Virtual writers: A newbie’s perspective

by limebirdsally

At the age of thirty-three I suddenly feel like an insecure teenager again. Strolling past, I noticed an open invitation social media party going on and actually had the guts to head in by myself, wahey. Look at all these vibrant, interesting people; and these amazing resources. I can’t believe I didn’t come here years ago.

A girl gives me an effervescent hi as I walk in – this is encouraging – but then she turns to rattle off a stream of indiscriminate hellos to each newcomer and I’m left alone again. Fair enough. I smile at people as I politely squeeze my way through to the kitchen and grab a bottle of beer, not only trying to come up with something interesting to say, but somebody to actually say it to. But it isn’t long before I’ve sought sanctuary in that haven for the reclusively-inclined: the bathroom.

So here I am, perched on the cistern lid with my feet resting on the sides of the toilet seat as I wonder; maybe I should just call it a night.

Okay, so I’m being slightly over-dramatic here as I’m by no means socially-awkward, but trying to break into the world of social media as a writer has been daunting. Until last November I was perfectly happy using facebook for friends, LinkedIn for my professional life as a researcher and dismissing twitter or blogging as pointless narcissism. But until recently creative writing was something I did in private. Choosing to go public with my writing has revealed that it was a slight misconception to assume twitter was just about inundating people with the mundane details of your daily activities. So I created myself a website, a blog, a twitter account…a google + account, a Goodreads account and probably a host of other accounts I can’t even remember now!

I’m sure I’m not the only newcomer to look at high traffic well-established blogs, or twitter accounts with a multitude of followers and feel like giving up before I’ve even started. But my attitude’s always been if I can’t change something, then accept it and move on; if, however, I can change something, stop whining and get on with it! So here are the little coping strategies I’ve developed in my first couple of months of trying to develop an online presence as Sally writer. This isn’t a list of rules because one person’s ‘marmite – yum’, is another person’s ‘marmite – eurgh’ … [hmmm, marmite] … but perhaps there are elements here that other newbies can identify with.

The first important thing for me was to accept that this is going to be an evolution and it’s futile to see other blogs/twitter accounts as some kind of end point. For example, comparing my 38 followers to Amanda Hocking’s 10.5k is plain ridiculous! I know a good starting strategy is to visit and comment on as many other blogs as possible and to follow lots of twitter accounts for the reciprocity, but personally I’ve decided to let things happen at their own pace. I don’t follow many people and I’m followed by even fewer, and this really doesn’t bother me.

However, I do always follow links to interesting-looking posts and start to follow interesting new people as I chance upon them. The way I see it is my twitter account is small but perfectly formed and hopefully over time it will grow in a manageable manner.

There’s a wonderful line in Ever After where Rodmilla says, “Jacqueline, dear, do not speak unless you can improve the silence.” I’d have to be mute to keep to that mantra but this leads me to my second point, be honest, be myself, and only say something when I mean it. I’d rather visit fewer blogs and say something meaningful than take a scattergun approach and end up not being genuine. That said I’ll always say something when I have an opinion, trying to be positive, constructive and supportive. And if someone visits my blog and likes it or comments, I always reciprocate – that’s just good manners, even if it proves obvious that they are just traffic-sourcing.

Depending on what you’re looking for different sites are going to suit different people. I particularly like Limebird because of its light-hearted tone and the fact it’s so friendly and welcoming. I can relate to different Limebird writers for different reasons and this diversity paves the way for a range of useful and interesting topics…which leads me to my final point, if you like somewhere, get involved. This is why I joined the gang and can now call myself limebirdsally!

So if you could give a newbie just one piece of advice, what would it be? Have you made any mistakes or done things that now make you cringe? And I’d love to hear from any other newbies about your first thoughts on trying to join the online writing scene – it isn’t just me who has moments of feeling completely dispirited about it all is it???

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55 Responses to “Virtual writers: A newbie’s perspective”

  1. I joined a while ago, and quickly gave up. Almost 2 years later, writing is becoming more important to me. When I’d started in on the blogging world, I was realizing how important a ‘platform’ was. And I thought that I wouldn’t need to do something like that – that my writing would just take off on its own. But now I’m learning of the benefits of creating a digital ‘interface,’ so to speak, to be able to connect with other like-minded people, and to draw interested readers to your writing and thoughts that you otherwise would never have been able to reach. I guess it’s like other areas or art, or anything, where you are starting out, and you have barriers to get through. If we can connect to others, genuinely, then it becomes worth it.

