Saturday, April 16, 2011

You Never Know

By Keith N Fisher

As they often do, Writer’s Digest magazine recently included their list of best writer’s websites. While reading the publication, I had an epiphany, of sorts.

In jealous envy, I pondered how I could get my website on the list. Then I concluded, it would take a lot of work. It would help if I constantly provided fresh, engaging content. Also having a book on the market would be an asset.

Okay, my website is static, it doesn’t change much, but what about the blogs I write for? What would it take to get them noticed? Again, the answer lies in fresh content and following & commenting on other blogs. But we keep The Blogck updated for the most part, and we provide support for struggling writers. Shouldn’t we be listed?

That’s when I realized my possible blunder. I might’ve ruined the career of this blog site.

A few years ago, I claimed to write contemporary fiction, and I made a point of frequently making gibes at romance. It was good fun, intended to make light of my testosterone laden reading tastes, but then I wrote a blog about reading a story that tore my heart out.

The book was a national market romance and in my tongue in cheek way, I didn’t mention the title. It was, (I thought), my private joke with my readers. In the comment trail that followed, A person asked what the title was. I refused to say, and a small dispute ensued.

I felt bad about it, but I didn’t think I should have to mention the title, simply because someone thought my joke wasn’t funny. Like a bad revue, if I had to do it again, I’d ignore the comment.

Since then, I’ve wondered about the author of those comments. I really don’t know much about her. She’s published and I’m not. I’m glad she is doing well and hope she continues to find success. My dilemma, however, lies in the possibility, what if she had been looking at websites for Writer’s Digest . . .

Well, you get the point.

As writer’s we put ourselves in the public eye all the time, its called promotion. Ideally, we want our name and brand to reflect professionalism. We hope publishers and agents will recognize that professionalism and we want readers to think positively about us.

All of that could be damaged in one sentence if we aren’t careful with what we say and to whom we say it.

I look back on the aforementioned blog and wince, because The LDS Writer’s Blogck might’ve been a contender for mention in Writer’s Digest. If I hadn’t given in to my argumentative nature, we might’ve been famous . . . well, maybe. (Insert laugh track here). Really I wince, because instead of making a friend, I gave into her criticism and tired to lash out.

On Facebook and other social media, blog sites, and writer’s groups, I have to keep reminding myself that I can be dead right and still be wrong. Even though I know what I’m talking about, arguing the point with others cheapens my name and brand. You never know who might be listening or reading. Or to what effect your comments will stifle your career.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

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