Being Out There

How much of yourself do you put out there?

It seems to me that a lot of authors wrestle with this, struggling to maintain a balance between being available and engaging . . . and feeling uncomfortable and exposed.

On one hand, we want to interact with our readers. On the other hands, we are introverts, and even social media can feel like putting on our extrovert faces. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I swing from wanting my job to be tweeting with my readers . . . and in the next instant, never wanting to be on the internet again because it requires so much effort.

I’m still working on the part where I pry myself away from social media and let myself get back into a writing headspace, but I did decide early on about how much of myself to put out there.

I knew I needed a pretty strong wall between Public Jodi and Private Jodi. Not because I think anyone is going to stalk me at my house or even care all that much, but for my own comfort. I really need my public spaces and my private spaces to be clearly defined.

So my personal rule is that if I wouldn’t tell a stranger, then I shouldn’t tell social media.

I mean, when it comes to my personal life, that is. While I wouldn’t subject a stranger to a barrage of ferret pictures and book talk, social media people are probably interested in those things and follow me because they want to know more. So I talk about my pets. Books I like. Writing. Movies/TV I like. Travel. Hobbies. My books. Things I think my readers will be interested in, but also things I can talk about without causing myself loads of anxiety. I also decided I’d keep things positive, so you probably won’t find me saying much about books I didn’t like, or the news, or dramas. I take myself away from the internet when I’m in a bad mood.

These are the decisions I made to keep myself feeling healthy and comfortable. Because as fun as social media is, it’s still part of my job, and I want to keep up my illusion of professionalism.

What about you? Any tricks? Personal/public walls? How do you keep it all together?


7 Responses to Being Out There

  1. Robyn Jul 8 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    Thank you for this. This is definitely something I am working out… I started blogging just a few months ago, and it is sometimes difficult to know where to draw the line… I wouldn’t particularly describe myself as an introvert, in fact sometimes I am quite “out there”, but do I want that in writing, forever? I’m not sure. I’m hoping that I will learn how to navigate this as I continue to engage with the blogging world.

    • Jodi Jul 8 2016 at 12:50 pm #

      Yeah, that knowledge of permanence can really affect things. It’s forced me to become more thoughtful about what I say, and when I say it.

  2. Caroline Starr Rose Jul 8 2016 at 12:25 pm #

    This sounds totally weird, but I stopped posting to Goodreads because I wanted to reclaim my reading for myself.

    • Jodi Jul 8 2016 at 12:52 pm #

      Oh I think that totally makes sense! The same things that make GR a wonderful community can also leech away the feeling of reading as a private, personal thing.

  3. Kelly Jul 8 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    I’m not a well established writer with followers but I only have 4 social media accounts. I barely post anything and even if I do, it’s mostly private.

    • Kelly Jul 8 2016 at 2:42 pm #

      It will probably be a big problem when I am published though I always think that my posts are boring. That’s why I don’t like social media except for reaching out to friends.

  4. Tinthia Clemant Jul 9 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, my website, my two blogs, weeding my gardens, taking the dogs for a walk, posting pictures of taking the dogs for a walk so that I appear human, marketing my book — Not much time left for writing if I want to fit in a nap. Sigh.

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