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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Public Persona — IWSG (21)



So . . . I'm having a dilemma. 
I'm unsure if I should use Splenda or regular sugar in my coffee because society/science/"they" dictate both are right but also wrong. Unsure if the me I am online is the right me or if there's a more me I could be. 

Say what? 
Identity issues, people. 
Online identity issues, to be exact.

I, like most people, have different sides to my personality. On any given day I may portray several of those—by themselves, combined, mix and match, whatever. But online? I usually stick with one. And that one is the quirky, spunky, bubbly me. I have a positive and cheerful Online Public Persona and I like it! Am I like this in person? Sure. I joke around, I encourage, I'm sarcastic, and I love a double entendre like you wouldn't believe. If others were to describe me, they'd say I was fun, friendly, and awesome (I'm pretty sure they'd say awesome if I gave them chocolate). So what's wrong with this? Nothing. It's perfectly okay to be silly and have fun and show readers that I can interact with them while *hopefully* making them laugh. 

BUT!

I'm struggling with uncertainty as to whether or not it really is okay. I have a serious side to me and could be considered a little bit smart, if I do say so myself. So I wonder: am I hurting myself by not allowing readers and/or fans to see that side of me? It's not something I do on purpose. I just like to keep my posts positive and bring a smile to others whenever possible. But how much is too much? At some point I wonder if it just comes off as immature and if I'm putting off more serious readers or new friends by keeping it light. Or at a distance, if you will.

On one hand, you could say people come to me for the fun because that's what they expect. But that's not all I'm about. Social media is the perfect place to network, engage new readers, and keep fans in the loop. If they come looking for me, is it just the fun side they want or would they be interested in more? I suppose I'm thinking of revamping the public persona everyone knows and allowing myself to share a different side of me more often. I'm not convinced it's the best move yet. Why? Well . . .

On the other hand, you could say I'm avoiding negative publicity. Unfortunately, if a writer opens up about being too insecure, they're called whiny. If they're upset about bad reviews, they're called childish. If they talk about preferences over how to raise a child, politics, religion, any controversial topic, they're attacked. If they start writing about how to sell, how or what to write, marketing tips, etc., most will appreciate it, but you can also be called out for wanting to be "a know it all." And I've seen in comments (a long time ago) where the writer was asked for credentials or proof of success. If you respond to any of this, you're immature and should know better than to be in the public eye. If you let it slide, sure you're taking the high road, but you can also be considered a pushover loser or something. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't. 

So what do others prefer? 

Do they stick to authors with a specific branding, since public persona is an extension of that? Stick to those who only share tips, information, serious updates, news about their books, light and funny, or a combination of all? Is having mostly quirky posts okay or am I narrowing down my fan base? 

 What do you do?

*** ALSO***
I'll be on a blog break for a while. 
I will, however, be visiting you crazy A to Z'ers!


This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hop.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.

*reblogged

20 comments:

  1. Interesting thoughts here. I guess most of us put on a persona at some point. Maybe sometimes we are even afraid to let the world see the 'real' person inside. Personally I would say a combination is a good option but I think you have to go with what you are comfortable with.

    Best wishes
    Suzanne (IWSG co-host)

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  2. I try to keep any negativity at a minimum online. I'm like you and pretty easy going online, but there are times I feel I can complain a little. Pick and choose my battles, I guess. I do want to be authentic, so to me, that means showing a little ugly with the pretty.

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  3. We do have to temper the negative stuff. It makes us look bad and no one really wants to hear it. But I'm generally a positive person, so what you see online here is pretty much who I am.

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  4. I hide behind comedy when feeling insecure. Maybe it is time to put the shield down and let us see the real you--or the rest of you. :-)

    Here's my link if you'd like to drop by :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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  5. I like authors who share themselves as well as their work. I like all of what you said, but honesty in who they are is what draws me in. However, I do think we all put on a persona of our best face and the face we want to become. Stay true yourself and I think whatever you do others will come to read it. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  6. I like authors who share themselves as well as their work. I like all of what you said, but honesty in who they are is what draws me in. However, I do think we all put on a persona of our best face and the face we want to become. Stay true yourself and I think whatever you do others will come to read it. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  7. I feel you on this. My blog is mainly nonsense, but my books are pretty serious and emotional journeys. What's a 21st century gal to do? If you figure it out, let me know!

