I’m excited to have one of my newer favorites in the HoT seat today, @WalkingOutside. If you’re not following her, you should, she’s hilarious! Check her out!
Attention moms who have time for Pinterest: I have a project for you.
*Hands you 5 overflowing laundry baskets and a sink full of dishes*
— Walking Outside (@WalkingOutside) March 3, 2016
Things to know about @WalkingOutside
Living in: Central Coast, California
Number of followers: Just over 3,500.
Year graduated high school: 2000. Is this a polite way of finding out if I’m old? I’m old, OK? (Yes, it is. And if you think you’re old, then I’m basically a cave woman!)
When did you start tweeting? I officially opened my Twitter account for work and other assorted nonsense purposes in 2013, but barely used it and found “funny Twitter” in August 2015. *Lines up for newbie hazing*
I think I took a picture of my second kid once.
— Walking Outside (@WalkingOutside) January 21, 2016
Tell us about your family.
Married with a four-year-old boy and an 11-month-old girl. Sorry to break your hearts, single dads of Twitter.
Why did you join Twitter?
I originally joined as a newspaper reporter for work to retweet news or something, but never really did. When I was on maternity leave after the birth of my daughter I started up my blog, Walking Outside in Slippers, to fulfill my long-time dream of writing personal essays, and started tweeting to promote the blog. In the blogging Twitter world, I found myself drowning in recipe and sentimental parenting tweets which were not my cup of tea, but stumbled into funny parent Twitter and I felt at home. My husband has been into Twitter for years and has a verified account, so it was a pretty sweet day when I passed him in followers!
Holy crap, your husband has a verified account? That’s pretty cool. How did he swing that? Is he famous?
He used to be a sports journalist and blogger with a good amount of followers on Twitter. Famous in his own mind maybe 😉
Tell us a little about your blog, Walking Outside in Slippers. (Believe it or not, I was just walking outside in my slippers.)
My blog pieces are a little more serious than my tweets typically are. I write humorously, but I like to really pour my heart and guts out on my blog, which is mostly about finding balance among motherhood, marriage, my work, and my own passions. As a trained writer, I can’t just spit out stream of consciousness thoughts on my blog or make some short post about my day. Every piece is some long, heartfelt crafting I obsess over. I’ve recently accepted a contributor role with Romper, and that’s taken up all my time and energy to write. So, I’ve been reposting those pieces to my blog.
How did you come up with the name for your blog?
I found myself running to the mail or to take out the trash all the time in my slippers as I hadn’t had a chance to get dressed yet for the day. It pretty much summed up my existence as a mom. Taking care of business, but in slippers and probably jammies.
What do you do when you’re not on Twitter?
I’m a communications manager in city government, and was formerly a newspaper reporter on the public safety and courts beat. I love to try to find time to do freelance writing, and as I mentioned, I am currently a contributor for the parenting website Romper (which came about thanks to Twitter!) Other than that, it’s pretty much all poopy diapers and cursing under my breath all the time.
Parenthood is good for people who want to to never get anything done ever again.
— Walking Outside (@WalkingOutside) June 9, 2016
What kinds of things did you report on as a newspaper reporter? What was that like?
As a newspaper reporter, I was assigned to the public safety and courts beat, so I covered a lot of gruesome crimes and heard some very disturbing evidence in trials. I loved it. I found it all so interesting. I even covered some terrible crimes against children, which didn’t affect me much at the time because I didn’t have kids yet. As a mother now, I know hearing details about horrible crimes against children would upset me deeply so I’m glad to be in public relations. I’ve gotten all kinds of soft since having kids! Don’t let my tough Twitter demeanor fool you 😉
Why do you tweet? What do you get out of it?
I’ve always had funny little comments pop into my head as part of my inner monologue, and no real outlet for them. I tried a few times on Facebook, and we all know those attempts end with nothing but an angry text from Mom. I was so happy to find funny Twitter and like-minded folks who are good people with kick-ass senses of humor.
Tweeting is also like therapy for me. If my husband’s dirty laundry is pissing me off, or my preschooler won’t stop talking, I make a joke about it and feel better. Funny Twitter has truly changed my life because I made connections through it and gained exposure that enabled me to get published on major funny parenting sites. Plus, it feels damn good to make those funny parent Twitter lists.
If you could meet anyone in person from Twitter who would it be and why?
I’ve made lots of great friends on Twitter and would love to have a Tweet up with all of them! I have to mention three special ladies, though, my fellow “Pink Ladies” as we call ourselves. We met as small accounts and have really grown and supported each other: @mommy_cusses, @cray_at_home_ma and @MyMomologue. Plus, they’re hilarious.
My preschooler said his dad is better than me at everything.
But who's better at grounding someone forever and ever?
— Walking Outside (@WalkingOutside) February 10, 2016
How did you share your humor before Twitter? Have people always thought you were funny?
People have told me I’m funny in the past, and I was one of my biggest fans, always cracking myself up with my own corny jokes! I’ve “performed” for family and friends since I was a little kid, doing anything for a laugh, and was a theater student in high school. I craved the high of getting a laugh or a reaction on stage. I think on Twitter we’re all a little or a lot addicted to the validation for our humor our Twitter friends provide. When people laugh or “like” your joke, you know they can relate to you and that’s comforting.
