Monday, December 15, 2008

Why I Tweet

I am a WAHM. Working from home part time as a freelance writer, hoping to somehow turn that freelance writing and love of social networking and online media into a work from home job that can actually pay the bills. Until I do make enough to do that, I pay the bills by running a small daycare out of my home.

Up until the economy stepped in, my business was a pretty successful large family daycare, but now I have three kids that I watch (5 if you count my own) and not a whole lot of adult interaction. I started freelance writing as a way to appease the writing bug that’s forever resided in a small spot in the pit of my stomach, and then as the daycare slowed down, freelance writing became a way of making extra money and helping us survive.

As I got more and more involved in writing online and began exploring the wonderful world of blogging I found myself getting into the various social networking sites hat was becoming all the rage. MySpace, FaceBook, and others. I even opened an account on Twitter, which sat dormant for a very long time. Those sites were fun, but never really seemed to serve a purpose. Other than reconnecting with some old friends from school.

Then not so long ago I rediscovered Twitter. And Twitter moms. Within a week I was tweeting daily with moms all over the country, and then began networking with people I’d connected with on other sites I wrote for, and the next thing I knew I was following and networking with some of the biggest names in online social media and blogging. Pretty cool.

So what is it that I’m getting from Twitter that I value the most? Strangely enough it’s not the networking and the amazing things I’m learning about social media, government, and writing (though I’ve come to value those things immensely), but it’s what I like to call the “break room factor”.

I enjoy working for myself more than any other job I’ve ever had. And that says a lot, considering I’ve worked in radio. And that’s pretty fun.

The one thing I do miss though about working in an office is being part of the world. At my last job (and every job I’ve had) the break room was where it always went down. The best and most innovative ideas about work came from the casual conversations had over coffee and doughnuts in the break room.

And of course there was always advice to be given out about the kids, gossiping about Lost or who got kicked off Survivor, and commiserating about and discussing all the latest news topics.

When I started working for myself out of the home to be with my kids, I didn’t realize how much those break room conversations meant to me. In fact you could even say that it wasn’t until I discovered Twitter that I realized it.

Because for me that’s what Twitter has become. My break room. If I’ve got an idea about social networking or an article that I want to bounce off of somebody, I can tweet it and get a response. If my kids do something cute, or something that drives me nuts, I can throw it out there in Twitter and at least one mom will know what I’m feeling. And of course if I want to know if anyone else thought Justin Timberlake was hilarious on SNL last night, well you get the picture.

Twitter has kind of become the world’s break room, where everyone can get something from it. It’s out of casual conversation that the greatest ideas and innovations are born, and Twitter is full of casual conversations about amazing things.

Well, and about Justin Timberlake in a leotard, but I digress.


Shelly Coe said...

I needed to become familiar with Twitter for my new job but have quickly become addicted for the same reasons as you. I have worked at home for 15+ years and I absolutely love it and would not give it up for anything. My daughter is now 15 and I have been able to be a hands on mother, see all her performances, taxi her around, etc. I miss the socialization of being at the office as well, especially at this time of year when everyone is having office parties, bringing in goodies, etc. Good luck with your freelance writing. I am also a content writer for a timeshare company and am writing articles on travel, my all time #1 passion. Tweet me any time; Shelly201

Barbara Whitlock said...

Hi Meg!

I'm happy you've joined the moms and dads who network and share a passion for writing at Helium.

If I can help in any way, let me know. For those visiting Meg's blog, I'd love to share the opportunities for writers at with you. Email me at

Barbara Whitlock
Community Manager

Anonymous said...

Hey, Meg! Thanks for the follow on Twitter (how did that happen?), and interesting to see we're in very similar situations. I'm a full-time stay-at-home dad in SF picking up editing and writing work as I can (see, for instance). I'm still reserving judgment on twitter, but it looks promising. Cheers! - Tom Prete

Adriel said...

My friend @krazykriz pointed out his similar Twitter use as a teleworkers. He basically uses it as a substitute water cooler. I use it to connect with common-minded folks, which is really fun. You never know who's out there until you look!