Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Out Loud

There are many O word options for this post and it wasn't easy to make up my mind as I imagined sleeping instead of writing this post. But I think I have one that will work.

Out Loud

Think of it as a discussion about the difference between your inner voice and your outer voice. Those times when you say something out loud and then say "oops did I say that out loud?"... that type of thing. It is very important to know when to keep something to yourself (or a small private group of friends/family) and when to put it out into the large atmosphere of the internet. Be careful what you say because you never know who will see it.

Blogs are one place to consider since you never know who will see your posts but I'm going to talk about Twitter instead. The problem with fast media and networking, is sometimes it can become almost too informal. We forget that the things we post are being seen by other people. I'm guilty of this too. I'm sure no one really cares about the cat sleeping on my lap, that I have to go to work, or that I have yet to bowl a 200 this season. And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we have to get all formal and not post random things on twitter because that's not quite my point. Just remember that people can see what you say.

Posting and tweeting is done Out Loud.

What I don't recommend, for writers as an example, is doing things like complaining about publishers and agents. Definitely don't say which one you are complaining about in particular. Sure, it can seem all innocent but imagine this. Let's say you posted a few tweets complaining about word count requirements for a specific genre, that they are too long and totally unfair (hypothetical of course). What if that publisher or an agent you want to submit to actually sees those complaints? It's not the worse thing in the world but I'm sure that's not the impression you want to leave. Now, talking about cats goes over a little better and that's because many of them have pets. But complaining and speaking down on someone is a way to leave a less pleasant impression.

And to showcase what I mean, if you have twitter, check out occasionally who is following you. Here are some in the writing industry who are following me. I skimmed through so here is a sampling of followers:

Authors: James Garcia Jr., Laura Fitzgerald (I reviewed her book), Kristie Cook, Alex J. Cavenaugh, to name a few. Not to mention many writers working towards publication.

Publishers: inGroup Press and 4RV Publishing

Agents: Weronika Janczuk and Knight Agency

Know when to speak out loud online and when to find a private outlet. And if you would rather say anything no matter what, that is fine too, as long as you have no problem facing any of the consequences. Just hope that it isn't extreme because as we've seen with certain blogs and comments, it doesn't take long for something said Out Loud online to go viral.

What do you think?
Do you worry about what you post and who might see it?


Angeline said...

The majority of my tweets are about my writing progress (or more often, my lack of progress), and I often worry that someone important might be reading that getting the impression that I'm unreliable. It's true, sometimes we do forget just how many eyes are watching us.

Tabitha Bird said...

I think it's important to keep in mind that the internet is a massive audience potentially. And we have no way of really knowing how many people read us. I think it's wise to err on the side of caution and be very happy to have whatever you write or tweet known by anyone and everyone.

Cheree said...

Great post. I always consider my words very carefully. Posting anything online can be seen by anyone. Even when deleted, there's still a ghost of that post floating around the internet just waiting for someone to find it. Posting negatively is definitely one way to commit career suicide.

Loralie Hall said...

This is a good point and something I've been ultra aware of lately while I look for a job. Since I blog/tweet under my real name, I can just imagine how horrid it would be for a potential employer to search for me and see me either badmouthing the job hunt or former employers.

And it's the same for writing/publishing. Always something to keep in mind - great reminder ^_^

M.J. Fifield said...

My mother occasionally reads my blog so I always have that in the back of my mind when I'm posting something.

I love what Angeline said. It's very true.

Dawn Embers said...

Angeline - I didn't even think about that. I wonder how it looks when I jump from project to project not finishing things. Not the best. I know I confuse WIPfire people cause I post lines from different novels. lol

Tabitha Bird - Being cautious is wise.

Cheree - Thanks. The ghost of the post is something people also forget. Delete doesn't mean no one will ever see it, which is creepy but at the same time that means there is so much out there at all times.

Loralie! - Employers are something to worry about too, not just the writing community. Even if I mention things about work, I don't mention where exactly I work for and don't plan to complain about the company directly for sure.

M.J. Fifield - I think my blogs would mostly be parent friendly, but glad they don't see them anyways. My sister does look at my tweets and blogs sometimes though.

Ru said...

I do think about that, both for my writing and other professional life - probably a bit more on the other side, lawyers can get a little cray-cray. :) I think the trick is to remain genuine while remembering to keep some things to yourself.

(Found you from A-Z)

Dawn Embers said...

Ru - Thanks for stopping by. It is good to be genuine but still keep some things to yourself.