My first Clutch article and why writers need Twitter

Sunday, October 23, 2011

If you're a lady of letters and you've been holding out on Twitter, Facebook, and the like, allow me to attempt to convince you to hop on the social media bandwagon. 

One of my favorite online publications is Clutch magazine, which has been called the little sister of Essence magazine. This webzine for young women of color really speaks to my feminist beliefs, my pride in my heritage, and even my love for pop culture. Needless to say, I've been longing to freelance for Clutch since I first stumbled upon the site long ago. 

And on Friday my first story for Clutch went live. My article addresses the lonely black woman narrative (you know, all those stories that claim black women are doomed to never, ever get married) and asks if this meme has the potential to not only be degrading, but also divisive, as single women start to view each other as competition and married women start to disparage women who aren't hitched. 

So what does this have to do with social media? I had the opportunity to write for Clutch (and I now have the chance to write for the publication regularly) because of Twitter. I began following one of Clutch's editors on Twitter a while back. She would frequently post articles and encouraging words that really resonated with me and I would let her know by replying to her tweets. She would graciously respond even though she didn't know me from Eve. 

A couple of weeks ago I decided I would ask her, through Twitter, about freelancing for Clutch. She sent me her email address (which I'd tried finding in the past to no avail) and I sent her a few story pitches. A week later my byline was on the site. 

Twitter is a great way to connect with people who not only share your interests but who could also help you achieve your writing goals. But a word of caution: you should not feign interest in a person's tweets just because you want them to help you get a gig. That's lame and it will be painfully obvious. The Clutch editor mentioned above and I have many similar interests and share similar points of view on issues pertaining to black women. That's why I chose to engage with her through Twitter and that's why I would continue to follow her tweets even if she stopped working for Clutch today. 

Now, go sign up for Twitter and be sure to follow me @writeousbabe


  1. Awesome news Javacia! Congrats on the story and on using social media to make the connection.

  2. Thanks, Erin. And thanks for mentioning my post on Facebook.

  3. Congratulations! I remember writing for Clutch being on your birthday bucket list (or some other goal list).

    BTW - I followed your advice about titles and opening lines from an earlier post and got published in the October Underwired.

    How are your managing time on Twitter? I've been sleeping on social media lately because it's gotten so time consuming, and the clutter kind of gives me a headache. I'm interested in everyone I follow, but it really does take a lot of energy.

  4. Mariam, congrats on your Underwired article! I'm so happy for you.

    Honestly, I don't do a great job on Twitter now that school is in. I'm on it daily but I don't tweet out all the articles, witty remarks, etc., that I did this summer.

    You have the advantage of not being responsible for keeping 100 kids from killing each other 8 hours a day :) So perhaps try setting aside certain times throughout that day that you will devote to social media.

  5. Great stuff! Thanks!