Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Blog as Rorschach

    One of the sites I visit two or three times a week is A recent post by Jessica Faust seemed to add to the number of things that can effect an author's chances of finding representation.

    As I read the post, it occurred to me that the amazing Jessica was telling people what to write on their blog, and what not to... Holy Censorship Batman!!! Don't express political views if you ever want to be the next Rowling or Brown... Not really. The article was about how a literary agent may decide the views offered on a blog could indicate a potential "problem child", or someone that is more trouble than they are worth.

   Writer's have known forever that agents have a "stop reading here" line. That they apply this standard to their research into a potential client shouldn't shock anyone, though it is sort of sad. People are deeper than any page or line of dialogue. Agents just don't have the time to... Life is a query letter?

    There is a decision that has to be made between career professionalism (which we can not just show, but prove on our blogs) or social expression, when we create our blogs.

    It comes down to the purpose you have for writing and posting. If you are hoping that a blog can be a sort of living resume of who you are and what you think, fine. If your intention is to use your blog to further  your career (not just in writing, but any profession), you may want to remember that the audience you are hoping to attract may not need to know your views on "the grassy knoll" or Roswell aliens. They want to see organized and well worded thoughts you have on a chosen field of endeavor.

   The thing I always remember, especially when politics rears it's ugly head, is a quote by Kierkegaard: "If you label me... You negate me." Allowing a label to be attached to you, through innuendo or by decree, you are saying you discount the value of those that would turn away from you, just as idiotically as those that would read a political view of yours and discount you in total.

   We all don't think the same, interpret the same or write the same. One man's prose is another man's blather. I believe you should always write what you want, just remember that there can be a hidden cost, one you cannot conceive as possible when you hit the POST button.

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