(FYI, this evening I'm using them at a before-dinner talk to "senior women in publishing" and one of the things I'm going to suggest is that publishers sometimes ask too much of writers when they expect us to spend so much time blogging and tweeting. So, let's hope they don't throw bread at me when I say that.)
Anyway, these pictures represent different people's attitude to or behaviour on social networking sites such as Twitter. So, writers, which one are you? And readers, do you recognise yourself here, too?
Are you (or were you at first) reluctant, negative, grumpy? Dragged kicking and screaming to the party?
Plain terrified and absolutely no way were you going to get involved?
Or did you throw yourself into it with all sorts of hysterical OMGs and LOLs and <<<
Or regard it as a totally splendiferous way of promoting yourself, a platform to announce all your good news, sell gazillions of books by forcing them at the rest of us and generally punch the air at your own supreme awesomeness?
Were you eager puppy, keen to learn, wanting to be led to all the delicious smells but needing a bit of protection as you did it?
And now, having tried it (and possibly having had a bit of help from Tweet Right - The Sensible Person's Guide to Twitter), do you feel like superwoman (or man), ready to conquer the world, boldly, positively, and yet with a healthy dose of charm and common sense?
There's possibly a little bit of several of those characters in many of us. And I'd argue that success and happiness while using social networking media come from getting the right balance between them all. Though I'd rather leave awesome-guy out of it.
I do apologise that my recent ABBA posts, and my own blog posts, have been so predominantly about this platform stuff and not about writing, but I've been asked to talk about it so many times that it's been taking over my mind. But this is now (after tonight's talk) going to STOP! I am writing. I really am. I promise. I have had some absolutely lovely bits of writing-related news this year and they have put me right back on track.
I am a writer, not a tweeter.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)
Nicola Morgan is an author - oh yes, really - of quite a lot of actual books, not just tweets and blogposts, though she's done a lot of that, too, in her wicked past. She regrets to admit that she wrote and published a little book called Tweet Right - the Sensible Person's Guide to Twitter, which people are welcome to buy, for only £2.25 on a certain site and similar elsewhere. She promises never to write such a corrupting and insidious book ever again.