Monday 10 September 2018

Stop saying YAY! Oh, alright then. Moira Butterfield

A brief but possibly important thought about authors and Twitter

I signed up to Twitter a few years ago, got bored and began ignoring it. Then I had an important book published (important to me), so I went back on Twitter recently.

I found it a much angrier place, full of people ranting. Of course, I knew that. I’d read all about it. But it really came home to me one day when I watched the Eurovision Song Contest with Twitter beside me. It was hilarious - properly funny – to read everybody’s online bon mots while watching the performances.

I found Twitter genuinely entertaining that night and the next morning I was eager to join in the fun again. I went back on the phone, searched for #Eurovision once more, and stared, shocked, at a stream of bile. An Israeli artiste had won it, you see - a lovely larger-than-life woman who sang about female empowerment. So there was a lot to attack on all fronts, it turned out. The comedians had gone and, overnight, Twitter had become a showcase for dark and vile ideas.

Despite the nasty underworld of anger bubbling under the Twittersphere surface I stayed on it, and mostly confine my Twitterfeed to authors, publishers and creators of various kinds.

Because of that I find I get a lot of: “Yay! My/our new book is out!” tweets.
I hate the word Yay. It’s childish. It’s fake-sounding. It has no punch. It’s mimsy! (That’s a good word). It makes my top lip curl and I feel slightly less friendly.

But I can’t have it both ways. I was going to say: “Yay? Cut that out!” but actually it’s positive enough, isn’t it? We authors can get annoying on Twitter, with our publicity-seeking and general lovey-ness, but we’re pretty much a positive force for good, I think.

So carry on saying ‘Yay’ if you want to. I'm glad to to be connected with you.

Moira's latest book is Welcome to Our World, a celebration of children everywhere - published by Nosy Crow.  


Joan Lennon said...

Love the sound of your latest book, Moira, so yay for that!

Pippa Goodhart said...

I do so agree!

Saviour Pirotta said...

I use Yay a lot, mainly because it only takes up three letters.

Sue Bursztynski said...

I do use the word. It uses up fewer characters than “Hurray!”. I mostly follow authors and artists too. So, what’s your Twitter handle?

Moira Butterfield said...

My twitter handle is @moiraworld. I always get the @ and the # mixed up, as you can see in the blog! Maybe we should all think of funny 'blastoff' words to counteract our repetitive yay tendencies. I feel; kindly towards 'Whoop, whoop!' myself.