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Best Laid Twitter Plans (Post 12)

So, those of you who follow me on twitter (@beckydonohue) may have noticed an increase in volume of tweets as of late.  That’s because I have decided to worship at the church of @amandapalmer and have christ-wine with @robdelaney.  Okay, there was so much blasphemy in that last paragraph I almost don’t know where to begin in chastising myself.  Wait, I don’t care.  Oh yeah, I’m a comedian and a writer and a lover, not a fighter so I can say weird sh*t.


But, it’s true.  It’s true.  I have officially drink, drank, drunk the Kool-Aid.


kool-aid man

“Drink me, Feckers, drink me!”


I’m making plans.  As I wind down the steady stream of blog posts with 365 quickly approaching, I’m trying to decide what to do next.  I know I’ll continue the blog, but probably around 3 times per week.  That will give me time to read other people’s blogs some more and to interact like I used to when this all first started.  With my steady writing schedule now, I just can’t do it.  However, 3x per week or so sounds more manageable.


Now, I say I’m worshiping at the churches of @amandapalmer and @robdelaney because I just feckin’ am.  They are Twitter giants and as such they are masters of their own careers.  Oh, how I’ve always wanted to be master of my own career.


patton oswalt in big fan

I really love this guy and if you haven’t seen this movie, you should…


The tipping point for me, has to do with a speech that I read of Patton Oswalt’s.  Patton read the speech at this past summer’s Montreal Comedy Festival.  Here is an excerpt:


“Hey, ‘know what I was thinking the other day?  Everything I know about succeeding as a comedian and ultimately as an artist is worthless now, and I couldn’t be happier about that.”


Patton goes on to say that you used to make it on Carson.  That’s how you did it as a comedian.  You worked out your set, over and over again, got on Carson, he called you to the couch, and your career was made.  Bing, Bang, Boom.  In a few months, you had a house and a job.


Not anymore.  Not ever for me because I wasn’t born into the Carson generation of comedians.


Patton takes us further…


“What I mean is: Not being lucky and not being given are no longer going to define your career as a comedian and as an artist.  Remember what I said earlier about those bulletproof headliners who focused on their 5 minutes on the Tonight Show and when it ended they decided their opportunity was gone? They decided. Nobody decided that for them. They decided.  Now, look at my career up to this point. Luck, being given. Other people deciding for me.  In the middle of the TV shows and the albums and the specials, I took a big chunk of my money and invested it in a little tour called The Comedians of Comedy. I put it together with my friends, we did small clubs, stayed in shitty hotel rooms, packed ourselves in a tiny van and drove it around the country. The tour was filmed for a very low-budget documentary that I convinced Netflix to release. That became a low-budget show on Comedy Central that we all still own a part of, me and the comedians. That led to a low budget concert film that we put on DVD.  At the end of it, I was exhausted, I was in debt, and I wound up with a wider fan-base of the kind of people I always dreamed of having as fans. And I built that from the ground up, friends and people I respected and was a fan of.  And I realize now I need to combine both of the lessons I’ve learned.

I need to decide more career stuff for myself and make it happen for myself, and I need to stop waiting to luck out and be given. I need to unlearn those muscles.

I’m seeing this notion take form in a lot of my friends. A lot of you out there. You, for instance, the person I’m writing to. Your podcast is amazing. Your videos on your YouTube channel are getting better and better every single one that you make, just like when we did open mics, better and better every week. Your Twitter feed is hilarious.”


Okay, Sweet Mother is back.  Let’s just say, “Checkmate.”  That’s the effect Patton’s speech had on me.  I’ve been teetering on the edge of going the rogue route for sometime now, Patton’s comments simply pushed me right into the feckin’ pool.

So, I’m going to try and do something crazy.  One small thing.  And that is…

I’m going to try and get as many Twitter followers (through quality content) as someone who is on TV regularly might get through pure name recognition.

The magic number is 100,000.  That’s the number that feels right.  It’s the number that a writer or panelist on Chelsea Lately could procure quite easily.  It’s the number that a Jersey Shore meat-head or a band with some MTV play could score quite quickly.

I don’t think it will be quick for me.

100,000 motherfeckin’ Twitter followers simply by writing good jokes and posting good shit – that is going to be HARD.

Anyway, I’m going to try it.  I’d say I’ve initiated this project over the last week or so and my Twitter followers have gone up from approx 1,500 to 2,186 (as of writing this post).  That’s around 600 followers in a week.

At that rate and if the math stays consistent, I’ll have reached my goal in approx 166 weeks or around 3.2 years.

Holy feck, that’s a long time.

I do think at one point, the momentum of followers added takes on a life of its own.  At least I’m hoping it does or I will fail at this.  So, can it be done in a year?  I have no idea, but I’m going to give it a try…

What about you?  Do you like Twitter?  What’s been your experience with it?


Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish on the quest to 365 posts.  Join me, I’m in the home stretch.  Click that “follow” button at the top right of the blog.