    • Thank you so much for your comment Bryan. Hearing you say this makes me think that if I don’t at least try to persevere things will just keep on progressing without me and I’ll only end up trying to dip back in a little way down the line.

      I’m generally in the mainstream when it comes to adopting new technologies and it feels as if having a digital interface as a writer is essentially a mainstream activity now, particularly in the States.

  2. Agree, agree, agree (and love the movie *Ever After*)

    Like you, I thought about the potential for social media and when I’ve seen the stats some of these sites pull in, I’ve been emotionally squashed. There’s just no way I’ll ever reach that sort of fandom…

    But then, especially as far as the blog is concerned, I’d rather have people I can identify with and enjoy conversing with. (even occasionally the ones I’d argue with as long as its an intelligent debate not another flame war!) As you said, slow and steady growth, with meaningful interactions instead of a thousand shallow “me too” or “well done” comments.

    I have also come to the conclusion that this manuscript I’ve been working on is aimed at an incredibly small niche, essentially the type of people I get on with well. So there really is no point in having thousands of followers that perhaps don’t understand where I’m coming from but are only following in order to be followed. Social media will help me to reach people I would never have been able to reach before…but I really don’t need to reach all of them!

    I guess I haven’t been around this social media thing long enough to have advice to “newbies,” more or less being there myself right now, but you are *certainly* not alone.

    • Phew, it’s not just me then!

      It’s weird to think of these things in terms of fandom and likes and followers. I know social media gives these words a new meaning, but it makes me feel really delusional to expect people who don’t know me to state this kind of allegiance. The other day I filled out a market research survey and I gave top box scores throughout because I was really happy with the service, but their last question was, “finally, to what extent would you say you are a fan of [mobile phone company]?” I gave them lowest score because it was such a ridiculous question!

      What are you working on – you clearly have taste to love Ever After. I just adore that film (although actually my favourite part is when Dougray Scott slips into his Scottish accent when they’re on their ‘date’!) My other favourites are Stardust and About a boy (I very rarely cry at films, but I actually cried at the talent show scene because it was just so lovely).

  3. I’m with you Sally. I decided early on that I would not comment, or even hit the like button, of a blog if I didn’t actually mean it. Thankfully there are a lot of blogs out there that I can truthfully like. Some are even great.My own blog, meanwhile, is slowly growing under these self-imposed rules. I wouldn’t want it any other way, and I hope those who do comment on my blog are following my own rules as well.

    • Okay, confession here – in my first couple of days I did write a sycophantic comment on someone’s blog that I didn’t mean because I wanted to build some traffic. I only did this once and it was nearly two months ago now, but it still makes me feel dirty just thinking about it! Fortunately you’re right and there are great blogs out there.

      Thank you for commenting. I’m really glad to hear your blog is growing while staying true to your principals.

  4. Great post, Sally! I could relate to everything you said. I’m kind of a newbie, I guess. I started my website last summer and for one month I only had one follower who was kind enough to follow me back when I commented on her post. Then I got a second follower from somewhere out of the blue, and I followed him back. From there, my followers slowly increased. It’s been at times daunting, maddening, frustrating, thrilling, and annoying.

    I try my best to follow bloggers who go out of their way to follow me–even if we never-to-rarely comment on each other’s blogs. I do this because I appreciate the effort someone takes when they bother to follow me. It’s nice when someone thinks that what I write is meaningful, even if it is just one post that I write.

    I will never forget the time someone followed me on Twitter, and I failed to follow him back or thank him immediately. I told myself I’d do it the following day when I had some time planned for “tweeting.” By that next day, I discovered he had stopped following me. It bothers me even now.

    Another incident I ran into was I tried to “follow” another writer on Twitter only to discover she blocked me–me! It was not one of those locked accounts or one that requires validation from Twit something or other. It was a personal, specific move she made to stop me from following her. I was so shocked I couldn’t do any social media for at least a couple of days.

    I racked my brain trying to think if somehow we had crossed paths in cyberspace or even in another lifetime, but couldn’t for the life of me figure it out. I don’t know her personally; I just thought I’d follow her because her profile described her account as a writing and editing site.

