Friday, January 29, 2016

Is it okay to get personal?

Obviously, it's never a good idea to give your life's history on social media. But how personal is it all right to get? Hmmm. That sentence sounded better in my head.

If I didn't need social media to be in contact with readers and network with fellow authors, I can tell you right now, I wouldn't be on there. And not just Facebook. I wouldn't be ANYWHERE. It's not that I don't enjoy a good game of Candy Crush now and then, being on social media is very time consuming. That's time that I could be writing my next book. 

That being said, if you're on places like Facebook often, you tend to get comfortable with people that you regularly interact with. I've seen some pretty gasp worthy overshares in my time. (Posted publicly) LOL I don't mean people you get to know on a personal basis and send private messages to. (Although you have to be careful who you trust with that as well.) I mean people you are casually in touch with.

In my case, I want to be myself. But, that should probably never happen in public. Ha. Ha. Ha. No, really. 

The main group of people that I interact with is my readers. I want them to know me, actually know me. I don't want to be fake or lie about myself in any way. I also don't want to accidentally divulge too much.

Some people might not realize how hard it is to walk that line. Can you imagine never being able to express an opinion? You can NEVER talk about politics and religion, for example. Not that I would. You can never post a controversial news headline. Oh, and never ever talk about reviews. You will be crucified. You are not allowed to have an opinion about what someone said about your life's work, so don't even go there.

All right, you can, but you will always offend someone. When you have any small bit of a public persona, that is never a good thing.

Most readers are amazing, cool people. But then there's the flip side. There are nutters out there. Oh yes, there are nutters. I've come in contact with more than my share. Therefore, even on my personal page, I am censored. I don't share where I live, where I went to school. I don't post pictures of my family. As far as most people know it's just me and my dogs. You can never be too safe. And you can never, ever let your guard down and just be you.

I suppose this rambling post is just to say the struggle is real. I want to know my readers and I want them to know me. But I find that I end up censoring myself so much.

I express my true self in my books through a variety of different characters. I know some people assume that I'm the heroine, but that is rarely ever true. I've even had characters that were writers before. Naturally, that sparked some nasty comments of me writing about myself. Um, no. They are nothing like me. Usually, I'm the villain, or the sarcastic secondary character, or even the hero. 

People who read my books and really enjoy them, they are the ones who actually know me.

I've heard writers say, "Just because you read my books doesn't mean you know me." While that may be true for some, it isn't for me. If you really pay attention to my books, you know me.

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