Have you ever had a tweet stolen? If so, how’d you feel about that? What went through your head?
Yes, I have had a tweet stolen. I felt pity more than anything that the thief wasn’t funny or creative enough to make up his own jokes. It is violating, because tweets are so personal. I’m grateful to @PlagiarismBad for exposing tweet thieves and supporting those who have tweets stolen.
Do you ever panic that you’ll never come up with another funny thing to say again?
Yes, sometimes. Especially when I’ve been working a lot and haven’t been around my kids as much to come up with tweets off of all the funny things they do. I seem to always think up all my good tweets on the weekend, when I’m around my kids more and Twitter is totally dead. I try to save some in my drafts folder for the week when that happens. Like water in a camel’s hump to get me through the desert! Still, I think tweets are best when you release them in real time.
Have kids so the only thing hot and heavy in your house anymore is the laundry setting.
— Walking Outside (@WalkingOutside) April 4, 2016
Do you feel like you have a good handle on which tweets will be successful and which ones won’t?
Ugh! My very favorite tweets never seem to really take off which can be frustrating. But I am starting to get an idea of which type of parenting tweets will do well with the Twitter lists and Retweets. I still tweet the things that make me laugh, though, even if I’m laughing alone.
If you didn’t have a Twitter account, what hobby would you have?
Something creative. Maybe photography? Writing really fulfills me on so many levels, though.
What are you currently watching on Netflix?
Isn’t it sad I barely have time for Netflix these days? I turn it on and then pass out with a glass of wine in my hand. I do love to unwind with some Fixer Uppers in typical middle class mom fashion. I’m also really enjoying Nurse Jackie, and The League is flipping hilarious. Watch it, now!
Oh, I LOVED Nurse Jackie – one of my favorites on Netflix. Now I need to check out The League. Thanks for the recommendation!
Who are some comedians (or comedy shows/sitcoms) who have influenced you?
I love George Lopez. As far as inspiration, I’d have to say Anna Kendrick’s Twitter account is up there. Love her. Also, Kristen Bell. That new movie “Bad Moms” looks hilarious and is like us funny Twitter moms stepping off the computer screen.
My husband's so smart.
He's prepared for the Apocalypse by leaving pants puddled on the family room floor so he can make a quick exit.
— Walking Outside (@WalkingOutside) January 27, 2016
What advice do you have for someone who’s trying to get better at joke writing on Twitter?
Be yourself! Don’t overthink it. Just projectile vomit the first thought that pops into your head all over the internet. (And this is coming from someone who is deathly afraid of vomit.) The more real, the better. Also, in the interest of Retweets, avoid hashtags and Retweet the Tweeters you enjoy often. Finally, I personally am not a fan of format tweets or overused clichés. Be original, people. THAT. (Did you see what I did there?)
Haha! Okay, tell us something about yourself people on Twitter may not know.
As I mentioned, I’m deathly afraid of vomit. It’s even in my bio. As much as kids puke, parenting is a challenge. Also, I’ve been Polynesian dancing much of my life
Do you take classes in Polynesian dance? How did you get started in that?
I’ve been Polynesian dancing since I was about seven. I saw a posting in the Parks and Rec catalogue for a Polynesian dance class in my hometown and wanted to try it. I first went to Hawaii with my family when I was four, and so had fond memories of the visit and being called up on stage to dance with the professional hula dancers. I’ve taken lessons much of my life and performed for audiences. I stopped in junior high, and took it up again when I was in college. I even took some classes as an adult before I had kids, but stopped when I became pregnant with my son. Now I’m just too busy to even think about lessons.
Is there anything else you’d like to say or share?
I’d love to say a huge thank you to the funny Tweeter community who has been SO kind and welcoming to a newbie like myself. There are a few large accounts in particular who really helped me out when I only had a few hundred followers, and who I now consider my friends. It’s the generosity of these big accounts that helps funny Twitter grow and have new faces. I’m now trying to repay the favor to new accounts. @Marlebean is like my “big Twitter sister” and really took me under her wing. She’s such a sweetheart. Also, @PetrickSara (the nicest, most generous woman on Twitter!), @FatherWithTwins, @maughammom, @ValeeGrrl, @Quartzjixler, @HousewifeOfHell and so many others. Oh, and of course @KateWhineHall! (Aw, thank you. :-))
Hey, @DadandBuried, your friends think I’m OK. Will you follow me now? (She’s totally okay, @DadandBuried!)
Sleep? I think I've heard of it.
Was it one of those perfumes Gap made in the 90s?
— Walking Outside (@WalkingOutside) January 7, 2016
Thanks for the interview Samantha! You rock!
In case you missed it, last time on Beyond the Bio: @markste71128147 (Moron That)
A butt-load of the funniest parenting tweets all packed into one place! – The Bigger Book of Parenting Tweets, available on Amazon. Or try the original, The Big Book of Parenting Tweets. They make great gifts!