12 Authors Who Are Actually Making Twitter Good
In a stream of dire news and drama, a few writers and editors stand out
Remember when Twitter was good? Now you wake up in the morning and see that Toad from Mario Kart is trending and click to find out why and it ruins your day. Everyone’s feed is mostly politics horror, racism horror, climate change horror, yelling at people for not being horrified enough by all the horror, petty trash talk, and drama. It’s gotten to where the petty trash talk is actually the good stuff. So, in our best attempt at a Marie Kondo, we’re taking a look at our social media homes and asking: “Does this account spark joy?” Or conversation? Or community? Or creativity? The world is rough, so we should be good to each other, and sometimes that means using Twitter to tell stories, boost other writers up, or make us laugh at ourselves.
Here are twelve of our favorite authors who not only know how to write long form with style, but can also command 140 characters in ways that inspire. Use this list to bring some signal to the howling void of noise. Or heck, unfollow everyone else and rebuild from here.
If you read one thing on the internet today, it should be editor Tucker Shaw’s reflection on a conversation overheard on the subway, and the AIDS epidemic “in the long run.” The whole thread. Do it now.
I overheard a young man on the train on the way home today, talking to another young man. Holding hands. In college, I guessed. About that age anyway. Much younger than I am.
The long run.
Maybe he's right. I don't know. It's not the first time I've heard the theory. He spoke with clarity and with confidence. Youthful, full of conviction. But.
Makkai, author of the beautiful book on the AIDS epidemic, The Great Believers, also has one of the freshest twitter threads. Go to her for author-comrade boosts and lists like these:
Things You Can Move: The dial Houses Your feet The goalposts Cities An inch The needle Heaven and earth Mountains That body A muscle Your ass The audience, to tears The deckchairs on the Titanic My cheese
Things You Can Bring: Date Change of clothes Troops home Heat Thunder House down Noise Funk Pain It You, into this world, and I can take you out again The bacon, home My baby back to me A gun to a knife fight The worst in me (out) Just yourselves, thanks!
If you read one thing on the internet today and it’s Tucker Shaw’s thread, read two things, because you need this whole thread, too. Read to remember, in the words of Audre Lorde: “When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”
27 years ago, 1600 black women took out a full page ad in the NYT to show support for Anita Hill. I was 20 years old. I put $25 toward the price of the ad and signed my name.
I wish I could remember who asked me to join the effort to gather signatures and raise the money to pay for the ad.
But i remember that she said, you don't have to pay to sign your name, but this is a moment for you to give money, and make a sacrifice, to show it matters to you.
Her thread inspired the creation of a GoFund Me campaign to put ads in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
@tayari @annekate Channeling my outrage: I started a @gofundme to do the same for #ChristineBlaseyFord that you did for #AnitaHill 27 years ago. Let's raise enough to put a full page ad in @nytimes & @washingtonpost w/ women & men who support her & Kavanaugh ⚖️https://t.co/Uqnyj2LhV2
Jones’s thread also inspired one New York Times archivist to unlock the archive so we can zoom in on all the names in the full page ad, which include Audre Lorde and Farah Jasmine Griffith.
Phillips is a poet who has tweeted a beautiful thread about “fallow periods” in writing, and her own experience with the dreaded season. Read when “productivity” feels like an insensitive comment on your depression.
The other day I promised a #thread about why fallow periods in #writing are not only okay, they are sometimes good, especially after 1) finishing a substantial work or 2) experiencing some kind of personal trauma. First, I will tell the story of my most pronounced fallow period.
YOU ARE STILL A WRITER EVEN IF YOU ARE TAKING TIME OFF FROM WRITING. YOU ARE NOT USELESS IF YOU ARE NOT WRITING RIGHT NOW. YOU CAN STILL GIVE SOMETHING TO THE WORLD RIGHT NOW EVEN IF IT'S NOT A POEM. MAYBE THE WORLD ONLY NEEDS YOU TO BE YOU RIGHT NOW.
Go to Irby for important retweets, an education in how to use caps lock the right way, and the best methods for promoting your own work. (We’re sticking with Twitter for this list but Irby is also the Queen of Instagram.)
OH MY GOODNESS https://t.co/vle6jnu09k
MY AGENT'S INBOX IS EMPTY HELP HIM OUT https://t.co/7lIdr7sQ6n
all i ever wanna do is put shit on my face and help people through bodily fluid-related emergencies https://t.co/andUXLgInQ
When you need to laugh at that time you did the dumb thing. Or find fellow self-loathers. It’s okay, you’re still a smart person.
I almost tweeted out the name I was searching for and I saw my entire life flash before my eyes.
I crumbled kale chips on a kale salad and it tastes even more like self-loathing than I thought it would.
Jeans are just napkins you put around your legs.
Masad is real about mental health, open about rejections, and makes funnies, too. Go to Masad when you need to remember it’s all part of the process.
I also got a really nice rejection from @TSRLitMag, so that's another lovely thing about today ^_^.
Just read 11am as 11pm and library as obituary, I think I'm accidentally gothing again
How to leverage perpetual sadness into positive feedback and other Big Life Questions
Our very own editor! For when you need to be reminded to live your truth.
I CAN READ WHATEVER I WANT
Did I download the audio file of Laura van den Berg's Politics and Prose reading/discussion to my phone and have I more or less listened to it on repeat for the last 3 days? I mean. Lower your voice. Why are you so loud. Let me live. Yes. It's very good.
And for when you need a pep talk/real talk on process, you can count on Jami Attenberg.
Go on, write that book.
All the time you spend worrying about what the other person is doing or what you did or didn't get is better spent on making you art.
I was trying to read during my early morning reading time and my brain was like fuck you, you need to hand write instead and I ended up having the best time.
Go to Chung for insights on the best reading recommendations and also to remind yourself that kids really do know everything.
I am SO EXCITED that @noahreservation is writing a food column! The first, on how his white mom taught him to cook Korean food and draw comfort from it in the best & worst of times, is up today (w/ perfect art by @sawdustbear): https://t.co/WLg4knPBvL
10yo understands a lot about the world
For when you need a queer joy detective and also ice cream and also writerly love for a city that isn’t New York.
Coffee ice cream for breakfast
Where is the GMAIL suggested reply for "I'm deep in a depressive episode and will get back to you in 2-3 months
I love my block in West #Philadelphia We help each other take out the trash and give each other holiday cards ♥️ This is one not trash thing today