Writer’s Craft #68 – Going public on web 2.0
Terri Bruce has been making up stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her first novel, HEREAFTER—a contemporary fantasy about a woman’s search for redemption in the afterlife—will be released by Eternal Press this fall. Visit her on the web at www.terribruce.net.
As a soon-to-be-published author, I’m dipping a toe into the strange new realm of going from a “private” person to a “public” one on social media. Up to this point, I’ve had a long, lovely, and, above all, private online life/presence. I have a personal Facebook page where I am friends with only people who I know (and like) in real life (I’m not even friends with my coworkers – not because I don’t like them, but because I believe in keeping my personal and professional lives separate). I also have a personal Goodreads page where I’ve rated and reviewed books—as a reader. But these are things that “public Terri” the author does not want “the public” to access. Goodreads book reviews in particular seem troubling—as a reader, I have personal tastes, same as anyone. But as a writer I know how subjective reading tastes are (and how hurtful negative reviews can be) and I have made it my policy not to formally review books as a professional courtesy to my writing peers.
So, what is one to do? How have you handled the transition from private citizen to public persona on social media? When you moved from a personal to author profile on Goodreads, did you delete your ratings and/or reviews? Did you open up your personal Facebook profile to industry contacts and writing peers and, if so, did it change the content of what you were willing to post/share? Or do you now maintain two sets of pages on a variety of social media sites—one personal profile for your private life and one professional profile for your public life?