Today, we are going to segue from the normal Twitter Tuesday lessons, and revisit Twitter personalities I like to call the Twintrovert and the Twextrovert. Why? Because I love making up annoying words by slapping the “tw” in front. No, it’s Twue, :D.
Wonder Twin Powers, ACTIVATE!
Hello, my name is Kristen Lamb and…I’m a nerd. There, I said it. When I was a kid, I used to spend hours at my desk copying my set of encyclopedias or playing with my microscope. You know, the one that had three slides of celery cells stained different colors. Admit it. You had one, too.
I started writing “novels” before I knew my entire alphabet. My first novel was a real tear-jerker called, “AAAH B Y Love ZQ 197 Z” (love was the only word I knew how to spell). As you can tell by the title, it was the story of Princess Kristen and how she defeated the space aliens that invaded the kingdom on a pink dragon and threatened to take away all the rainbows and make the people all wear ugly boy jeans.
Eventually, as I grew older, I taught myself how to draw but using my dad’s collection of J.R.R. Tolkein calendars and my uncle’s Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manuals.
The nerd doesn’t fall far from the tree.
My Baby Photo
Who ever heard of YA? I was reading Tolkein, L. Ron. Hubbard, and David Eddings by the time I was 12. When I wasn’t drawing or writing or reading, I was playing video games. Wait? Not much has changed. Only now I play an Xbox 360 instead of an Atari.
Why am I taking you down this memory lane of my years as a nerdling? What does this have to do with social media?
Historically, writers have been portrayed as that odd introvert with such bad social skills he had to make up people to hang out with. Okay, so in ways it is still true.
There is a strong misconception that extroverts don’t make good writers because they can’t spend enough time alone to finish a manuscript. Um…no. Extroverts with no self-discipline can’t finish a manuscript. But guess what? Introverts with no self-discipline can’t finish a manuscript either. They spend their time reading stories instead of writing them. Introverts might be able to write the book better, but extroverts can sell more copies 😀
My point is that social media is a very natural place for nerds…I mean, writers to gather. Don’t believe me? Hang out on #MyWANA for five minutes. We can feel free to be who we are, and even find people who march to a different kazoo just like us.
Social media is a direct reflection of who we are. Lately we have been talking about how publishing is changing faster than anyone can keep up, and I believe it is for the better. But, what no one seems to be mentioning is that writers are changing too. That is awesome news!
Social media is helping writers capitalize on their strengths, and mitigate their weaknesses.
I am an ENFP (Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiver). ENFPs are the most common personality type for comedians and cult leaders. I have capitalized on this. ENFPs are Tigger if he were high on Red Bull and allowed to plan a bounce-house party…with ice cream cake.
I love bouncing around and making people smile. I am the comedian of the personality types. Social media allows me to use that strength somewhere other than the written page. Yes, I write humor…but I now have the ability to use my humor to build my platform as well.
I know that when I first became a writer, it was hard. All that alone time made me crazy…okay, crazier. I would spend day after day writing technical manuals…only to later hold the poor baristas at Starbuck’s hostage because I hadn’t talked to anyone in DAYS and I had 120,000 words I hadn’t used up.
Social media has added balance to my professional life. With social media, I can take breaks from my work, go on Twitter and be a social butterfly. Then, when it is time to get back to work, I minimize the screen until I make a certain goal. Interaction with others becomes my reward for buckling down and making word count. I can be a writer and be myself.
Some of us extroverts are as bad as a highly caffeinated-meth-addicted-squirrel that someone handed a keyboard. We have to learn that buzzing around the Internet chit-chatting only becomes useful if we have a manuscript to sell.
We have to learn to shut up and… OOH Shiny!
What was I saying? Oh, yeah. Shut up and focus. *scratches head* Need to write that on a Post-It.
I LOVE introverts. Seriously. I collect them. I think it is the challenge to get them to smile…or speak. I’ll take a grunt. I liken it to a sea otter trying to pry open a clam. I’m having fun while the poor clam…I mean, introvert, is having a panic attack. I have gotten better at appreciating the clam’s unique perspective, but I still won’t let them settle under the mud and hide.
Photo of me and Bob Mayer when I first showed him Twitter.
Social media is helping introverts develop skills needed to be successful. Just like the extrovert must develop the discipline to sit in a chair and write, the introvert must learn to interact with others effectively in order to succeed in the Brave New World of Publishing. Introverts can no longer hunker down in an office for months while friends and family slide food under the door and empty the pee out of the Folger’s can….
Okay, maybe you guys aren’t THAT bad.
But the point is that introverts can no longer hide, grunting to your older sibling (marketing department) to speak for you and get you what you want. The beauty of Twitter is that human interaction is on YOUR terms, and I find that often transforms the shyest introvert into a wild Twitter party animal.