    Anyway, I guess my advice to a newbie would be to never forget that we are all people, with feelings. Even though these relationships we build are online and we may never meet each other in person, we are still humans behind the usernames and twitter accounts and fan pages.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

    • Whoops – there’s a really good piece of advice that I needed to hear! I hadn’t even considered twitter etiquette and thanking new followers.

      It’s actually a really interesting point. Visiting someone’s blog gives me their name and generally a lot of information about who they are and what they’re all about, which makes them feel real to me, whereas when I get a new follower on twitter it’s just an automated email with an @XXX, often a name that doesn’t make any sense to me and there’s a bit of effort involved in identifying who they are, which I’ve completely been overlooking.

      Thank you so much Kate – I need to get out the fancy notelet set and sort out my twitter thank you’s pronto!

  5. A quote from Ever After? You’re already made me think you’re an awesome blogger!

    I’m fairly new to the writer blog scene myself, but my two pieces of advice: 1) Set goals for yourself. Say you’ll write a post a day/two posts an hour/one post a week and try to stick to it. I hate when I start reading a blog that’s awesome and after a few weeks the posts get more infrequent and suddenly the writer is gone for months and months at a time. 2) Have fun! Whether it’s on a blog or Twitter or Facebook, social networking should be fun. Maybe a blog works well for you, or maybe you’d rather stick to tweeting. Whatever you do, make sure you actually enjoy it too.

    Good luck!!

    • That’s really good advice, Annie. I started my blog thinking I’d post every couple of days or so, but I haven’t done anywhere near that and just make the excuse to myself that nobody’s reading it anyway! I definitely need to decide what I’m going to do and commit to it. And a big yes to the having fun with it.

      Thank you so much for the advice and best of luck to you too!

  6. Great Post Sally, So happy to see you are now a limebird welcome to the madhouse!

    The only advice i would give to anyone that is interacting or writing online is something i am still desperately learning to do myself and that is to really think about the things you are saying and the way you phrase them. I often get so excited that i have met new people that share my interests that i forget that they are in fact strangers and do not know my personality and i have often realised too late that something i have written has been phrased terribly and i’ve ended up sounding either very rude or very stupid (sometimes a bit of both).

    The only way I have been able to get over this is to think deeply before replying and if i get to a point where i think “Could this be controversial or sound offensive” I walk away and sleep on it, when i come back the next day i normally have a clearer view of how to phrase it differently or not to say it at all in some cases.

    • Thank you so much for the lovely welcome!

      Oh that is so true. I’ve actually seen a couple of lengthy online exchanges where somebody’s clearly misinterpreted somebody’s intention in a comment and it’s gone a huge circle of starting off angry and then apologising, and then being defensive etc. etc. and they can’t even have a couple of beers and laugh about it all afterwards because they live hundreds of miles apart. It must be so easy to make a joke or light-hearted comment and have it taken the wrong way.

      My measure of acceptability is the speed and force with which I’ve typed something – anything below a gentle tap should probably be deleted without even reading it back!

  7. Fantastic Limebird debut Sally! Fantabulous post.

    Thanks for the compliment about Limebird, it makes me all happy inside! I love that you describe it as friendly and welcoming and I’m so glad that it feels that way. Thank you for coming on board!

    OK, so now on to what advice I would offer out. Obviously as I started up Limebird I know a little bit about the whole blogging/Twitter/FB scene. However, I did have a bit of an advantage in that I do this type of thing for my job. I work with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) so I know what type of thing to do to make our blog get noticed. I also work a lot with social media, so I’m talking Twitter/Facebook etc.

    I think the most important thing is to network with other blogs. Like you, when setting up Limebird I told myself I would only ‘like’ or ‘comment’ if I was really interested in the post itself, not purely for the sake of it. Obviously if you are looking to gain hoards of followers in a quick period of time, then of course you could implement this method. The only problem with this, is if you simply do this and then don’t follow it up, it’s likely people aren’t going to keep their interest.

    Another important factor is good regular content. What readers don’t want to happen is find one great piece on your blog one week, click the follow button hoping for more, and then that person stops blogging all together.

    When Limebird started, for the first month, we only got about 10 views every couple of days. Like you said, I was getting a bit disheartened about it. Then I thought, well, I’m enjoying myself, I like writing the posts so I won’t give up. So, that’s it really… network, know who you’re writing for and what you want to write and don’t give up!