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Photo creds:

kool-aid, bigfan, feature


54 thoughts on “Best Laid Twitter Plans (Post 12)

  1. I have piddled on Twitter for a couple of years – but I seem to see a bit more action since I started blogging – not in followers, but in retweets. I haven’t really figured it out yet. I like what you had to say about making things happen and I’m trying to figure that out myself. I’m never going to get anywhere selling a photo at a time – I need to find a way to make a body of work available. So far it looks like luck plays a bigger part than it should, not sure how to push through. I remember my grandma telling me that lucky people just worked harder than unlucky ones 🙂

    1. i hear you and a lot of people say what you grandma does/ did, like Oprah for example. However, I work pretty feckin’ hard. so, i do -unfortunately- believe there is some element of luck to it or a trust fund or something like that…. for you, what about a photo/ coffee table book? it’s so easy to self publish that nowadays and i hear it’s completely the way to go for photogs… just a thought. xo, sm

      1. I have thought about self publishing – my boss just did a self published book and I have seen the process – lots of marketing, I think building the audience is a big part of succeeding. What’s your twitter handle – I’ll follow

      2. @beckydonohue. yeah, it’s a huge part. that’s part of why i’m thinking about going the whole hog with this twitter thing. if i self-publish OR publish with a traditional house, you have to do all of the mktng yourself anyway, so i want to grow as big of a list as possible. that’s the idea anyway. 😉

  2. I’m nearing 1,000 followers now, but I don’t really actively recruit. I follow most everyone who comes my way unless they’re porn bots, clearly only promotional, or in an area I have little interest (like fashion–yes, I know that surprises you). I try to keep my following #s close to my follower #s. And that’s about as much thought as I put into it. I love my Twitter lists, so I can follow people more closely. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do it.

    Good luck on your Twitter quest. I have no doubt you can do it in less time than you think, cause you’re the bomb. 🙂

    1. i hear that. i was very steady at 1500 because i wasn’t actively recruiting either. but, i will say once you do – it works. of course, if you’re on a tv show or some other kind of superstar, no recruiting necessary. so, there’s no doubt, i’m gonna have to work. as for reaching the goal, i don’t know. i think it’s a big one and i truly think that the unknowns who succeed at some of this stuff… it’s because they are what you would call ‘early adopters’ of a particular platform. i never am because i always think everything is going to go the way of friendster and myspace, so i wait until i know it’s here to stay before i even join in. anyway, time will tell if i get close or give up completely! was going to ask you… in the author realm…are you using goodreads at all? i’ve been curious about that one… xo, sm

      1. Yes, I use Goodreads. In fact, I’m currently doing one of their Book Giveaways. Over 400 people have entered a chance to win one of 3 signed copies of The Seneca Scourge, so that’s some nice exposure. I don’t interact a lot on it, but I have sent messages back and forth with my ‘friends’ on that site, and I’m certainly more active on it than LinkedIn.

      2. that is fascinating. i’m going to have to investigate it further. if you ever consider doing a write up about it on your blog, i would vote for the idea… looool. xo, sm

  3. Well I have now started following you too 😉 sorry it took so long, I’m still finding my way around there!

    But damn. That *is* ambitious…

    1. i’ve played two universities in florida. the big one, u of fla where all those murders happened, sorry, but that’s how i remember it and a smaller one. i’ve also played in miami in a huge theater. the james king or james knight or something like that… not in orlando yet. but, who knows, maybe this f’ing twitter thing can help me to do so a little more. i totally agree with you too, there are a lot of non-famous VERY funny people on the twits. i’m following you, right? i’ve done so much adding and deleting. used to use software, now i do it manually, that i’m losing my mind… loool. but, i will make sure we are. xo, sm

  4. Twitter is probably my favourite. I like being able to say things short, sweet and to the point. There is no pressure on sentence structure or grammar etc. It is a great way to pick a conversation to be a part of and leave when you have to. I haven’t been as active lately due to circumstances beyond my control but I have never actively recruited on any social media platform. I like to keep the numbers manageable so that I can keep it personal. The one place I would like more numbers is my blog but I am terrible at recruiting for that.

    1. i know, as far as the blog i am also terrible at getting that follower number past 1,000. it’s at 950 something and i just can’t get it to grow. i also don’t care much about it lately. trying to simply keep my writing goals up, interact when i can, and try this new twitter thing. i will say twitter is EXCELLENT for joke writing because it forces you to be really succinct. that’s why i think so many comedians do so well on it. i may be too late to the twitter party to grow any real numbers, but feck it, i’m giving it a shot. xo, sm

  5. I think the direction you’ve chosen to take is the right one Mum, but Twitter? How can you tell a joke in 140 characters???? But if you’re going to do this them I’ll follow because you’re YOU. 😀 Going to go find you right now.

