#LiterarySpoons: A New Twitter Hashtag Event for Spoonie Writers

Welcome to the Q & A for #LiterarySpoons, a brand new Twitter hashtag event hosted by me and @SpoonieCult. The purpose of #LiterarySpoons is for writers who identify as spoonies – which includes those who are chronically ill, disabled, mentally ill, and/or neurodiverse – to share their writing with the community. Our first #LiterarySpoons event will take place Thursday, October 13th from 5-7PM PST / 8-10PM EST / 12AM-2AM GMT.

Question 1: How do I share my original writings?

Answer: Compose a new tweet and include a title, description, and link to each piece. They can be in the form of blog posts, articles, essays, poems, stories, screenshots, etc. They could be published on blog sites like WordPress or Tumblr, in literary magazines or journals, or in online magazines or news outlets. Make sure you include the hashtag #LiterarySpoons and specify any mature content or trigger warnings. The posts will be moderated and any offensive or copyright-infringing content will be reported.

If you need a free, fast, and safe place to post your work, I recommend creating an account on Medium and using that as a platform to host your content. With Medium, there’s no need for layout or website setup.

Question 2: Does the writing I share have to relate to being a spoonie?

Answer: Nope! Subject matter and genre is entirely open. The point of the event is for us to showcase our best work. If that involves being a spoonie, great! If it’s a story about a unicorn, that’s fine too! The material doesn’t need to be new or written specifically for this event. The only requirement is that it’s original.

Question 3: Is there a limit to how many pieces I can post?

Answer: There’s no official limit, but be mindful and considerate of the event. Don’t flood the stream with your work. I’d say five posts total would be around the maximum. That will allow others to share their work without getting lost in the feed.

Question 4: What exactly is a spoonie, anyway?

Answer: The term came from a blog post written by Christine Miserandino called “The Spoon Theory.” Those of us battling chronic illness, mental illness, and disability often have trouble keeping up with day-to-day life. Our energy has to be measured out, and Christine chose the metaphor of measuring that energy in spoons. How we feel can be unpredictable and vary from one moment to the next. That’s why many of us call ourselves “spoonies.”

The term has morphed into a wonderful and supportive online community and a shorthand way of identifying ourselves.

Question 5: What if I can’t attend the event during the date and time it’s scheduled? Can I still participate?

Answer: Absolutely! I recommend scheduling your posts in advance using a free service like HootSuite. You can hop on the thread whenever you’re able to and read other people’s posts.

Question 6: Is this just a one-time event?

Answer: We’re hoping to make #LiterarySpoons an ongoing monthly event. You can follow me, @alanasaltz, and @SpoonieCult to stay updated on future events.

If you have any questions that weren’t answered here, please leave a comment or send me a tweet. I hope to see you and your writing on the hashtag!

Jumping on the Bandwagon Way Too Late, or Why I’m Finally Reading Harry Potter

Today, I finally caved and made an account on Twitter. I had resisted the idea for a long time because it seemed unnecessary, like an overly simplified version of Facebook, a website that already consumes an inordinate amount of my time every day. Plus, while I had already gotten sucked into Facebook early on (back when it was only for college students and not open to the entire world and their pets), I still had a chance to save myself from this new trendy, overcrowded social media network. However, I decided that if there’s a chance it will help me make connections and build a little following for my writing, maybe it’s worth a shot.

I did something else this week that I told myself I’d never do: I borrowed the first Harry Potter book from a friend and have decided to actually read it. When Harry Potter first arrived on the scene many moons ago, I was put off by how how much of a craze it became. I decided to set myself apart from everyone else by refusing to read it, or any of the books that followed. I didn’t see the movies, either. A decade later, that rationality seems…well, silly. Plus, as a lover of writing and literature, it seems irrational to refuse to even attempt to read a book beloved by many just because it’s beloved by many.

This is a big step for me, so I’ll be sure to continue updating about this very important life event I am about to undertake. Oh, and if anyone is out there reading this blog and has a Twitter, feel free to follow me over there @alanasaltz.