Friday, April 30, 2010

All Jokes Aside

As you may already know, my first novel was published in November 2009. It's been an exciting and nerve racking year and a half. I have been trying to learn as much as possible about this new (to me) world called publishing and at the same time also learning so much more about myself; what I'm capable of, what my downfalls are. I'm learning it's important to build a fan base, a platform, and maintain an on line presence that is welcoming and offers something useful to others. The questions I keep coming back to are, How much do readers, online friends, and fans want to know? and How much am I willing to divulge?

This whole on line life is completely new to me, and at my age new things don't come so easily, so I wrestle between openness and privacy and often end up hiding behind humor (cheesy humor at that). This is something I've slowly come to see in myself. Seeing our own faults don't hit as fast as say, seeing faults in others. It's more of a process, like grief, that until we get to a point where we can accept we can not work on making necessary changes. That is where I am, accepting and deciding on how to make the changes.

It's not that I see a sense of humor as a bad thing. It's gotten me through a lot of tough times and helped me to view life less critically. But it can also be a crutch, a way of avoiding something uncomfortable or stressful. When it becomes a crutch it actually builds a wall, a protective barrier, between me and the world. I know this, and believe I have found a good balance with this in my real, off line life. Online, well that's another story. Online, I know that my tendencies toward humor can make me look fickle and even unprofessional at times. This is a problem, because I started this whole on line adventure to learn and enhance my professional writing life, not hinder it. At the same time, I don't want to completely lose my sense of humor in the process.

So, now that I know and accept this, how do I begin to make changes? I'm not sure. I know a big part of it is forcing my self to be more honest and open. I follow some incredible people and blogs online that have both inspired and forced me to look deeper at myself as a person on and off line. There is a difference between the two, for me anyway. I admire the people that can open themselves up to the world, that's not me. I'm a private person by nature. I do pour myself, heart and soul, into my writing, but I think knowing there's a cushion of fiction surrounding those raw exposed parts of me that live in every character I create allows me to do so.

There are no easy answers to this. It's going to be, like most everything in life, a series of trials and errors. I'm just beginning this journey, and know that I will get to a place that allows me to be more open yet keep some degree of privacy, which I think is vital in keeping mine and my family's life sacred and special to us. All I can ask for is patience (from myself and others) while I figure this all out.

My question to you is:

How much do you, as a reader, want to know about the author?

Thank you for stopping by. I do appreciate the time you take out of your own journeys to listen to mine.

Kristin : )


  1. For what it's worth, I think your sense of humor adds a good dose of levity to my twitter stream, and I appreciate that. I can understand why you're reevaluating and maybe making a few changes to further your career, but you should know that I've yet to see anything from you that would be considered unprofessional or in poor taste. You're sweet, funny and classy, from my perspective. :-)

    I guess what I like to see is that whatever the author chooses to share, it's sincere and honest. I don't need to know the specifics of everyday life...but posts like this, where you're sharing from the heart, thoughts that you hold deeply - that's what I like to see. Everything else is just window-dressing to me. This is who you *really* are. :-)

    And of course I want to know how the writing is going, anecdotes from life in vague terms, what you're reading, etc.

    I don't really care if an author shares specifics of his/her personal life - you may notice that while I'm pretty open online, I don't discuss politics, religion, or my day job except in the vaguest of terms. I don't tend to discuss my family much either, unless it's something I have no problem discussing with them as well.

    Good luck with your re-evaluation. It's never a bad thing to do that every once in awhile... :-)

  2. Thanks so much for the kind words and your answer Jamie. It's never easy looking at what needs to change in yourself. I have had a lot of fun on line (namely Twitter) and need to make sure my focus remains on building my writing career. If that means emailing all of my new friends to laugh about something, so be it :)

  3. Just make sure you maintain a balance. Work, family, and other responsibilities. And do not forget yourself either!!!

  4. I guess I always look out for their "inspiration" factor in their writing, what keeps them going as an author..

    For the first book, no, I may not be expecting so much information, but for their subsequent books, I'll be lurking around their pages :)

    Well, there are times when I have no idea about an author, but once I love their book, I'll go back again and again :)

  5. You have become a friend to me through your sharing of humor and life on twitter, and I'm not using the term "friend" loosely. There are only a few people I've chatted with on Twit that I can say that about... that their personality shines through their on-line presence and overflows into the lives of others. I've not read your novel, but because of what we've exchanged, I will seek it out, as I will any others you the answer to your question is, we, the readers want to LOVE our writers and whatever nuggets tossed our way is fodder for our wanting to know more by reading the books. It is up to you, the private person to dole out what you are comfortable with for public consumption. Otherwise, we will eat you up! Treat us like the animals we really are!

  6. misterreereeder, you always seem to pop up with best advice. Life is all about finding balance, falling over, and finding it again. Thanks for all your support.

    Ju Dimello, Thanks for your input. The inspiration factor is why I started the Writer Wednesday series. I hope everyone else is finding all of the great stories as inspirational as I am.

    And Lane, my friend, my Twister :) You are awesome! Thanks for your humor and friendship. I can't wait til your book is out and I can shout about it from the mountains and be there when you go through the ups & downs of publishing. Thanks so much :)