Twitter is a bizarre, awesome and sometimes dreadful place.
There was a time before I took my writing seriously that Twitter was a place to browse for amusing vines, funny tweets and chatting it up with people I couldn’t regularly see. It’s a pseudo internet barbershop. The day I decided to take my writing more seriously, I rearranged my twittersphere to more align with people and users that might better help me down my path of becoming a published—successful even—author.
There have a been a slew of entertaining, successful, popular—even unpopular—people I’ve followed in the last six months that have genuinely changed my perspective on the written word, and even the world itself. This post is dedicated to championing a few of those people. There are, at minimum, a dozen or so people I’d love to shout out and congratulate for merely “doing what they do,” but for this post I’ll be narrowing my efforts to a triumvirate of truly unique individuals.
All three of these individuals share a few traits that I’ll lump here, so as not to risk sounding redundant. They’re all writers of some kind, though they don’t not spam the avenue of my timeline about it. They’re all capable of being both congratulatory and critical of themselves and their peers. And finally, they all have something to say. What I mean by something is that they have their own ideas, their own opinions, their own voice. As a still undergraduate college student, approximately thirty percent of my timeline are people merely mimicking the opinions of the people around them.
The first is Kameron Hurley. I’m disappointed to say that when I first followed her—knowing no better because she did not possess an avi of a human being—I assumed she was a man. For this, Kameron, I am truly sorry. Kameron Hurley, aside from being a phenomenal writer of fantasy (I promise I’ll finish THE MIRROR EMPIRE this year), she is a purveyor of all things wordy. She writes essays, short stories, shares good literary ideas, explains bad literary ideas and I still go back and read her articles about how much money she’s actually making writing novels from time to time. (One of them can be found here: By the Numbers: Earning Out the Advance on a First Novel)
If you’re not following Kameron, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.
The next fellow is Sunil Patel. Besides having once seen him appear on my timeline and hitting that dubious FOLLOW button, I don’t know much about him. He’s a writer and his timeline is laced with well put together (as far as 140 characters allow anyway) about literary works, television shows, et cetera. Sunil is a perfect example of a writer who writes but isn’t always telling you about his writing. I hear about him getting a short story published, or finishing a book, but every time I see him on my timeline he isn’t telling me about it—he’s just talking to other people like a normal human being who also happens to write.. You see? By virtue of Sunil being an intellectual, easy to talk to person I thus say to myself: “Well, I wonder what he’s writing about? Let me investigate,” as opposed to being forced to navigate the gauntlet of clicky links and advertising that would make me do the complete opposite. So yeah, when this guy publishes a book—I’m going to check it out. I might love it, might hate. Who knows?
The last person is Saladin Ahmed. To be honest, I’m still not sure how I feel about the creepy clown pictures this guy tweets at night. But Saladin has a voice that is reasonable, and although he might never read this—I can hope, can’t I?!—he’d probably be surprised at how many times he made me read a slew of his tweets that had me nodding my head like: “Man, that makes a lot of sense.” EXHIBIT A: I saw Mad Max: Fury Road, and I was driving home with the queen that is my girlfriend, trying to decipher some of the more prevalent themes in the movie. I couldn’t solve this tiny cinematic rubik’s cube in my head. Hours later I’m scrolling my timeline and Saladin is spelling it out right there. Favorites and retweets all around!
Apparently Saladin has only written a single novel, the THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON; but 52% of it’s reviews are 5 Stars which means it’s gotta hold the secrets to a longer lasting light bulb somewhere in the pages or something—or maybe it’s just a damn good book.
I read once that if you like a book, be it’s champion. I think the same can be said of people too.
Bonne journée, mes amis.