers and has turned her hilarious tweets into her dream screenwriting career. It’s pretty inspiring. Her lifestyle is very much #goals to me especially her couch.
So Kelly does it, why can’t I? The short answer is -- It's complicated.
Firstly, I'll admit I've never fully understood Twitter as a platform. I don't find the user experience intuitive. Instagram feels more comfortable for me. The required connection of words and visuals scratches my cinematic itch.
Secondly, and more importantly, Twitter makes me anxious. It just does. I find my pulse quickening when I begin to type a hot take on something. This physical reaction is what often stops me from clicking post. Even writing about this feeling is making my mouth dry and my eye twitch.
Where does this anxiety come from? There isn't a short or simple answer to this one.
Part of this anxiety is wholly irrational and is woven into the rich tapestries of my personality and psychology. The other source of anxiety is the immediacy of the act of tweeting and the potential for impulsivity. It is also a very inherently reactive medium. I don't have the mental or emotional bandwidth (especially in 2020) to get into a Twitter war with anyone.
Is my lack of engagement on Twitter causing me to miss out on connecting with a robust community of fellow writers and the risk of losing out on opportunities? It's possible, but it's not the only way to engage, network, and learn about the craft. In 2020 I've connected with my peers through webinars, Zoom table reads, and good old-fashioned emails!
Before 2020 limiting my presence on the Twitterverse was more of an act of indifference. My avoidance or extreme caution on the platform has now evolved into intentional practice. It's part of a larger effort to slow down and to be more mindful in ALL of my interactions. This effort is a much-needed exercise in self-care, and a means to keep my inherent privilege in check.
Dear reader, if you have a good relationship with Twitter I think that's great! Shine on. Tweet on. I celebrate you! I hope that one day I can have the same healthy experience. For now, to answer my central question of whether "it's ok" for me to rarely tweet, I'm going to go with yes.