Monday, August 8, 2011

Can you be yourself and network?

Good morning!  I hope the day finds you well and happy.

I’ve been having a bit of a personal dilemma.  Almost a multiple personality disorder or something along those lines.  I’ve been reading many articles and posts about maintaining a professional persona on the net (and of course in real life).

It makes perfect sense.  I certainly don’t want potential buyers to think I’m a raving lunatic.  Except, sometimes I am a raving lunatic.  Then what?  If I am all professional and keep everything neat and tidy, isn’t that just me putting on a mask to keep other people happy?  And there’s the rub.  I’m trying to figure out if I believe in that set-up or not.

What I know:
My writing comes from deep inside me.  My dreams, ideas, beliefs, and personality seep into every aspect of it.

I really truly don’t want to offend people.  It’s just bad form to be offensive for no reason.  (And I have a massive fear of burning crosses in the front yard.)

I definitely don’t want my readers to think I’m a blithering idiot.

What I don’t know:
If I am lucky enough to have readers fall in love with my books, am I being phony by pretending to be someone I’m not?  Am I letting them down?

(From Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary)  Professional:   characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2): exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace

Although I can be all business at times, how much fun is that?  I mean seriously…I am an exuberant person!!!  I LOVE exclamation points!!!  I love lol’s and omg’s.  Sharing my excitement over small and large events is so much fun.  Is that unprofessional? 

When I turned forty, I acquired this massive desire to be myself.  Finally.  I’ve spent most of my adult life working in service industries.  Keeping a smile on my face and being ever-so congenial all of the time.  You have to, or you won’t make any money.  I understand it’s much the same for writers. (Another service industry)  I wouldn’t dream of getting on here and lodging complaints about politics, religion, or anything confrontational.  But I do want to be able to say on fb author page: OMG!!!! It’s sooooooooooo awesome!!!!  I’m really excited!!!!! Lol  Honestly, sometimes I feel like doing that on my blog too!!!  Is that unprofessional?

How do you guys feel about it?  Unless I’m mistaken, everyone following this blog is a writer of one sort or another.  Do you feel free to be yourself when you’re networking and blogging?  Are you constantly second guessing what you say?

Tell me about it.  Sign in as anonymous if you don’t want to go on record. Lol  I’d seriously like to know what you think.


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  2. I went to an interview today and didn't say a lot of what was on my mind (and there was a lot) and that was really hard to do. (Anyone who knows me knows that I speak my mind.) The job I currently have I remain silent ALL the time because I lack the art of tact. I HATE when people tell me that I can voice my opinions but I have to be be professional. Writing is more of an art, at least the actual writing and creating part is. But it has a business side to it as well. As I am writing my first novel and getting to know the art of networking, I realize that there is a balance. Just as some companies are a casual business and others are strict by the book business, writing as the ebb and flow of a variety of styles. How you present yourself to a publishing company or a possible agent may not be the same way that you present yourself to a fellow writer or newly found readership. But, that doesn't mean you lose who you are in the process. You are authentically you and that should be celebrated. As you network, if you want to make lasting connections you should always be yourself. Masks and phoniness is hard to maintain for long periods of time.