You know what they say about the quiet ones *wink, wink *
I often wonder if this is part of the resistance to social media. The extroverts are the first on board (duh). We get to socialize and that counts as WORK? Sign us up! But the introverts? I think some writers are hesitant to embrace social media because it is out of their comfort zone. Maybe you find people terrifying and you never did say the right things and what if people judge you or think you are dumb?
The best part of social media is We Are Not Alone. Okay, yeah it is a shameless book plug, but it is true. This idea is the fulcrum on which all my teaching rests. WE AREN’T ALONE!!!! WE AREN’T DOING THIS BY OURSELVES!!! This is why I launched #MyWANA, the Love Revolution!!!!
Extroverts and introverts can now become a team.
Wonder Twin powers….ACTIVATE!
We are two sides of the perfect writer. Think about it! Introverts are amazing examples of focusing on the writing, and extroverts are attention whores…I meant, better at promoting the final product. But we need to do BOTH if we hope to survive AND thrive in this new world of publishing.
As an extrovert, if I start being Chatty Cathy too long on Twitter, I guarantee you I will hear from one of my more introverted tweeps.
“Um…Kristen. Aren’t you supposed to be writing?”
The other side? Extroverts are the quintessential party hostesses. Seriously. If you are terrified of social media, befriend a Twextrovert (new word, and you’ll only find it here, folks). This is the person on Twitter who knows EVERYONE and who can be counted on to introduce you to a large group of friends painlessly. Before you know it, you’ll go from 1-200 friends and you’ve only tweeted 6 times. Twextroverts are born promoters, and your greatest ally. If you aren’t good at selling, befriend a Twextrovert and they will sell for you…cuz they like to make you smile.
If you’re a Twextrovert? Befriend a Twintrovert, that Twitter pal who can be counted on to send you a DM.
“Shut up and write before I send the flying monkeys.”
Social media makes us not only strengthen where we are weak, but it provides a way to team up with others, and they can be our strength. Extroverts can get introverts to come out of their shells, and introverts can ground their extroversive pals and remind them they need to focus and return to the work. Balloons need to be tethered or they fly away, explode and end up killing a sea gull.
So are you a Twintorvert or a Twextrovert? Make sure you pop by #MyWANA so we can stalk you….um, support you. Has social media helped you develop some aspect of your personality? Strengthen a weakness? Maybe help you become aware of a bad habit? I want to hear from you!
I love hearing from you! And to prove it and show my love, for the month of May, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of May I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!
Note: I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.
Make sure you join our LOVE REVOLUTION over on Twitter by following and participating in the #MyWANA Twibe. Read this post to understand how this #MyWANA will totally transform your life and your author platform.
My book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media hit THREE best-seller lists on Kindle yesterday. #2 in Computers & Technology, #13 in Authorship and #17 in Advertising. THANK YOU!!!!! This book is recommended by some of the biggest authors AND agents in New York, so make sure you pick up a copy if you don’t have one already.
Also, if you want to learn how to blog or even how to take your blogging to a level you never dreamed possible…get your copy of Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer today. Thanks to you guys, this book is #15 on the best-seller list on Kindle. YAY! Not only will this book help you learn to blog, but you will be having so much fun, you will forget you were supposed to be learning.
Until next time….
I don’t think I can claim a title yet. Still leaning towards Twintrovert as I learn more about twitter and how to use it for its full potential. But in life, I’m more of an extrovert. So my goal with twitter is to get good enough at it that I can become the Twextrovert and help others the way people have helped me. Big shout out to @ClayMorganPA my twextrovert hero! Thanks Clay! And thanks Kristen for MAKING me sign up in the first place, it’s becoming a little less scary and overwhelming each day.
Hey Kristen! I’m a introvert and I’m not the most focused person in the world. We all procrastinate; it is like a disease… anyway… So I think introverted people only have the disadvantages, lol. Kidding, introverted people enjoy being alone and that is pretty handy for a writer.
When I was a kid I barely talked to other people (seriously) and has been years that I’m working that out. I’m always going to be the girl who likes to be alone with a book on her lap, but at the same time I learned how to be more social. And twitter is a great place to start for those who are still hiding on their shells.
Great post. People should always try to find balance. Like the balance on the force… ops, I couldn’t resist.
I’m definitely an introvert and I’ve been tested on three different occasions in my life and I still get INFP. It kind of made me sad, but it’s a good personality for writing. Not so great for social media or socialization in general.
Excellent blog. Go Twintroverts!
So far, I’m still a twidiot. It’s only been a few weeks since the birth of my twaby and I’m still learning how to change its twiper. But I’m learning alot from you! Thanks for all you’re great advice.
