In this new ten-part series, ten of my favorite people on Twitter talk about what they do on Twitter and why—their Twitter philosophies, their do’s and don’ts, and what they make of the medium in general. First up: kimmy @arealliveghost whose Twitter feed is unique and moving and poetic and wonderful. One of her most popular tweets (and one of my favorite) is: your body is a ghost factory that takes one lifetime to produce a ghost. Kimmy Walters lives and writes in St. Louis. Her poetry can be found in FRiGG, Plain Wrap’s Quarter, The Chariton Review, and other publications.
SHEILA HETI: When you are on Twitter, who do you imagine your audience is? What kind of relationship would you like to have with this audience?
KIMMY WALTERS: I try not to think about my audience too much. If I do, I get nervous. I don’t know who they are and I mostly have no idea how they’re reacting to me.
SH: What do you think about before you tweet? How do tweets come to you? Do you just think about them or do they appear sort of spontaneously? Which do you reject?
KW: I trained my brain to work in a certain way long before I ever used twitter. Like many of my friends, I am prone to sadness, which always feels like a dark thread running directly down the center of my body. Making myself laugh is a way to hula hoop around that sadness. My brain helps out by spontaneously producing thoughts that are funny to me. I have been laughing to myself pretty frequently for as long as I can remember. It didn’t occur to me before I started using twitter that other people might also enjoy my thoughts.
SH: What makes someone good on twitter? Which are some of your favorite accounts and what do you think they’re doing?
KW: Not everyone knows how to be brief and still convey everything necessary. It’s actually a very rare skill. Some of my favorite tweeters write tweets that are like perfect little globes. A few people that come to mind as being extremely skillful are @electrolemon and @TriciaLockwood. I like when I can tell that a person is having fun with their account. @radiomaru’s tweets are also some of my favorites. I imagine him as a huge god sticking his hand directly into language and just sort of ruffling it up a bit.