Monday, February 22, 2010

Acting Professionally

I'll be the first to admit that it's easy to forget that EVERYTHING we do online is seen by many. You get on your own little group or blog and think you can speak your mind and there won't be any backlash. That's not quite the way it works though.

When we come across someone doing or saying something unprofessional it makes us cringe, doesn't it? An author talking about another author on Twitter, an author bragging about how many books she has published on her group, an author spilling her guts about how much she hates the review she just received and she's telling ALL of Facebook.

For most of us it makes for a very uncomfortable feeling! Sort of like when you ask someone how their day is and they start telling you all about their cheating spouse, their drunken mother, and the fact they can't get rid of that horrible rash. Um, alrighty then! LOL

In my opinion--and that's all this is, one person's opinion--there is a time and place for these sorts of conversations. When you're upset it's so easy to forget that one very important rule. You need to let off some steam. That's natural! Maybe you're just really excited about a new contract and you can't wait to tell everyone your good news. There's nothing wrong with wanting others to celebrate with you. And there's not a single thing wrong with wanting a shoulder to cry on when you're pissed about a crappy rejection letter or some reader trashing your book on Amazon. But some things are better saved for your close circle of friends or you spouse or maybe your mom. When I have the need to vent I email a few of my writer buddies privately. They email me when they need to let off some steam as well. It's a good system. I can curse all I want and they get it. Best of all, the general public doesn't have to see me act like someone just ate my last square of chocolate. LOL

Why am I bringing this up today? Lots of reasons really. And I'd rather not get into all that here. The important thing to remember here is that every single time you blog, post a message to a group, update your status message on Facebook, join in with a famous blogger in trashing one of your fellow authors is that people ARE watching you. Agents. Editors. Publishers. Readers. Reviewers. Fellow authors. AND (shudder) your in-laws! ;-)


Regina Carlysle said...

I don't want to hear this crap in a public forum...I really don't. That kind of bitching and whining should be reserved for private conversations with your closest buddies. Bad reveiws? We all get one from time to time. And there is always some kind of drama or bashing going on. I don't like to see that happen publicly. It makes us all look so bad. This kind of thing always comes back to haunt and we need to remember that someone is always watching and reading what we say. Best to keep it private.

LGVernon said...

More kvetching I hate to hear: deadline kvetching, editorial kvetching, synposes kvetching (well, maybe not that one, travel kvetching~~and on and on and on. I think from time to time everyone hates their profession. But coming on like writing is the worst gig on the planet and maybe a life flipping burgers would be better is not only tiresome, but disingeunous. C'mon. You picked writing; it didn't pick you. Put your big girl panties on and write. It's what you do.

Jake - but not the one said...

Really, we ought to live our lives as if they were on FB. It would be hard, but we'd all be better people, in our own eyes if nowhere else, if we did,

D. Musgrave said...

You are so right. I see this sort of thing all the time and I cringe. Not just for the person sharing way too much, but for anyone associated with them.

flchen1 said...

So true. I do think that many people aren't remembering how very public these forums are--when you post something to Facebook, it *isn't* the same as calling up your best friend to vent. It's more like posting it on a billboard! Great reminder :)

Rosemary Gunn said...

Excellent post, Anne! Those posts, comments, tweets, or what have you, are just plain embarrassing to be a part of. Some things are definitely meant to be shared only with our closest friends ... or maybe kept within the pages of a private blog that no one has access to!

Anne Rainey said...

Regina--private, exactly! I think the worst is when an author joins in on a let's bash the author and her book discussion. Someday that author will know what that feels like!

LG--I agree 100%! Every job has it problems. Writing is no different.

Jake--I've discovered some really great friends through facebook!

Anne Rainey said...

D--Oh, I hear ya! And it's so hard to know what to do if you're associated with someone who airs their dirty laundry in public. Not comfortable!

Fedora--I try to always be aware of what I type. It's surprising to me that some people just don't seem to care.

P.A.Brown said...

It's truly amazing how vitriolic some people can be online. Too many people write the letter in a rage and don't stop to think -- anytime I write something harsh, I let it sit for at least a day. Then I make a calculated decision to send it. But I have never succumbed to sending nasty messages for all to see. Those go to a couple of good friends I have who send me their bitches in return.

BrennaLyons said...

We all have our bad days and our good days. But... There is a line. I agree. Bashing is not good. Cutting down someone isn't good. We all share a bit of ourselves with others...but have to remember when enough is enough.

But...I have to ask? What's wrong with talking about the books you have published on your own group? Did I miss something there that was essential to the formula? I am braindead today, admittedly.