Kristen, I am an ESFJ and a fellow Twextrovert! I love meeting new people then taking care of them. Thank you for defining a name for it 🙂 When I first started on Twitter, I was surprised how many Twintroverts there were. The platform does a great job getting them out of their shells. I will check out #MyWANA to see what it is about. Thanks, Miriam
First, congratulations on your bestseller lists!!! Very deserved! Second, I love the picture of you and Bob Mayer. 🙂 I laughed out loud!
I’m socially successful introvert. Moving around forced me out of my comfort zone, and I found I liked being out of it.
Thanks again for starting #MyWANA–brilliant!
Hmm. I fall in the Twintro-tuned-Twextrovert Category, I think :). When I first joined Twitter I felt like I needed a bit of an observation period before I could jump it. But it was lonely! Then I found your blog and a few others and I think I’m progressing nicely. I think the writer-focused hashtags (like #MyWANA) have been really helpful. Great for building community and for keeping focused all at the same time. And oh! The useful information from the links people provide. It’s a goldmine. Or maybe a Twoldmine? Nah. That one doesn’t work so well. But I think I’ve caught on to Twitter because I do like to chat with people. My husband always says, “You’ve never met a reply key you didn’t like.” Who knew that would be a great advantage to me one day? 🙂
I just loved this post, Kristen. The thing is, it’s in my mildly schizoid personality to be both extrovert and introvert. So what am I to do with that? I think those two sides of me actually struggle with each other on twitter. It’s sort of like that recent episode of Doctor Who, the one where Amy Pond is both pregnant and not pregnant at the same time? I’m sorry, what is it you were saying about being a nerd? 😉
I did indeed start with a friend on twitter who is extremely extroverted. She really is the whole reason I began to engage with a few people. At first I thought, “I’ll just be this clever writer who occasionally leaves witty commentary on twitter. I’m certainly not going to talk to *strangers*.” HA! That was nine months ago. Now, more and more I really have learned to interact with people. It’s much more interesting and meaningful that way.
A side benefit? Last time I went to a party, a real one with snacks and music and whatnot? Turns out it’s much easier to talk to real live actual humans, now that I’ve spent so much time doing it online. Go figure.
Thanks for the great post.
Speaking as an introvert, this is the best post I’ve read this week!
Twextrovert here…and does it count at all that I am actually a twin? (I’m the evil half…he’s the responsible adult).
It’s fun being 12 years old! Gotta go visit my Sweet Tweets and #MyWANA before I….oooooooooh squirrel!
I have GOT to remember not to be ingesting ANYTHING while reading your blog…that otter pic (you and Bob)…ROFL (and that was after the Tigger bounce party image).
I knew there was a reason (besides all the obvious ones) why I like you so much, Kristen – I LOVE otters. They are my absolute fave animal.
Okay, back to work!
Tolkien Wall Calendars! I still have all mine. And my ideal man? Aragorn, calendar version – not the movie guy. Guess that makes me a Twerd?
Twintrovert coming out of her shell. Not in real life though, just online for some reason. Since I joined #myWANA family (even before the hashtag) I’ve been meeting a lot of fun people to interact with who enrich me as a writer and as a person 🙂
Twextrovert with a sprinkling of Twintrovert.
Have a great afternoon!
Wow, Kristen, we must have been channelling each other, because my blog post today is all about introverts and extroverts too (although a mirror image since it’s written from the POV of an introvert). I’m an introvert close to the border of extroversion, and I have to say that overall I love social media. Not all of us introverts hate being social! 🙂
Twextrovert here! Need a Twintrovert….and it’s ALL BECAUSE OF YOU! 🙂
Glad you won’t let us clams stay buried under the muck.
I have found that social media is a good way for an introvert to learn how to be more of an extrovert. Online is easier than face to face but I’m finding that face to face is getting easier because of the online practice.
Mostly introvert here. I say mostly because I hang out with other introverts and tend to be the social center. And I am bit more outgoing when using social media. Go figure.
Love,love, love the pic of you and Bob. Too funny! Thanks Kristen.
Extrovert IRL, was an introvert online, but only in recent years. Then I read this fantastic post…actually, it was this VERY POST, the first time and it woke me up from years of slumbering in the man cave (yes, we all guys have one).
Thanks Kristin, you are simply the best! Can’t wait to see the new book, by the way, sure to be full of incredible tips on how to use the power of social media to its fullest and most human 🙂
Oh how I wish I had your humor! But I do have other strengths. I’m somewhere in between Twintrovert and Twextrovert, leaning slightly more toward the former. And I have found that social media has given me blanket to hide under so I can exhibit a more extroverted persona without having to be noticed. How I will handle it in person at a conference or signing or a meet/greet of any kind, I’m not sure. But I’m having fun on Twitter, FB and in my blog…very gradually increasing ‘friends’ and subscribers. I have both of your newest books, halfway through one and it’s great!
Extrovert. All the way. But I’m curious if this is how I’m perceived on Twitter. Hmm. Maybe a question to put to the masses.
