A month and a half ago I joined Twitter.
I couldn’t have asked for a friendlier reception. People I had never met sent tweets to welcome me, compliment my books and mention my arrival to their friends. I felt as if I had shuffled nervously into the biggest party in the world, only to have lots of good-humoured strangers haul me from the doorway and put a drink in my hand.
However, finding myself suddenly in the Twitterverse was also bewildering and daunting. For a newbie, reading a Twitter feed is like trying to decipher a document that has been through a shredder. Worse still, I knew that there were almost certainly unspoken Twitter rules, which you had to obey to avoid being rude or annoying or overbearing, and I didn’t know what they were.
Gradually, of course, I have begun to get a sense of the way this new, weird, wondrous, gigantic community works. I’m starting to enjoy Twitter, in fact. And yet there are still times when I find an empty tweet box staring back at me expectantly.
Should I tweet about my ‘to do’ list or my morning hike? Why would anybody care about that, unless they were a stalker with a superhumanly high boredom threshold?
Even now, each time I tweet I feel like I’m some maniac in the street with a megaphone, deafening strangers with inanities.
“HELLO! IT’S THURSDAY! I LIKE CHEESE! DOES ANYBODY WANT TO READ MY BOOKS?”
What is more, while I have been standing here with my megaphone (and it’s only been in my hands a short while, I’m not even sure I’m using it properly) some people have stopped to listen. Scores of them, in fact. I can’t see their faces, but it’s just possible they might expect me to be interesting.
Uh oh. Suddenly I can’t think of a single thing to say.
And then an idea creeps into my feverish, panicky little brain. If I quickly write a blog post, I can tweet about that. What can I blog about? What have I done recently? Er… joined Twitter?
So now I have blogged about tweeting, so that I can tweet about blogging about tweeting. Later, if I’m desperate, I may blog about tweeting about blogging about tweeting, so that I can tweet about blogging about tweeting about blogging about tweeting.
Nobody was expecting me to spend any of my time writing books, were they?