Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Rep to Protect

Writing is a roller coaster ride of emotions.  It's easy to succumb to its ups and downs.  We love the thrilling rush of writing the perfect scene, a snappy exchange of dialogue, or a blush-worthy description of our character's first kiss.  

Yet we despair at the constant feelings of insecurity: Will our novel attract an agent or editor?  How much rejection is normal?  Should we give up? 

So how do we prevent our bi-polar emotions from discoloring our online reputation?  

Any interested agent can instantly peruse our online presence through a simple Google search.  Every comment, every post is up for immediate viewing.  Have we displayed ourselves well?

Here's my question to you: What would you consider inappropriate to list on your blog?  Or comment about on another blog?

25 comments:

Dawn Embers said...

Very good post.

Some people seem to forget that places like facebook, myspace, blogs, and even twitter are public and viewable. So, it's always better to act professional. I've seen people post complaints or use names for publishers and such on twitter and it really surprises me.

There is a way to go about the discussion without coming off rude, whiny or insulting. But not everyone remembers to take that precaution.

Inappropriate behavior online includes: insults, name calling, whining about publishers & word count recommendations, using IM/text speak constantly, and a few others I can't think of at this moment.

Crystal Cook said...

I completely agree with Dawn. Probably the thing that bothers me the most is being really negative about other people. Especially published authors, and their books.

Shannon said...

While I am never insincere or artificial on my blog or with comments I make, I treat the blogsphere like any other social setting. Every single thought does not need to be posted or shared the moment I have them.

If it's not something I would say to someone in person, I don't say it on my blog.

As far as snarky comments about others? No good can come from it.

Just my 2 cents.

Sandy Shin said...

I agree with the comments above.

While I don't think you should be artificial on blog/twitter/etc., I do believe in censoring yourself, to a certain extent. A little negativity is all right, because life's made up of ups and downs. But too much of it, and using it inappropriately, can be bad. Insulting any individual (politely disagreeing is a different matter) is definitely something I'd avoid.

Andria said...

I've never thought about an agent or publisher doing a Google search on my name to pull up what I saw online. However, I try not to write anything on my blog write or update my Facebook status to anything that might get me in trouble at work. Because I still need that job right now.

SAMUEL PARK said...

Hi--So glad I found your blog. Thanks for commenting on mine--it made me discover yours and I'm very glad I did. What a great question, btw. I'm leaning toward thinking that we live in an age of self-revealing, and it'd hard to be truly, truly inappropriate. Maybe something mean, or hurtful? Maybe something destructive? I'd hope that we hear about one another's lives and offer compassion--and that information isn't used to hurt. Great post! Looking forward to more!

Niki said...

Great post. I don't like it when writers say nasty things about some published authors. I think they are obviously jealous.

KarenG said...

I tend to exaggerate to be funny, it's part of my humor voice, and someone reading my blog not used to this might get the wrong idea. Like the post I barely did today. It was tongue in cheek and exaggeration but I got a concerned email. I should probably be more careful about how I use my humor or it could be taken the wrong way. But I always try to be positive. But not too positive hehe.

Jen said...

I would say that negativity shouldn't be on your blog, not to say you can't share your struggles but when you do try and think positively about it, or ask for ideas on what worked well for others, don't showcase all the frustration with nothing positive at the end.

Ummm I probably wouldn't talk about anything too personal, or silly stories that are really inappropriate unless it pertains to your story.

Basically be yourself and I think you'll be fine!

J. Kaye said...

This is an area I've never thought about, but I keep beliefs like religion and other controversial issues off the table.

Paul C said...

I make it a point never to be derogatory or sarcastic. Positivity and a vital exchange of worthwhile ideas are key. I rarely write a rant kind of post.

Angie Paxton said...

I try to avoid snarkiness, ranting and any kind of negative comment about people in the publishing industry. The agent you insult today could be the agent that would have responded positively to your next query except for the fact that you said awful things about them online.

E. Elle said...

I try to avoid negativity. I also try to be authentic, showing myself the best I can without actually showing myself. I think it's important that they be able to see the real you, and not some fabrication you think they want to see. But sometimes that's hard with the internet; there are so many avenues for disguise.

Good questions. I'll probably be ruminating about them over the next few days. Thanks! ;o)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I carry a company phone, so I don't twitter.

I have a standing rule - Never to say anything that might be construed as negative if that person is not there to present his/her side of the case. It has served me well here in blogverse.

Now, let me tell you about Christi ...

Just joking.

I have heard of a struggling author venting on ABSOLUTE WRITE WATER COOLER {a cool site, check it out} And the next day receiving an email about the agent roasted. Google Search can be dangerous if you don't watch what you write. Roland

arlee bird said...

I think the bottom line for me is that if there is something that I wouldn't want certain people to hear then don't say it because they might hear it.

Renae said...

Hey You!

I found your blog via Ann Cannon's! Had NO idea you hosted this FANTASTIC site AND have so many followers! You are always SURPRISING, Ms. AmyJo!

And do you REALLY follow that many blogs! WHEN???

I read in the MASTER AND COMMANDER series that 3 topic were verboten on a ship at sea: religion, politics, and sex. Perhaps we should refrain from such - but what fun is that?

Best wishes! Renae

Mary Aalgaard said...

Rantings and constant complaints, gossip, explicit sex, condescending language, bullying. People need to think of this as a very public platform (I'm thinking of young adults especially), like they're standing on stage of a large auditorium, microphone strapped to their mouth. We don't have to be all sugary all the time, or never say a negative thing, but we ALWAYS need to show respect for others and ourselves. Great question.

Natalie said...

Such a great topic. When I first signed with my agent I didn't have a blog. She wanted me to start one and she gave me a few pointers about how to do it. They were: no politics, no religious commentary, no explicit details about your personal life, no criticizing books or people in the industry, no mention of editor rejections and no pictures of yourself holding guns.

I thought that was a pretty good list. I also try to keep it G rated because I write MG novels. I think a lot of bloggers cross the lines sometimes. It's probably okay to do it occasionally, but certainly not when one is querying or on submission with editors. Professional is best.

Tiffany said...

Such a great question and discussion! I think the advice shared here is very wise.

Theresa Milstein said...

It certainly is a roller coaster to write. When I have a down day and write about it, I wait to post to make sure it's not just a pity party. There has to be a greater message than "woe is me" or I won't post it. If I think others are going through something similar and we can commiserate then I will.

I won't share my political or religious views, even if something comes up in my life because I don't think it's appropriate for what I'm doing.

Angie Paxton said...

I have an award for you on my blog.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Amy, weren't you going to do Harley's BODY LANGUAGE BLOGFEST? I hope everything is all right with you. Have a great weekend.

Come by and check out my entry if you have the time, Roland

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

That's a very good questions, Amy. It think expressing your feelings on your blog or in other people's comments is perfectly fine. The last person an agent wants to deal with is a cold insincere person. We are all human, I think it's ok to rant a little sometimes - as long as no one is being belittled, or targeted by doing so.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Hm, you know, I definitely try to stay upbeat in my comments and on my blog (although, I'm that way in general).

These guys here seem to have offered great tidbits of advice. I'll say ditto ;)

Anonymous said...

Very good article, well written and very thought out.