If You Can’t Type Anything Nice, Don’t Type Anything At AllAugust 30, 2009 at 12:40 AM | Posted in Agents, Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Advice | 9 Comments
Aw, yes. You thought you outgrew the Golden Rule when you hit puberty, but alas, it shall continue to haunt you. I promise.
But let us not focus on what you “say” so much as what you “type.” Not in your manuscript. This is a little more professional. A little more “if you want to get published” driven. A little more frightening, if you want the truth.
Have you every REALLY thought about what you write on the internet?
No, no. I’m not here to give you the parental “child molester” speech, though that is certainly something to consider, I promise. Instead, I want you to think in a business-like way. Have you posted anything stupid, mean, compromising, or embarrassing online? Don’t lie. You have. We all have. It happens. But I’m here to tell you why it is best to watch carefully what you say.
Let’s look at this from the “you want to get published” perspective, shall we?
We’re teens. We’re vibrant and lively. Most every author on this blog writes in a thread on AW. Its casual. Its fun. But if you aren’t careful, it can get potentially dangerous. People can often forget they are in a public forum rather than a chatroom. People say things and talk about things that, in truth, aren’t a good idea to advertise to the rest of the world.
Let me just tel you, from experience, that agents and editors DO google you.
My agent found me on AW. My agent follows my blog. My agent is probably reading this post RIGHT NOW! And I’m fine with that. Lucky for me, I haven’t said anything TOO ridiculous online, but I’ll admit that even I’ve forgotten that my posts were insanely public.
Here’s a few things NOT to do on a public forum:
1. Complain about query rejections from specific agents. Other agents might see this and look down on your insulting of a fellow agent. And it just isn’t tactful.
2. Post negative book reviews on your blog. If you hate the book, don’t talk about it. You might wind up with the same agent/editor/publishing house as that author, and wouldn’t that be upsetting? Or worse, you might MEET the author you trashed. Karma is a bitch, remember?
3. Just don’t be unprofessional. Post casual things, sure, but don’t talk about getting drunk or doing crazy things that potential colleges/agents/employers might frown on. This applies for things other than writing, obviously.
I’m not saying write intensely perfect and/or grammatically correct posts on forums like AW. I’m all for freedom of speech! But be mindful. Anytime you post, think of an agent you are querying or may query soon. Would they frown on you if they read that post? Is it mean? Would it hurt the feelings of someone you may become connected with?
All just a bit of advice. Like I said, agents are googling their authors. A lot of them. What will they find out about you?