And congrats on hitting the bestseller lists! Book 1 is on my kindle. Book 2 will be shortly, with one sweet click.
Huge Twintrovert. I have to summon up my courage muscle just to log on to Twitter. 🙂
I love this post – and am so glad someone can put into your words what I feel…introvert (guilty as charged) and know i should do twitter and all that…but cringe and hate it and wonder what the heck do i say? And then crawl back into my hermit cave with desperate relief.
Great tips and great read. Thank you!
Great analysis. There are also introverts who seem more like extroverts online because it is easier to mingle online than it is in real life *moi* but the downside to that is we haven’t had enough practise off-line and sometimes make boos boos. To mix them is a great idea to help everyone get some balance, thank you!
Hey, there’s a long and glorious tradition of letting your siblings speak for you! It’s in the Bible for crying out loud!
Seriously though, I’m so much more extroverted on twitter than I am in person, though I’m getting better at it in person, too. I can’t begin to explain to people how my nerves shake when I’m speaking in or to a group.
Total twintrovert here! But I just opened my very first twitter account TODAY! AND I’m commenting on blogs that I usually only lurk on! Baby steps…
Heeee. Great post – and I am (slowly) trying to catch up with this little revolution (is that an oxymoron??? hmmmm…) you’ve started.
I’m currently riding the line between twintro and twextro. Which makes sense. I tested as an ENFP as a kid, INFP as an adult. I think I lean slightly more to the INFP side, but have certain E tendencies (and have had jobs that forced me to at least play the role of an E – teacher, entertainer, etc).
Does that mean I have to partner up with myself? ‘Cause, you know, booo.
(And died at the thought of your local Starbucks barista…mostly because I have been known to keep mine hostage from time to time)
Tweriffic analysis of twintrovert and twextrovert.
Hey hey! An ENFP and a writer?? Snap! I thought I was the only one!
I was sitting out in my courtyard when I read this, and I’m afraid my neighbours might have heard me snorting with laughter. Never mind, they already know I’m nuts. After all, I work mostly from home, so they know me pretty well – they have to put up with me dropping in for a visit, again and again.
One outworking of my extroversion, which I have only just recognised as coming from that, is that my characters never shut up. Dialogue dialogue dialogue, rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb. This is a bit of a problem in a thriller – they talk and talk, but once in a while they have to stop the yackety-yak and do something. Other writers say, “I have so much trouble writing dialogue.” I look at them blankly for a moment, and then get distracted by something shiny. (I’m not saying my dialogue is good, mind, but there’s certainly plenty of it.)
Now, what was I doing?
Hmmmm…..which one am I? I think it depends what day of the week it is. Like today for instance. I should be writing but I am reading your blog and now commenting :p
Some days (unless I’ve forgotten to mute my BB and it beeps at me – then I just HAVE to check that message), I won’t even look at my FB or twitter pages because I am too engrossed in writing, and other days I just cannot pull myself away, expecially if I get caught up talking to @PiperBayard, @Nigel_Blackwell, or yourself. Even @jamesrollings has been naughty and distracted me lately.
Excellent blog, as always….now I must get back to writing or my editor will be cross 🙂
Ouch, that was both incredibly true and laugh out loud funny. The twitter thing will likely kill me, as I have just wrapped my head around my blog. I’ll stop by your “help zone” , I mean Love Revolution:) Thanks for the insight.
Grunt. Yes, I’m the Twintrovert all the way. Thank goodness I found you and #MyWANA.
a friend sent me a link to your post. i love it:) i will laugh every time i think of a twintrovert and a twextrovert! i think i fall somewhere closer to the middle with a slight leaning toward extrovert in real life.
i can’t quite get there on twitter tho’. i’m gaining more confidence but it seems so odd…like walking into a party and all the conversations are going. now i have to figure out where to fit.
come to think of it, maybe i’m not as extroverted as i tho’t. the twextrovert would walk in and start her own conversation even if no one was listening! i was trying to explain the fun of the internet to a friend and told her, “It’s nice, you don’t have to be polite in one way. It someone’s conversation is boring, you can just move on.” i guess that is how twitter works too.
Fun post, Kristen!
INTP on Myers-Briggs, meaning I’m an introvert. But I find I’m moving more to the middle in social media so not sure if I’m considered a Twintovert or a Twextrovert. Maybe I should refer to myself as a Tw-in-between? 🙂
Cute! I saw that on #MyWANA. Made me laugh 😀
Total introvert offline (I need my space!), have learned to be mostly an extrovert online, still need to work on that attention span. 🙂
I’m definitely a Twintrovert… I can be in a group but I can’t stand being the center of attention. Too many people next to me drains my energy. I thought I was a Twextrovert before as well but if it’s where we’re getting our energy, definitely a Twintrovert. 🙂
You can send some of those http://theflyingmonkeys.ca/ my way 🙂