Facebook. Twitter. Blogs.
I love interacting on each of these social networks. When I meet new people either through friend requests or new twitter/blog followers, I subconsciously form a mental snapshot of them based on their profile, picture, and their posts.
Writing is a tough, competitive business, but it's also full of some of the most generous people you could ever meet. We encourage each other through the bumps, offer virtual coffee and chocolates during the rough patches, and shout congratulations at good news.
If you're a writer, consider only sharing certain information with your entire social network. You can e-mail or direct message news to your close friends.
I suggest avoiding the following three categories when posting to everyone.
1. An agent or editor just requested material from you.Why not shout this out to the world? You may have a rejection in your e-mail the very next day or you might not hear anything for months. People will wonder what happened with that submission, and it might not be news you want to share.
2. An agent or editor just rejected you.Why not shout this out to the world? If you're querying other agents and editors, do you really want them to know someone passed on your book? It doesn't help your cause. And under no circumstances post who rejected you. Believe it or not, agents and editors don't like to reject people. Be courteous and keep that information private.
3. You haven't touched any work-in-progress in months.Why not shout this out to the world? Your social networks consist of people who have never met you and who are forming an opinion of you based on what you say. This downgrades your image and doesn't make you look serious.
I won't get into obvious posting no-no's like trash talking other authors or industry professionals, or oversharing your party habits. I think we all have common sense about that!
Before you post something, think about possible consequences. Also, ask yourself if the post was written by a stranger and you read it, what would you think of the person? You don't have to be cavity-inducing sweet online. It's okay to whine and need coffee, just as it's appropriate to pat yourself on the back about finishing a chapter or exercising the night before. The key is to remember who your audience is.
Do you agree with my three topics to avoid? Why or why not? What do you think is appropriate to share with the world online?
Have a fabulous weekend!