    PS – I love marmite.

  8. Whoop, whoop; I can downgrade my husband back down to junior grade technical support and make you my new online guru – he’s a web developer so can be a bit of a know-it-all when I ask for advice…which admittedly isn’t helped by the fact I’m childishly impatient when it comes to learning any new technology and expect it to be completely intuitive and masterable within sixty seconds!…Er, I’m not exactly selling myself, am I!

    Thank you for making Limebird such a welcoming place and for all the useful advice. The fact you’ve developed Limebirds into such an amazing site in just a few months shows you clearly know what you’re talking about!

  9. Good points LimeBirdSally, also welcome to the team! I love that you’re going at your own pace. I think it’s imtimidating to see your numbers (well, it’s intimidating to me) and see them be so slight. Just have to remember that they will grow. Well, even if they don’t you will make friends here and there and that’s where the real fun is!

    -hugs my limebird friends-:)

  10. This is one of the great things I’ve found since I started blogging here – I’m not the only one who feels the way I do. Social media is not something I grew up with. It didn’t exist! And I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that an unpublished writer needs this presence. (My first post dealt with that issue.)

    But, like you, I’m going for the slow steady approach. I may never attract even 100 regular followers. But I enjoy the interaction with the small group I have. The support of others in similar situations is a great feeling.

    At this new stage, the best advice I could give anyone is be yourself, be polite, and be consistent. And I think that’s something we should all strive for in life – not just blogging! Oh, and be patient. It takes time for others to find us.

  11. Tell me about it – I can’t believe I submitted my first year essays at University handwritten. Surely it wasn’t that long ago? I just had a little read of that first post and yes, sounds very familiar! I think the be consistent is particularly good advice.
    And nope, no superstitions this end either – just the distraction of constantly logging onto all these new social media sites!

  12. Sally~

    Forgive me posting in a new comment, but I couldn’t comment on your comment!

    Have to agree with you on Dougray Scott’s Scottish accent. Silly reason to recomment, but there it is. I am a complete and utter Scotophile. I admit it. I don’t think there’s any sort of 12 step program for it, so I’m just going to “suffer”…lol. And I adored Stardust as well! It does seem that you and I have (at the least) similar tastes in movies and accents…lol.

    Thank you for asking about what I’m writing currently. I’m working on a fantasy book…as you could probably guess. Well fantasy-ish, at any rate. There are plenty of mythological creatures and mass destruction, as well as a Scotsman. Had to do it. After all, it is a “fantasy” book, and it’s my “fantasy” book, thank-you-very-much!

    The problem is…well, as someone who has been involved in “alternative religions” for some time now, there’s a lot of that sort of thing in there as well, and some of it may very well alienate members of those groups…as well as members of the general public. Not because it’s particularly offensive, but because I’m taking a realistic view of different types of people found in these groups of people. This has, as I said, restricted the potential audience. I also have a lot of ethnic variety and, yes, a gay character (and his husband)…and there are some publishers (I have been told) and readers that wouldn’t approve of that at all.

    I’ve got an uphill battle in front of me.

    There have been so many good points made here! Thanks for opening up this topic.

    …and I agree, the idea of “fans” for a mobile phone company…or any corporation for that matter…is ridiculous!

    Keep on keeping on!

    • It sounds as if you’ve got an unusual perspective to feed into the fantasy world that you’re creating and surely that can only be a good thing. I’m intrigued, anyway!

      Yes it’s a sad fact that ethnic diversity, alternative religions and homosexuality are going to alienate some readers, but I doubt they’d be a fantasy target audience anyway. I wouldn’t even worry about that, but I can see how the fear of offending people you actually know is a real concern, particularly if it could be alienating yourself from a minority group that means a lot to you.

      I really hope it all works out. Have you got a blog or anything where we could see how things progress?

  13. I enjoyed your post.

    I am also a newbie (my blog went live last week). I have the good fortune of being verbose and opinionated, so I don’t have too much trouble commenting on other people’s blogs. Mind, sometimes it’s only something like, “Awesome picture!” I *do* mean it when I say it though (seriously, check the picture at this guy’s post, funniest thing I’ve seen in ages – at least if you have kids: http://deepasabirdbath.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/racing-toward-greater-responsibility-expecting-our-second-child/).

