Twitter, Writing, and the Darkness

Since quitting Facebook I’ve been on a quest to find the right mix of social networking sites for my distractible writer’s brain. I’m on LinkedIn, Digg, and Stumbleupon. Now you can add Twitter to the mix. Here’s why I like it, in simile form.

Twitter is like…

…a NEWSROOM. I spent much of high school and college in journalism, some in the newsroom with the other contributors and some behind the editor’s desk. I preferred the newsroom. Digging up good stories, making the words fit together, yelling at each other across the desks trying to get the right spelling of a name – it’s all very exciting. But now I write from home, and occasionally from Starbucks. Great flexibility. Not-so-great for people like me who thrive professionally on deadlines and stimulation. With Twitter I can be as connected (or as quiet) as I would like. Very similar to the newsrooms I have known and loved.

… HAPPY HOUR. Every now and then someone gets a little crazy. Shop talk intermingles with personal opinion, the day’s professionalism gets lost in one reckless retweet. Sure, I guess Facebook offers the same sense of hair-down-loosened-tie networking, but in my experience Facebook is like happy hour in a bar that demands access to your underwear drawer in exchange for drinks.  Twitter offers just the right balance – I can have a drink or two after work, talk about the day’s victories (or failures), pay my tab, and go home.

… CHURCH in LAS VEGAS. There’s a certain amount of street smarts required for Twitter. For example, beautiful tan women with dangly jewelry who show up in my follower list might not actually care about my tweets – they probably just want me to click on the porn site in their profile. I block those followers without clicking the link. (If there’s any question about where I stand on pornography, read this blog post titled Atheism and Pornography. In the interest of balanced journalistic practice, you can read the atheist rebuttal here.) But without Twitter, I would have never known that Frank Peretti was going to be in town promoting his new book Illusion. And he would have never autographed my 1986 edition of This Present Darkness. And I wouldn’t have watched Peretti turn a casual book-signing into an intimate, small group discussion about universalism, filmography, and what it was like to co-write with Ted Dekker.

So yeah, I think I like Twitter.

8 thoughts on “Twitter, Writing, and the Darkness

  1. “…Facebook is like happy hour in a bar that demands access to your underwear drawer in exchange for drinks…”

    Great analogy. I can see you, banging on your desk, trying to get your point across to other journalist and editors. And yes, I’m jealous of your meeting with Frank Peretti, who I believe changed the Christian genre for the better.


  2. Thanks Larry. This was a fun post to write, but now I can’t stop thinking in similes.

    This is practically all your fault you know. At least partially, anyway. But don’t beat yourself up about it, I’m having a blast! First draft should be done by Friday, revisions start next week. 🙂


  3. Hey Anna,

    Very interesting your post on Atheism & Pornography. I had not seen that post till now. My last blog post was on the devastation of pornography. Called “Cherry Blossoms”

    Also, saw your tweet on writing a Query letter – being in the bookselling industry, I have a lot of insider info I could share that would help when you are ready to publish. With “Shift”, I started with query letters, normal procedures, and Frank Peretti’s agency offered to represent me, but in the end after viewing the tidal wave of changes in the publishing industry, I opted for a different way. Just received an email from the agency again this week confirming my hunches were right.

    BTW, what was Peretti’s take on universalism?


    1. Zack, sorry it took so long to get to this. Would love to hear about your experience in the bookselling industry. Also, I read “Cherry Blossoms” and it is a beautifully heartbreaking view of pornography’s lure and effects.

      Peretti brought up universalism during our discussion about This Present Darkness. He said that in the mid-80s there was a lot of fear in the Christian community about New Age. If you’ve read any of the Darkness books you can see how that concept plays out in his writing. But today, he said that we’re in this big push to “be one,” with the group-think drive toward one-ness.

      I wrote a series of blog posts about this more than a year ago, summarized here:

      I could have talked with Peretti for hours!


  4. Great place, isn’t it? 🙂 I’m like you: I only want to interact and peruse when I want and not have to engage in the stream unless I want to. But, on the flip-side, I can learn so much about what’s going on in my industry and bookdom and so still be in the know…without being overwhelmed.
    Glad you’re finding a home there. I’ve loved it every since I started last year. 🙂


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