Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Kristen Lamb — Photo

Posts Tagged: twibe

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.

The Extrovert

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.

The Introvert  

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.

Important Announcements

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.

Happy writing!

Until next time….

Welcome to WANA Wednesday, based off my best-selling book, We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. Today, I am letting you guys in on a cool new development. I am launching the #MyWANA hashtag group so that all of us have a place to congregate beyond this blog and make it easier to spread the love. Not that I don’t still want to hear from you guys here in the comments, but I chose the title of my book for a reason.

We Are Not Alone!

Social media is, above all else, social. It is a community. So what I would like to do is extend this little community we have here on the blog on to Twitter. We all need love–writer love, blog love, or even just friend love. The Internet can be a scary place if you are doing this by yourself. Well, now you don’t have to. We are going to be your adoptive Internet family….your Twibe.

Many of you guys are starting blogs. Others of you aren’t sure you want a blog and you might be watching and learning. Some of you guys have been using WANA principles for a while and you are social media pros, with maybe some tips and insights you would love to share with your fellow WANA peeps. We have an awesome network going here at the blog, and I think the addition of the #MyWANA might help making friends a bit easier. We can cross-promote and help and support each other.

I chose #MyWANA to keep it short, but the other unspoken word is #MyWANATwibe, #MyWANACommunity, or #MyWANAPals or #MyWANAPeeps or #MyWANA Family. The #MyWANA column is the place where we all can gather and chat and have fun. By joining all of us together with a common hashtag, this will make it far easier to locate each other. Rather than individually searching for each other by name (@KristenLambTX), we can just follow anyone who pops up in the #MyWANA column.

There is strength in numbers, and platforms are easier to construct if we have help.

But some of you might be scratching your head.  You might find yourself asking, What the heck is that # thingy I see all the time? I don’t even know what a # does, so how on earth will a #MyWANA help?

First of all, download TweetDeck (or a similar application). Trust me. It will make life simpler. Check out this earlier blog for why.

What is a #? That little # symbol is going to help you build a worldwide following. I know. That’s partly how I did it. And, now, for the first time ever, it will allow you to talk to your fellow WANA peeps, trade tips, read and promote each other’s blogs, trade recipes, gather resources for world domination using sea monkeys and an egg beater, whatever.

So what is the darn #, Kristen? Focus!

Well, when you first join Twitter, you are all alone…save for the celebrities that Twitter gives you, but it isn’t like you and Lady Gaga are going to chit chat. So, you are going to have to make some friends. Hashtags will help you meet people who love to talk about the same things you do. When you place a # with a keyword at the end of your tweet, Twitter slots your tweet into a conversation shared by people all over the world bound by topic (like #MyWANA).

Some popular writer hashtags are:

#writegoal (place daily writing goals and keep each other accountable), #amwriting, #pubtip, #indie, #bookmarket, #amediting, #nanowrimo, #agent

But the one to rule them all will be: #MyWANA …

One # to bring them all. One # to find them. One # to rule them all and on the TweetDeck bind them. 

Okay, wow. Sorry. That took a dark and unexpected nerdy twist. You get the idea! 😛

Back to what #s do. Thus, when I tweet about my blog, often it looks like this:

@KristenLambTX Want to know how to use Twitter to help build your platform? (link goes here) #writegoal #nanowrimo #pubtip

My Tweet now will not just go out to my specific followers, it will be seen by the THOUSANDS of people all over the world who might be participating in those three popular hashtag conversations.

Why I recommend you download TweetDeck is that you can slot each hastag into its own column and then follow the people and conversations. When it comes to social media, we must interact and be vested in others, or we risk being perceived as fake and selfish. The hashtag is to help us meet and converse with others. It is not a new way to spam our fellow tweeps.

With the addition of the #MyWANA column, this will allow you guys (and me) to gather on Twitter and help each other out and even get to know each other better. Your goals, thoughts, dreams, blogs and books will all remain top of mind and plugged in to your WANA family so we can help. If you are brand new on Twitter, without a friend in the world, you can now just seek out your Twibe #MyWANA and we will take you in and offer love, shelter and a tasty digital beverage.

This is a #MyWANA grassroots movement.

