Wednesday, January 7, 2015

IWSG - Pieces of a Writer

Being indecisive seems to be the latest writer flaw that has risen through the whirlwind of insecurities infecting my creative brain and heart.

Find creator Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh
& other participants here.
We all have personal lives running parallel to our writer journeys. And, as most of you have surely heard, that personal life is part of what makes us the writers we are, influencing our ideas and stories. Sharing part of who we are is important, not only to our work, but also to our readers' perception of who the heck is the author?

Obviously, we must use caution when sharing about our real lives online. As with anything else in life balance is necessary. But sharing certain events or aspects can bring author closer to reader - reader closer to author, and author more intimately entwined in the publishing world. All of those bring us full-circle back to platform, which is plainly about exposure, relatability, and presence of the author. 

I bring this up because I have two important aspects of my life - one personal, one professional - to share publicly, but have yet decided on the perfect time or delivery. The one I'm more insecure about is the recent change to my professional life. We've all heard or read comments or posts from writers sharing highs and lows from their professional journey. Some comments/posts seem to have no regard to professional repercussions or aim other than to bash someone else. That is not the type of person I am. I want to be honest, but I also want to be cautious and smart. I'm a more private person, but do believe sharing my recent writer struggle will aid others. 

Writers: Have you ever struggled about exposing pieces of your writing journey and how to keep it positive? 

SPLAT Alert! Just before the holiday break I released my goals for 2015 through my Writer's Rebel CREED. If you're interested in joining me or just intrigued to know what it's all about, go HERE. You can also peek at the creed in my right sidebar. ((HUGS & WRITE ON!))
 photo Sheri2.png

34 comments:

  1. Good question... I don't really struggle with sharing professional stuff, especially as I don't have an agent yet! I wish more traditionally published authors would give reasons for not announcing stuff. I never quite understand why they always say "I have news but can't share it yet." It must have to do with contracts, and so on, but even so...

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  2. Good question. I've had to balance what I say on my blog about my layoff as my company is closing and looking for a new job. Because I know employers check your online presence. It's a hard balance.

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    1. Exactly. I think being honest is of the utmost importance, but it must be done delicately. Like I mentioned - I don't want to offend anyone, yet paint a true picture of what I went through last year. We all know publishing is an up and down journey - for most of us, anyway. I think sharing the down parts with other writers, sets the up parts in a much more precious light. It also sends an encouraging message that if I got through that experience, so can you. :)

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  3. YES! I have totally been there. You want to unveil the hidden world of publishing so your writerly pals have no delusions going in, but you also can't burn bridges. I find that sharing the no so savory aspects works best through personal emails, but there is the occasion when you have to share on a broader spectrum. As long as the downs are balanced by the ups, it all works out. Best of luck! (Sending cheese.)

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  4. I do like to keep my private life separate from my blog, although I'm not even close to publishing a book but I do mostly post about writing. The most personal I'll usually get is talking about my cat...

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  5. I do think it's important to share certain things from our personal lives, but not to get too personal if you know what I mean. I like to share things with my followers that doesn't have to do with writing because readers enjoy that. They like to know we're real and that we have lives/interests outside of writing. But being thoughtful and careful when you do that is a must!

    I also share my struggles with writing, but only when I can include a positive message like "Although this happened, I still made it." :)

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    1. So true! Readers like to know we are real. I think there's such a misconception about writers and the writing world. It's nice to send a reality check every now and then.

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  6. I tend to be more of a private person as well. When I'm posting, I'm always thinking, "would I be okay if this was announced from the rooftops?" See, I've inadvertently come across a forum post once that was about me (thinly veiled). I'm careful, maybe too careful, not to do that to someone else.
    That being said, I'm excited to hear your news professional or personal. I hope you are able to share soon!

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  7. I try to keep my personal life off-air, but sometimes it has to slip in. I don't want people to think I'm not interested in them by not showing up or supporting them when they need it, so I have to tell them I'm sick or my mom just died or the kids have a crisis. That's why I'm here as usual. It's a hard call sometimes, and those personal posts are the most difficult for me to write.

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  8. Whatever it is, I bet you will be gracious and tactful.
    I keep a lot of personal stuff private. Just who I am.

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  9. I'm probably too open about my life, though I always try to remain professional. I also limit what I share about others. Especially my kids.

    You give off such a positive spirit. If you share your news publicly, I know you will do it in a way that inspires hope in others. It's just who you are.

