Yes, I’m lifting blog prompts again. Can’t help it – I run across them and think to myself, “Hey, I have something to say about that.”
Today’s lifted blog prompt is about a writer’s image.
As the ‘celebrity’ networking, blogging, twittering rules go — don’t talk smack about others, don’t be a downer, don’t constantly talk about things you dislike or bad things that have happened to you, don’t get too personal, try to make others feel good about themselves, and respect others. These are relatively easy rules to follow, even on the Internet.
Many writers I know keep their online presence very low key, and follow the rules to a T. They really want to make sure they don’t upset anyone in fear it will destroy their careers. But in doing so they almost always sacrifice their personality. So instead of being the multi-dimensional, unique person they are, what their readers see are shells of their favorite authors writing blogs about writing.
I think I’ve done pretty well following the ‘rules’. My only exception is politics. I am, for good or bad, very passionate about women’s issues and certain political ideas. I have also not been silent about my thoughts on reader etiquette, and if I have pet-peeves, I will most certainly share them (not directed at any specific individual). Basically – I’m not afraid to speak my mind, but I won’t talk shit about people behind their backs in my blog and I won’t constantly be a negative Nellie.
So it does make me wonder what my author image is. Do people, when they see my books on a bookstore shelf think to themselves, “I wouldn’t buy that woman’s books if you paid me because she’s a bitch!” Or do they grab the book without a second thought because they liked how I made them feel?
I would hope it would be the latter. However, I think Kurt Cobain said it best when he said, “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I’m not.”
There’s a lot of truth to that. Just because someone doesn’t talk crap about someone else online doesn’t mean they’re not a gossip behind closed doors. Just because someone doesn’t talk about their problems or hardships doesn’t mean they don’t have them. And just because someone is nice to people to their face, doesn’t mean they’re genuine.
I’d rather be genuine up front.
I’m wary of an untarnished image because chances are it’s hiding something large and ugly. While I agree that some things are better left off the web, I hope I never become one of those writers who is forced to be a shell of herself for the sake of a career.