Writing is a lonely business and building a platform can be overwhelming and, frankly, terrifying. There is a lot of misinformation out there about social media. #MyWANA is the place where you can find quality information and the best peeps on the web. If you guys have friends or family who need to build a platform (not just writers), tell them about #MyWANA, and invite them to join the fun.

#MyWANA…where our peeps hang out.

I continually brag that I have the BEST peeps on the web. You guys are THE highlight of my day, and I am so thrilled that I will not only get to see you guys here, but also in the #MyWANA circle.  WANA principles are based on service above self, and I am really happy to bring you guys just one more tool to help each other out. And I will be there too, doing all I can.

What inspired Twibe #MyWANA? Recently I taught an on-line class for Write It Forward. I watched in awe how my WANA principles brought together a group of strangers and made them friends. Every day I would watch how these writers visited each other’s blogs and commented, offered feedback, helped each other with content, and even subscribed to each other’s feeds. At the beginning of March I had a roster of individuals. As of yesterday? I said good-bye to a cohesive force, bound by love, community and service. These writers inspired me to take that kind of community cohesion another step…and #MyWANA was born.  That, and I am totally selfish and couldn’t really say good-bye to such awesome people. Now I can hang out with them via #MyWANA…and you can too!

So what do you guys think? Excited? Scared? Isn’t it liberating to realize you don’t have to build your author platform all by yourself?

We are not alone! Isn’t that cool?

I love hearing from you! And to prove it and show my love, for the month of April, 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 April 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.

Important Announcements

Mash-Up of Awesomeness is posted today so keep scrolling!

Will post last week’s/ month’s winner on Friday (Sorry, last week I was sick with a bad cold and there are a lot of names to tally. THANKS :D ). Check back, please.

May 9-13, 2011, I will be teaching an on-line Building Your Author Brand with Social Media Class for only $15 to support the wonderful Long Island Romance Writers.

My new book, “Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer” will be out in less than a month!

Mash-Up of Awesomeness

Add additional depth to your story with symbols. Great WriterUnboxed post by the mega-agent Don Maass.

Cool mindbender blog by Manon Eileen. Geet your geek on with Does Our Perception Fool Us?

A great blog for this week, in light of Bin Laden’s death. A tribute to the heroes, since those are the people we should remember. Piper Bayard’s We Drank Champagne and Remembered.

Some really cool posts about Norse mythology by Terrell Mims. Great post about Loki, the God of Mischief

Hilarious post by the Genius Word Pirate Chuck Wendig… Why Writers Drink

Interesting post by Peter St. Claire, What is a Serial Killer?

Author Amy Shojai has one of THE best pet blogs. Want to keep your dog from digging? Go here.

Don’t Fear the Comma by Orlando Ramos

You don’t have to know code to build a website. Great post for the technologically-challenged by Jane Friedman.

Very cool nostalgia piece by Earl Brussel The Day We Got Lights.

Yes, I am totally poaching @4KidLit’s mashup for last week, namely because there are a TON of killer writer blogs listed (and I am totally lazy and NOT going to type all them out). Adventures in Children’s Publishing always post fantastic links for all kinds of writers, so seriouly go check out their site.

Want to learn about LinkedIn and see if it is a good fit for your platform? Check out Jenny Hansen’s post Build a Writing Network with LinkedIn.

Want the skinny on the best TV shows to watch this summer? Take a peek at Tiffany White’s Tele-Tuesday .

For mystery lovers, K.B. Owen has a great post about Nancy Drew. Girl detective and master slueth.

Want to laugh? Subscribe to the funny and brilliant Tawna Fenske’s blog. This week’s post, ‘Getting Hitched’ Sounds Dirty if You Say It Just Right

And finally, one of my FAVE blogs. Jody Hedlund posts some of THE best material on the web for writers. Excellent post this week, The Three Stages of Querying

Have a blog you just LOVED this week, but it isn’t listed in the mash-up? Tell us about it in the comments or tweet it on #MyWANA.

Until next time….

In the meantime, if you don’t already own a copy, my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writers Guide to Social Media is recommended by literary agents and endorsed by NY Times best-selling authors. My method is free, fast, simple and leaves time to write more books.