When I was going through my Twitter following/followers list it seemed that I follow A LOT OF writers, so I made a list and found that it’s true: almost a third, 111 people. They have published books, call themselves “writer” or something similar in their bio, and/or I know from conversations that they write. I was going to sort and classify them but it’s simply too many and too diverse! I’ll give a rough overview instead.
Nearly four-fifths are women: mostly cis women, at least 2 women who I know are trans. The rest are all sorts: cis and trans men, non-binary people, genderqueer people, people who prefer not to say. There’s probably a larger proportion of LGBTIA+ people in my following list than in the general population, either because more of those are writers or because people in the same demographic know each other and when I’m in a conversation with one person I already know I also get into conversation with their friends and sometimes follow them too. (Or both.) Slightly more than half follow me back.
About half are published writers, some even well-known. Some I follow because we’re friends or talking buddies, not necessarily from a writing context. I’ve known several for decades and sometimes stood at the cradle of their first book like a virtual fairy godmother. Some I started following because I liked their books and they turned out to be decent people (and some of those follow me back, I must be a decent person too). A couple I already followed before they even started writing or at least started saying in public that they wrote. One followed me before I realised they were on Twitter at all, and I promptly followed them back because I’m a huge fan (you know who you are, and thank you!).
I follow several writers who I like as people (sometimes a lot!) but their books are not for me: they’re hard/military SF or horror –one writer even warned me “don’t read my latest book”– or dystopian/postapocalyptic or pure romance or nonfiction about something I’m not interested in, or just not in a style that I can read. Sometimes I feel uneasy about not wanting to read their books but, well, de gustibus.