As we ring in the new year and ponder resolutions present and past, it’s good to remember that even a small, insignificant action can have life-altering consequences.
In this instance, I am referring to a Tweet.
Like many people, I went on Twitter over a year ago to see what all the fuss was about. At the time, I just didn’t “get” it. I came away thinking it was only for twenty-something techies and I clearly was out of their league.
Then in January 2011 I started looking into freelance writing opportunities. The more I explored, the more I was aware of my vacuous lack of social media experience beyond Facebook. Zilch. Zero. Kaput. As a passionate lifelong learner, I knew there was only one thing to do: I would have to teach myself to Tweet.
I set up a profile, picked @ncbeachgirl75 as my handle, and began tweeting. My first tweet said something very profound like Well, here I go!
16 characters heard ’round the world. I felt bold. Empowered. I could do anything!
To be honest, I stumbled my way through those first few months. I learned about #FollowFriday and being unfollowed and about #hashtags and Twitterverse. I survived @charliesheen and got re-tweeted by @TheCivilWars. I was having fun.
On March 30, I gained a new follower: the very talented world-traveling, singer-songwriter, adventurist, dad, and blogger @kevinmontgomery. Kevin and I started chatting and he told me about his passion for helping foster kids aging out of the system through @ODBFoundation (The Orange Duffel Bag Foundation), the non-profit his sister @echogarrett had started. I went to check out @ODBFoundation and immediately started following Echo, an amazing person in her own right: an award-winning author/wife/mother (and friend) extraordinaire.
Echo started following my blog and asked me to give her a call and I did. Before our conversation ended, she asked me to be Director of Public Relations for @ODBFoundation. Life change #1.
In June I sent a tweet to a Twitter friend in the UK and ended up writing, blogging, and tweeting travel for Essential Hotels UK for six months (see There Are Years That Ask Questions). Life change #2.
Life change #3: 1,800+ amazing new Twitter friends:
One of my first followers was @ManVsBooks, a Renaissance man who introduced me to the lovely and talented @Lynn_Shepherd, author of Murder in Mansfield Park and soon-to-be-released Tom-All-Alone’s (UK)/The Solitary House (US). Through Lynn I met BBC book reviewer and true blue friend @milorambles. My literary compatriots across the Pond.
Then there was Boston College lecturer and bestselling author (In Leah’s Wake) @tglong who asked me to write two guest posts for her blog “The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively”. Terri is an amazing person and an encouraging friend.
Somewhere along the way I met soon-to-be-released LINK author/thought promoter-speaker/techno music lover/storm chaser @JohnSerpa. John is passionate about @ODBFoundation and drove from Virginia to Atlanta to attend our ODBF gala in December. If you’re not following John, you should.
I have made dear new friends: @EviePorter1 and @TheBoudicca. #GOAM @Bromiegirl and @AlysaAKim. And the lovely @tle1011. And I have met others who have inspired me to be a better me: @SalhaKaitesi @PattieSimone @FrankCunhaIII @Staticulator @lexilawson @andioakes and @tedrubin (just to name a few).
Finally, I have unapologetically hooked (at least) two friends on Twitter: @kdcaulfeild and @cassyelliott201. Way to go, girls! Ride the wave!
What have I learned from Twitter? That there’s a big world out there full of interesting and talented people who want to connect.
As a lifelong learner, I am learning so much. And I continue to learn each day.
So remember, if you’re pondering a tiny change this year, gather up your courage and take the first step.
It just might change your life.
I’d love to hear how Twitter has changed your life. Leave a comment below.