Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's a really small world

...yeah, so I was over at RD--I'm usually at RD, because it's my television, lol--and I went down this thread. I rarely go down threads that I know will irritate me. After doing it twice this year, you think I'd learn.

I think what really gets me is how insular people are. Like they have blinders on or something. Sometimes I post on Absolute Write, sometimes I post elsewhere--I'm active in the blogosphere, but no matter where I go and what I do, I always remember that what I say can and will be pulled up. Back when I first googled my name, I found letters I'd written to the editor back when in the nineties because there's some kind of Vermont think-tank archiving them. A while later I found "Beach woman takes top honors in Strawberry cook-off" and...a comment I'd posted on someone's LiveJournal.

The comment made me think, so I brought up each and every search engine and ran my name. I found things I never knew existed--many thanks to Kaige for all the kind words she's said all over the internet about me, lol, these many years--and it made realize just how public writers are.

I'm a firm believer that if it's negative, you'd better think a couple of times before you hit send. I can't count the number of times I've composed a really long, scathing reply, or asked someone what the hell they were thinking--then hit erase.

If you talk on a forum, there are easily thousands of members, many of whom are agents, editors and industry professionals--what makes you think someone isn't reading your thread? I mean, come on. If someone says something about Samhain, you don't think Angela James isn't right there reading it? I'd love to know which member is really Promo Crystal, the Phaze announcer. Faith from Freya, the people from Red Rose, every small press and e-pub has a presence. So if you say, well--this and that about a publisher, maybe it's time to take a good hard look at exactly what you said from an objective viewpoint, because like Human Resources would say, "What you say isn't as important as what the other people perceive you said."


Jeanna said...

My take on that is the same as anything else you write; spew, revise, and revise some more.
(Notice the first and last word begin with "m" Jodi.)
But seriously, most people I know are too lazy to post or read comments. That comes in quite handy when you write locally, cuz w/out damn bloody fail, I get the "I liked it, but..." (Grinding teeth, this is why I have to wear a bite plate at night).
Have you ever thought of bundling up letters of disgruntlement like Perelman?

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Recently, one of my editors revealed she was on Divas under her author name...which I didn't know.
It's easy to forget others can find whatever you've written online.
Everything. All of it.
Of course, I wish I could remember what in the world I said four years ago when I started posting stuff.
I'm sure it would make me cringe.

December said...

Great topic.
The more I get into the writing world, the more I try to keep my words kind.

I just hope when something really fires me up, I can remember this!!

For me -I refuse to post bad book reviews on my blog. I'll post a glowing review, and mean every word. But I won't post a bad review.
I may post what I learned I don't like, in more general terms. But I'll never directly point a finger.

jodi said...

letters of disgruntlement? Damn, Jeanna--you're going to turn me into a full-time non fiction writer, and I'm just a dabbler right now, lol (and none of this started or ended with m, damn it)

Jenn, lol--we've got to talk more.

Hey, December, I'm trying. You know and I know, it's hard as anything to keep it in, but trying is important. :)

Unhinged said...

A few years ago, I Googled one of my old screen names--it was actually my very first screen name, and I found a TON of board posts I made that I had forgotten. Nothing cringe-worthy (and all under a pseudonym), but what interested me was THE HISTORY. Years and years worth.

Eva Gale said...

I so agree with you. I know it's not popular, but I frmly believe in if you have nothing nice to say....

And that kindness isn't for the person on the other end of our vitrol, it's for ourselves, because how many times have we regretted our words? It's easier to not say them then to take them back.

When I first started writing I vowed to be 'honest' online, and I had an older, wiser author warned me that I was courting danger. It took me a few years, but I began to understand and now pass the advice on.

Kaige said...

How did I miss this post? Hmmm. I knew my ears were burning for a reason. LOL

Yeah, then there's the wayback machine. Even if the original site where you said something goes down, chances are it's still out there somewhere. I find it amazing when people are shocked when employers find out about things they've posted on the net like it was this big secret.

Not only was it lots of good stuff, Jodi, but it was all true too ;)