    Anyway, I sorta feel the way you describe. Until last week, Facebook was for harassing high school classmates and keeping track of long-distance friendships. Honestly, I still haven’t quite figured Twitter out, although I have an account (pretty much just posts links to my blog). The sad thing is, I am just barely young enough that I learned to read and write on a computer (I have no excuse for my lack of media understanding).

    The thing I’m enjoying most (so far) is discovering how much there is of substance out there. Last time I checked (and it was a LONG time ago) most blogs were along the lines of, “Look at my cat,” or, “I can’t believe is soooo hot!”

    Anyway, nice post.

    P.S. I’d appreciate any input on good blogging manners – I don’t want to mistakenly cheese off a reader!

    • Ha-ha , that pic made me laugh. I had one of those veg calendars a couple of years ago with all the little puns / jokes that really used to brighten up my 1st of each month. So here’s a great bit of advice I take from your comment – if it’s appropriate, occasionally brightening up your blog posts with pics / jokes seems to be pretty effective! I’ve just had a quick look at your blog and I really like the post titles – I’ll come back and have a proper look around.

      And yes, definitely – that’s one of the perceptions I had about blogging from when I last looked around (also a quite a few years ago).

      Have you see LimebirdKate’s comment on twitter further up? I had even thought about twitter courtesy, and I feel really bad about it, so I’m definitely going to improve on that. Limebirdsophie also made a good point about tone in comments and how easy it is to go wrong.

  14. Do what you enjoy most and focus your efforts there. Be open to other forms of social media, dip a toe in and try them, but don’t force yourself to continue something if it makes you miserable or fills you with dread. And be you. Even if it means hanging out in the bathroom with your smart phone liking other people’s posts. :)

    • Kourtney,

      Apparently I need more sleep. I saw your post and read the last sentence, “… licking other people’s posts.”

      Gave me a good laugh when I realized my error.

    • Thank you Kourtney, this is really good advice. Even in just the past couple of months I’ve been on sites / blogs that have made me feel insecure or pretty low down in some unspoken pecking order; and others that have made me feel great. I guess it’s a case of finding the places where you can genuinely relate to people rather than places where you’re having to try to fit in.

      Relates to jmmcdowell’s comment about consistency – I just need to be myself and accept when something’s not right.

  15. I only started blogging this summer, so am still very new at the whole thing. I can see my stats and numbers and all that, but I still don’t know what to make of them. I haven’t gotten the hang of tags and categories, and usually forget them. Sorry, I don’t know what advice I could offer either.
    I started my blog so that I would have somewhere to post my writing, and that’s what it’s all about for me. Good or bad, long or short, I just want to write, and learn more about writing. Reading other blogs and marking those I think are good so that I can go back to them helps me do that. Welcome to limebirds!

    • Thanks Neeks – your comment’s really funny considering I assumed you’d been doing it for ages! Right, so make sure I remember my tags and categories, that’s really useful.

      On a completely unrelated note, have you always had a white streak at the front of your hair? My 9-month old was born with a silver streak just behind her ear that’s grown into the coolest highlight (I used to use blue or red clip-in extensions to get this effect). I’m so proud she’s an indie-kid already, but it’s very unusual. I have no idea what caused it.

      • Hehe, no – that’s just how the grey came in. It’s like a starburst right up front. My daughter’s left eyebrow and lashes are almost completely white, but that’s the result of vitaligo. It does seem to be hereditary (my Mom and her mom have and had it too) she also has a small white patch of skin over the left eye with no pigment.
        It’s only visible in the summer when she’s heavily tanned which isn’t often, we really keep the sunblock on. Areas of skin without pigment are especially vulnerable to skin cancer so we have to be extra careful.

      • What picture was this?! *nosey*

      • (reply to Beth below) – I haven’t seen a picture but Neeks mentions it on her 7X7 award!

  16. My advice: Don’t let being a newbie hold you back. Jump right in, learn all you can, and share what you learn. I’m 51 and it was only last year that I decided it was time to get serious about my writing. I dream of being published someday. So, in my free time I’m learning how to write better, about the publishing business, how to use social media, and everything else that today’s writer needs to know. It’s all new to me. The only thing that’s not new is my love for writing. I also have a short list of blogs to read, and I don’t always follow a blogger who is following me. I’m always checking my visitor numbers and followers, and have asked myself why I’m trying to compete with 782 million results when I google “writer blog.” However, my long-term goal is to nourish a group of people who like my writing, “fans” (dare I say?) of my works. Those will be the numbers that excite me. So, I’ll take your solid advice: “Let things happen at their own pace.” Hang in there, Sally, and stick to your principles. You will do just fine.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to write this Darla. You’re completely right, there are now so many tools available to help writers both develop and reach an audience that we just need to embrace it. The very best of luck getting that publishing deal.