    1. trust me, it really helps with joke editing, which is the name of the game for tv joke writing, more or less. “brevity is the key to wit” and all that. however, it doesn’t help with my act AT ALL. i tend to tell ‘story jokes’ there, which is what i love performing far more. but, there IS something gratifying about twitter, i’ll say that. @beckydonohue is my acct. xoxox, sm

  6. I just joined Twitter. I held out for a long time, because Facebook was meeting all my needs. But, I am my private identity on FB and my public one on this blog….I didn’t want them to mix.
    What pushed me over the edge was getting Freshly Pressed. Then I dove into Twitter, using my public identity, to help publicize the blog basically.

    1. i don’t know how teachers and therapists do it trying to keep their online lives and private lives separate. it’s a slippery slope to stay on, that’s for sure. the fp is cray cray, isn’t it? anyhoo, hopefully i’m sending some more people your way today too. you deserve it. xo, sm

  7. 100K? Piece of cake! Granted, I’m not on Twitter, so what the feck do I know?

    It’s strictly a time constraint for me though. I am finding myself to be a “one social media at a time” sort of girl. It used to be Facebook, now it’s blogging. I just don’t have the time or sanity for more than one.

    I do enjoy the key Twitter recaps that the Jezebel blog puts out at least weekly. I find myself laughing out loud at many of them- there are a lot of funny folks on Twitter, you’ll fit right in!

    Having said all of that, it seems like it could take a big time investment? But if you have given thought to the time investment versus gain/reward of this option in relation to other options, (does this move you closer or further away to your ultimate goals?), then throw yourself into it Sweetmother and don’t let anything or anyone distract you!

    I’ll check out that movie too. 🙂

    1. it IS going to be an investment. but, my hope is that once i hit the 365 post mark in another few months or so, i’ll be able to free up that time. however, you are right. right now, it’s cray-cray. there’s some instinct that’s telling me to go this way tho. so, i’m following it. ay yay yay. i hear you about the one soc media thing at a time. the reason i never went full throttle at twitter earlier is because i wanted to make sure it was going to be around before i got invested! so, like all things, time will tell! xo, sm

      1. “Time will tell” and “this too shall pass.” Two of the best (and truest) statements ever.

        How do you eat an elephant?

        One bite at a time. 🙂

        I have no doubt you’ll accomplish your goals!

  8. I’m a huge fan of Twitter, but I’ve never had any particular goals with it. I mostly use it to keep track of folks I already know and like. That said, anyone who’s funny will quickly gain a large following. Just look at Internet Grandma or Sixth Form Poet.

    1. i don’t know. i think internet grandma and sixth form poet are ‘kitschier’ than me. i’m not sure, if a comedian just being a comedian or being funny will do it, but time will tell. i also love that you love twitter. xoxox, sm

  9. I would follow you on Twitter after this post, but I was already following you on Twitter… And I’m subscribed to you on Facebook for that matter because I wasn’t cool enough to get in on the friends list early on. *sigh*
    But one day… one day! I will see you live.

  10. I just started Twitter a few months ago and I’ll still trying to get the hang of it. I think it’s pretty exciting you’re going the rogue route!! I think you can do it quickly! Things spread like wildfire in the Twitter world 🙂

    I’m excited to see you commenting more on my posts (hopefully)!! 😛 that and hopefully we can overtake M&M Donuts someday… 😉

    1. well, i mean how could i resist those donuts. and you hangout with such cute boys. it reminded me of my youth. 😉 sssshhhhhh, don’t tell wifesy. lol. anyway, i loved your blog and i’m glad we’re connected on the tweets now. xo, sm

  11. Okay, I’m going to pretend I’m something and someone you would like to quote. So, Sweetmotherrrrrrr, if at anytime on my blog or in a comment I say something that you think is twitter worthy, it’s yours! No need for attribution. Consider I am writing for you for no pay. It will pay me to see it on twitter and think ALL RIGHT! Now, I know I’m stepping out and acting like there is something of mine that might be twitter worthy, but, I’m taking the leap. All joy in making me happy! Use me, Ma, use me! HF

    1. oh, i’ll use you alright, just you wait… but, if you’re not on twitter, how will you know it happens…it’s that whole if a tree falls in the woods and no one sees it, does it really fall? wait, that’s not it. you know what i mean… loooooool. xo, sm

    1. oh, christ on a cracker, i’m created a monster… loooool. lesbos would call it jewels, it’s probably gay dudes that started ‘junk.’ they’re more, how shall i say, promiscuous about it. us girls, we throw it in a u-haul and live with it for years… i’m just sayin’…

      1. Love the “throw it in a u-haul” image! You are going to be a great success on Twitter and become rich and famous and immediately forget about all us little people! Harper who? Never heard of him! HF

    1. ohmygod, jen, that’s hilarious. ‘the way boys treated me in hs’. i think i treated mine the same way, at first. but, now i think there’s something there. i don’t know why. and i have no idea if i can do it or not, but feck it. at least it’s easier than creating feckin’ youtube views. xoxo, sm

  12. I’ve warmed up to twitter. At times it feels like screaming into the wind, but the crazy in me kind of likes that. 100,000 followers, huh? Impressive. I’m just thrilled to finally have over 12.

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