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  10. I share a bit of my personal life, some funny and cute stories, but most of the time, I want to keep things about my professional life. Sometimes it's difficult to keep things positive, but our journeys have ups and downs. In the end, it's worth it. :)

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  11. I try to be honest about the ups and downs of writing, and I do share rejections and failures because I think it's important for writers and non-writers alike to understand that getting an agent or getting a book published doesn't make you an automatic success. But I try to share the negatives in a cool, unemotional way that doesn't bash or blame anyone. So, I might talk about having two manuscripts rejected at once and even admit it was crushing. But I won't criticize the person who rejected them. It was business, after all.

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  12. Hi, Sheri,

    I've know you a LONG TIME .... I think we became friends my first year blogging back in 2010. You are ALWAYS gracious, sweet, caring, and never bash anyone or anything. We have all had bad times, and sharing these experiences with others can only help our community. ANY business can be ruthless, it is part of business and LIFE for that matter. IF we can avoid some of these pitfalls by sharing out experiences with others is only a good thing.

    When you feel comfortable sharing, you will. Don't worry about it.

    Wishing you and yours every happiness this new year! May it be an easy journey with much love and prosperity....

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  13. I agree with the comment about sharing non-writing things, so readers can get to know us as people, not just writers. I do talk about my writing a lot, but I'm trying to find a balance.

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  14. I got so caught up in my blog's them of publishing tips I stopped sharing things about me. I started back a year ago and it's been fun.

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    1. Good to know. I think finding that balance along with living our real lives can be tough at times.

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  15. I'm not sure you need to worry about putting a positive spin on things as long as you're honest and don't write "angry." Anne R. Allen posted wrote a real eye-opening post today (well, actually Jan 4). The publishing world is changing, and the more we know about it, the better off we'll be. Knowledge and truth are always good. :)

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  16. I can't imagine you writing anything that would come off as bashing. You're a gracious, positive person, and I'm sure whenever you feel right sharing, you'll lay it all out in a professional, appropriate manner.

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  17. I think it's all about finding that right balance. I would love to hear your story because I do truly think it would help others (possibly me included). But I understand if you don't want to share or feel like it's too personal. And knowing you, whatever you have to say would be kind but truthful.

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  18. I hold back a lot because I always want to be mindful that this forum is very public. And it never goes away. I understand your quandary too. Helping others is a huge motivation and I know I hugely appreciate the honest thoughts and experiences of other writers. I'm sure you'll approach it with professionalism.

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  19. I think it's smart to do it very cautiously. If you feel compelled to share, it's of my opinion you need to be most careful about how far you go into the details. If there's a way of sharing effectively without having to be too specific, that's how I would handle it. The internet is "forever," and you don't want to jeopardize anything important or do something that can backfire. Just be careful.

    I only share the things in my personal life that are OK to share with "the world," and that I don't mind people knowing. I'm more private now than I was years ago. And some things are just no one's business. I am also very careful about talking about controversial subjects. You know, the typical stuff: religion, politics, etc. I'll say certain things, but do my best to avoid any kind of discussion that can get heated. Now that I have blogs and am online for a purpose, I'm more careful. Online interaction can be tough!
    :Donna @writersideup

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  20. I think it's fine to talk a little about the public and private you as long as you are comfortable doing so.

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  21. Hey babe!!! I like to give snippets of myself and I think my posts generally give a feel of my personality. Ps love ya!!!!

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  22. I'm cautious about sharing things online. I'm usually more comfortable long after something has happened.

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  23. I admire you for being discerning about sharing your private information, since not everyone does that. Good luck with both your professional and your writing situation, and with deciding how/when to share details about each!

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  24. I actually debated the same thing with my this month's post for IWSG . . . I decided not to post it. It could've helped some, but the truth is, we just have to be so careful nowadays. This keyboard makes it so easy for people to post things they'd never ever say to someone's face. I think you must do what's right for you though :-)

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  25. I think it's good for people to get to know you but it depends what it is of course :) Take care!

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  26. It can be difficult to decide what to share and what not. I rarely share private things about my life, but that's generally because they're more boring than anything else. But sometimes sharing personal things that affect our professional lives can help others going through the same thing.

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  27. There are a lot of things I keep private, yet I'm always me.

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  28. I think the most important thing in life is balance. Finding a balance between our personal lives and our professional lives is difficult to achieve. I've not found the perfect balance yet but I am determined to get there. Wishing you all the best and a great forthcoming week.

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  29. I guess if people want to know about the "private" me they'll have to read my books. My philosophy's there. My life experience is there and my greatest fears are all over those pages.

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  30. I'm absolutely struggling with this right now. I keep a lot to myself, even when it's difficult.

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