Twitter’s a funny old thing, isn’t it? When you first go on there you feel like you’re talking into a void and, in many ways, you are.
Then you start to chat to a few people who share your interests or views and you begin to gather followers. Suddenly you find that you’re chatting to people on a regular basis and you start to care about them and their lives.
Have you had your baby yet?
How have your book sales been going?
How’s your mum?
My original reason for joining Twitter was to market my books and it’s proved to be invaluable. I’ve chatted with fellow Indies, met book reviewers and basked in compliments from my readers. But as I’ve trundled along in my Twitter journey, gathering over 3,000 followers in just over a year, it’s become so much more to me.
Now, obviously I don’t talk to all of my followers every day. There are many I know nothing about and have never directly Tweeted. But I do know that Twitter can deliver a solution to most problems I throw out there. A nurse advised me to take my mother for painless ear vacuuming when she suddenly went deaf, a friend gave advice on fixing our boiler and another gave step by step instructions for mending our PC. I’ve received birthday cards, Christmas cards and a bottle of essential oil for my aching back - all from strangers who have become friends.
I’ve met two people separately for a coffee and chat and I regularly have a mutual phone rant or jump for joy with fellow Indie, Michelle Betham. Aside from that, I am in daily email contact with several Twitterers and others by direct message or text.
In short, I have made friends. And this became very clear on a Tweet Meet I attended on Saturday.
Organised by the wonderfully mad @jackie495, ten like-minded ladies headed off to Maxwell’s in Covent Garden where we lunched and sipped champagne. The majority of us had never met before and we’d come from all corners of the country with one purpose in common - to get to know one another better, to chat, gossip and have a giggle.
Vik @yummymummylivin presented us all with goody bags of brooches, notebooks and purses and I am now the proud owner of a wonderfully pimped Kindle cover, thanks to her.
Jo @has2bpurple gave us all bath bombs - in purple, of course!
And @jackie495 gave me ‘Billy the Goat’ - a long story, but check out the pictures on my Twitter account if you want to find out more! (click tab above this post's heading)
But the one thing we all brought to the table was laughter and positivity - support for one another’s projects or life’s hiccups.
If someone had told me a year ago that I’d be heading off to lunch with ten people I’d never met face to face before, I would have laughed in their face.
But I’m so glad I did and I have Twitter to thank for it.
So glad, I’m actually doing it again in November and March and meeting Jo for a coffee in the next few weeks.
The joy of social networking - when virtual friends become real ones.