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  8. I like your persona as is! But if you feel the need to show a different side, I say go for it. I think readers like "real" even if it means showing insecurities at times. But I agree with you, there's a fine line between showing insecurity and being whiny, between sharing tips and being a know-it-all. I think of myself as a "fluff" blogger, and I'm okay with that. I guess you have to decide how you want to be perceived, but just know that I love reading your blog (when I get around the blogosphere!) :)

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  9. Perfect question. I have seen people write posts that bore me with their sophisticated know it all talk. And it's because that's not me. And that's me being blunt. And then I think yeah maybe I should write more serious blogs and comments. But guess what? Then I'm being fake. What you see is what you get and if you or someone else doesn't like it then they can get to stepping and find a stuffy blog to read. Not everyone likes sugar or Splenda and prefers the alternative honey. We are the honey baby! Oh yeah. Those who matter don't mind how and who we are and those who mind well...don't matter so much. Move on. Be you because it's the epitome of your perfection. And me love you long time!

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  10. I have no idea how to answer this other than be who you are and write what you want. I'm still fumbling around with my blog and training to gain an audience, or fan base or something. I'm still not sure how it all works. But I don't think you can go wrong if you're sincere and really enjoy what you're writing. Maybe get more serious sometimes, maybe fall back into the humor. It's whatever you want. And as long as its' honest, your readers will appreciate it!

    :)

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  11. I think people tend to like the lighter, funner, spunkier posts. I don't do that much. I guess I'm more serious online (in a good way, though), but I like your posts. They make me smile and laugh. So keep up what you're doing!

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  12. I'm here from Alex's blog. I believe followers prefer to read positive posts. However, anyone with half a brain understands that no one is "on" all the time. There's nothing wrong with acknowledging that you're having a bad day. That's why the ISWG was created, so people could air the good, the bad and the ugly without fear of judgment or reprisal. I say cut yourself some slack and be honest about your feelings. People are more understanding than you think.

    BTW, I like your blog and am now a follower.

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  13. BTW, maybe you should consider Stevia. It's organic and very good for you. (:

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  14. I struggle with that, too. I try to keep my posts positive, but sometimes I get comments along the lines of "well, aren't you the lucky duck," and those just drive me nuts. I have a roller coaster life, just like everyone else. I choose to share the best, the good, the stuff that I celebrate. When I write about the roller coaster stuff, I feel like a cranky whiny-pants, and I don't really want to bring the world down with me. Anyway, that's my dilemma - too positive means too braggy, but sharing the crummy stuff is just not something I want to do most of the time.
    Anyway, I guess this sounds like one of those cranky whiny-pants rants, and maybe it is. I started out just simply wanting to say . . . "I hear you, sister blogger." Be who you want to be online - be it fun, serious, or some combo of both. I'll still hang around and bug you with long comments. :)

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  15. Even though I've been crap at commentating back in the last several decades, your blog makes me smile every time I drop by.

    I like bubbly, but I *know* there's a serious side to you, too!

    But how?

    I, er, have a serious side, too.. but sheesh, don't tell anyone!!

    PS: Stick with what makes you writerly happy... if you try and force another personality trait onto your blog... you know it's going to come across, well, forced.. :)

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  16. My opinion on this subject is always the same. Do you. Be the whole you and write what you feel like writing. Does this mean some people will hate you? Yes, but it means you will attract the right kind of people, the ones who will be attracted to your writing style. Anyway good luck with it. You are smart, fun, friendly and yes awesome. (now where's my chocolate? lol )

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  17. I think we're all insecure--which is why the Insecure Writers Support Group is so brilliant. I've seen some writers I'd consider MUCH more successful than I probably ever will be express some major insecurities. They talk about social media depression--where they see other authors posting on Twitter about all the book publicity they're doing and how it makes them feel insecure, like they aren't doing enough. That just tells me it never ends!

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  18. We like to keep the whining to a minimum. And neither of us have ever thought of you as immature. Then again, we have a blog where we routinely humiliate ourselves in cartoon form, so I think maybe WE should be asking this question. Meanwhile, I always thought you were just the right mixture of serious and fun, which turns out downright inspiring.

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  19. great post--by nature I am a pretty positive person, but of course I have my down days/anxiety/meldowns like anyone else...I rem when I first spoke to my agent she talked a lot about branding and at the time I didnt understand...now I get it. I think people do like to see multiple sides though, because if not, then that one side that's shown can be misconstrued as phony (even if it's not!)

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  20. Boy, can I relate to this. I started out being the one who was all about positive energy and seeing the good in every problem. Then, one day, I blogged about something from a serious position, but even there, found the lesson or the positive aspect by the end of the post. I think the short answer is this: When we write fiction, our characters are, or should be multi-dimensional, i.e. the protagonist isn't all good and the antagonist isn't all bad. So if we want to appear real to our blog readers, shouldn't we show them both sides (or in the case of some of us, all sides, too? Whatever you do, I look forward to reading as your writing style is always a pleasure to read.

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