  17. Sally,

    I did see the comments about Twitter, etc. I’m still not sure about the manners rules, but I don’t have Twitter followers yet, so it’s not terribly important. For that matter, I haven’t really figured out how to find people on Twitter…

    I agree with Darla – just jump in. Also with her comment about competing with all the “writer blog” tags in Google. As such, I’ve set myself with a more realistic measure – I’m hoping to get to the point where one of my blog pages/posts is on the top page for Google results when I search on my own name (there are a LOT of Shannon Howells out there – makes me want to take up a pen name that’s really unique).

    Also, thanks for the nice comment about my post titles. I try to make the appealing (and topic-related), so it’s nice to know that the effort is worth it (because doesn’t “Post #143″ make an easier title?).

  18. Beth,

    Sorry, but it wouldn’t let me reply directly to your comment. If it’s the picture I mentioned that you’re asking about, you can find it here:

    http://deepasabirdbath.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/racing-toward-greater-responsibility-expecting-our-second-child/

    I thought it was really a great picture. Not sure if the author made it himself.

  19. Sally~

    Good point, the fantasy fandom is a little more open minded than most. I’m a little more worried about insulting geeks thank I am the diversity…because aside from the various races, homosexuals, and alternative religions, I’ve also got some LARPing and obsessed sci fi fan humor…

    But if you can’t laugh at yourself…right?

    I have a blog, but it isn’t entirely dedicated to writing. I have an all-or-nothing approach to blogging, so its all me in one form or another, with opinions on whatever tickles my fancy. I don’t know that I feel completely comfortable posting the actual writing yet. That’s another hill for me to climb someday, I suppose. I do post bits of rant about the process, however…http://camylleon.wordpress.com.

    Thanks again, Sally! This is one verrrrrrrry interesting conversation going on here. I’m picking up a lot of good ideas, a lot of motivation, and a lot of encouragement.

  20. Wow, what a great post! Really enjoyed reading it, and you’ve got so much great feedback I think everything I want to say has been said!

    I agree with Beth’s comment about SEO – if you decide what your blog is going to be about, you can start using keywords which you would associate with that topic, or if it’s not about anything specific, like mine, think about popular current topics that people would google – if you have an interesting post that’s a slightly different angle about say, Beyonce’s baby (first thing that came to mind!), and that’s something that genuinely interests you, it won’t be like it’s just there for the sake of it!

    My blog gets an average amount of views but I’m happy with that for now – I have a few fans who check it regularly and it gets a fair amount of SEO traffic. Also I find that people really respond most to posts that everyone thinks, but never say – that’s my hook – so try and find yours. Then, you can follow people who have the same views as you on Twitter etc. and the content will be relevant to them (try searching interests in ‘who to follow’).

    Look forward to hearing more from you!

  21. Twitter can be intimidating at first. If i had to do it over again I would not yield to the temptation to follow celebrities just because I like what they do. They’re the cool kids; they’ll seldom or never acknowledge the existence of the unwashed masses. Instead, search for real people like yourself and follow them. Or real people who are not much like yourself, but who are funny or helpful.

    Try not to take it personally when someone doesn’t follow or abruptly unfollows. This kind of thing can even happen by accident. I’ve used three different twitter clients and they have all done weird stuff to my lists, unfollowing people or losing my tweets.

    Twitter can be magical. You can get into trading funny one-liners with another user and then a third person will pick up on it and say something or retweet it and before you know it, it’s like a stand-up comedy convention.

    • Thank you so much for helping me out on the twitter front – it is very new to me! I completely agree with your comments on celebrities – I’m thirty-three thank you very much, I don’t want to be made to feel like a schoolkid trying to get in with the ‘in-crowd’. I’m finding people like me and people who have advice on writing to give, which is all great – I’d love any advice on just generally funny people to follow i.e. their only agenda is to make people laugh.

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