Divas On Writing: When To Keep It Classy
Not all of our writing articles are about novel writing. We also are avid bloggers and post on many forms of social media. When authors of any type blog or chat on places like Facebook and Twitter, it is essentially their face to the world, because let’s be straight, not all authors can come over for a cup of coffee. Social media is their way to socialize, connect with readers, and impress potential customers. It is important for authors to keep a certain face when dealing with their image. And this goes for Divas too.
Recently, on my personal Facebook account I was involved in a healthy debate about social issues. The conversation was heated and I felt that many things were misunderstood. The one thing about social media and dealing with anyone online is that you lose a sense of realness. Missing is the inflection of people’s tone, and the sympathy is lost with cold words on a screen that can be misconstrued. I realized that feelings were hurt and I didn’t want misconceptions to reflect on me as a person, my beliefs, and my business. Nor do I want to cause any unjust anger by anyone reading my posts, whether it’s me commenting or someone else on the thread. So I pulled back from the post and made a conscious decision that it was best to keep to myself out of hot button issues.
The truth is: Not everyone is going to see things the same way you are.
This also got me wondering how this affects authors as well. Like I implied before, social media is sometimes the closest readers will get to their favorite authors or fellow authors alike. Perception can be an author’s best and worst enemy. I have read lately that many authors are choosing to unfollow or unfriend people they believe stir the pot, so to speak, because they don’t like the negativity.
While the writing world tends to be more open-minded, and that’s a great thing, it also tends to get offended a whole lot. Tasteless reviews, slamming status updates, or snarky tweets will and do give your readers a glimpse of your attitude. If you have an I-don’t-care mentality, this may not bother you, but if an author is concerned about his or her self-image and how those thoughts and feelings are projected to readers, it may be best to revise what you say before you say it. Like my heated Facebook debate, I had to take a step back and visualize how my comments and thoughts were making people feel and how they made me look to a largely voyeuristic world. Because the truth is and will always will be: Nothing ever really does go away on the Internet. And social media is just the same, except anything you will have countless witnesses to those very public interactions.
So as I reevaluated my own situation, I felt that the questions needed to be asked: Do you wonder if you are stirring the pot without even knowing it? Do you think you’re losing readers or a followers because of something controversial you’ve said? Has that sense of realness gotten too real for your readers? Or should we not protect our self-image because we fear it risks our creativity or projected image? How real is too real?
I would love to hear from you on this. I can’t be the only one struggling with this issue. In the end I want to be respected as an author, a face on social media and as a person, as do many of our readers and followers. I realize that social media behavior has a big impact on how authors want to be understood and that ideas and beliefs can change a lot of people’s minds.
So how do you keep it classy?