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:~: Thursday, May 04, 2006 :~:

Who's Watching?

I tend to be a tad self-conscious by nature. I think it's a blend of personality and having lived in various small towns for most of my life. Therefore, I'm a little hyper-aware of the impression I leave on those around me (hey, the small-town gossip beast can be vicious . . . best not to feed it). I teach in a small school in one of those small towns, so I'm really careful about the persona I put forward around town.

Today, I get this email from my sister -- she'd Googled me and found my blog, thought it was funny. A few months ago, my students discovered it the same way. Before that, I'd had one of my dream agents leave a comment on one of my posts. Agent 007 visited and left advice for me on another post.

You never know who's out there, do you?

I'm always amazed by the people who claim to be professional writers, yet fail to act like a professional anything. For example, there are a couple of writers who everyone tells me are excellent. I've picked up their books a couple of times in my local bookstore but ended up putting them down again. Why?

Well, I've seen one act badly on a couple of writing lists and the other has been less than professional on his personal blog (actually, downright mean), and it turned me off to the idea of buying their books. Big deal, right? One sale. A whole $.18 worth of royalties down the drain.

Except you never know who's out there, right?

I'm not saying don't be you. Two of my favorite bloggers/authors are Monica Jackson and Kate Rothwell. Both are very vocal, very straightforward, very much "this is me." But while both deal with controversial issues often, I never see what I'd term unprofessional behavior from either. Honest, but not mean.

So, before you post, think. Before you send, think. Before you snub or bash, think.

Because you never know who's out there.


Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Such a good reminder.

My mouth has been known to get me in trouble more times than not. It's very easy for someone with a sarcastic personality (like me) to get in trouble online where snarky comments can easily be misread.

However, I know what you mean. There are authors I won't buy simply because they come across know-it-all-ish on blogs and loops, or are even sometimes downright mean. It's one thing to be sarcastic, a completely other thing to be rude.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

You never know who is watching and reading - that's true. I also grew up in a small town, where everyone and I mean everyone knew everything you ever did. If you didn't confess to something as soon as you hit the door you were in big trouble because your parents already knew about it!

Why I led a squeaky clean life until I got out of the fish bowl!

But in my book bad mouthing someone doesn't help them get better and doesn't make you look good. So - there's no call for it. The classier you act the more people you gather.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Christine Keach said...

Words to live by! I enjoy sitting back and watching. My ears are ALWAYS open, but my mouth remains shut.

9:20 PM  

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