You may have noticed my absence from social media for the past several months.
Or maybe you haven’t.
I’ve been madly revising my current manuscript to the detriment of all other aspects of my life. Especially housework. Of course, it doesn’t take much to get me to give up on housework.
But Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, this blog, the other blog, Sub It Club…etc., etc. Regretfully, they have been mostly on hiatus while I finish my WIP.
So I would like to offer this situation as a shining example of the role of Social Media in a writer’s career. It is incredibly important, but all things stem from THE WRITING.
When necessary, we should be willing to let all other things go to hell in a handbasket.
Oh, were you looking for cows?
I can’t go through the rest of the day without having my brief say. Just to get it off my chest.
Adorable agent, @BookaliciousPam was assaulted last night by a rejected…writer.
Pam was saved by her dog, a Jack Russel terrier. (Let’s not malign the accompanying bulldog. From what I can gather, it is still a puppy.)
And now comes the hand-wringing about being too available on Social Media. Like we should all hide behind fake names and put masks on our profile pictures a la Michael Jackson.
Let’s reel it in a bit.
Writers, agents, publishers…we are in a public business. And in this day of personal advertising, almost every profession is a public business. We have to accept a certain amount of “being out there”.
Heck. I started out as a lurker. But soon enough, I wanted to connect with people. I wanted them to know who I really am. Fine, I usually have a stupid non-photo Twitter Avatar up that I change pretty often. It amuses me. But if you go to one of my THREE BLOGS you will find a photo or two of my actual person. And my Tumblrs should have Gravatars of actual me, but at this point, I can’t swear to it.
You know where I generally live if you follow my blog and Twitter. But what you DON’T know is my exact address and phone number, because…
- I don’t call my husband by his real name in my writings. Anywhere. Or my children. I don’t publish pictures of them unless their faces are blobbed out.
- I have paid the extra bit of filthy lucre for my domain name on my website for teens, lishacauthen.com, to be registered by proxy, which means my personal info such as my street address is not public information. Yes. I didn’t know about this stuff when I first bought my domain. Imagine my shock when I found out that people can look up any domain name and see who owns it. Yeah, fine. But they also see where the domain owner lives. ACK. **Check your public domain name info here.** Just have your company register it by proxy–GoDaddy does it on the cheap. Other companies can do it for you as well.
- FourSquare. Oh, FourSquare. You give handy discounts, but you also tell people where the eff I am. Guess what. YOU CAN TURN OFF THE PART WHERE IT TWEETS WHERE YOU ARE. I still don’t use it, but Freckles does, and I TOLD HER TO TURN OFF THE PART WHERE IT TWEETS WHERE YOU ARE.
- Facebook I only use for people I actually know. And I have locked it down like Alcatraz. Keep checking it, my friend, to make sure you have your Book of Face tuned correctly on the privacy settings. They keep a’changing. I am always stunned by how people lock a select few things, but miss others. A good snooper, such as myself, can go in the back door and find out a lot of stuff if you don’t check. Every. Setting.
- And by all that is holy, if you leave an empty house, don’t Tweet vacation pictures. I Tweeted the hell out of my trip to Albuquerque when I took Freckles McYoungest to college. But Big Bopper was home, in our house, with Hairy Beast. Also, Catler, who is probably even more ferocious.
Do not take any of this as a finger-wagging at Pam van Hylckama Vlieg. If someone is crazed, they will hunt you down and it will make no difference what you do to stop them. There are police blotters full of violent stalkers who focused on people NOT on the internet, even people who never had any social interaction with their stalkers at all.
Pam did not bring this on herself. Pam is not responsible for the violence done to her.
This blog is in response to the worry I see on Twitter today about exposing ourselves in our social media interactions. I thought I would share a few things I do to not make it easy for your average nut to harass me and mine.
We are so frickin’ lucky in this SCBWI region of ours, called Kansas.
I live in Kansas City, Missouri, but the Missouri hub of activity is in St. Louis. The Kansas hub of activity is in Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri.
YES OVERLAND PARK IS A SUBURB OF KANSAS CITY MISSOURI AND YOU KNOW IT, MY FRIENDS.
We’ve got such talent and resources. We can do things like:
That was Jenn Bailey, owner of The Social Lites, a social media company. She’s brilliant of course, has presented at the SCBWI-LA and NY conferences. But she’s more than a Twitterer. She does all kinds of corporate presentations and works for businesses on all their social media needs.
Also, our RA, Kim Peek is a big wheel social media guru, travels to do a lot of presentations.
Could you pick out our RA emeritus, Sue Ford? Big time blogger, computer whiz.
Colleen Cook was in the back, there, schmoozing with Ann Ingalls, author of Little Piano Girl. She’s written quite a few freelance books now, one of which is a very good one about being online safely, for tweeners.
Oh, and Barb Stuber, author of Crossing the Tracks was getting her feet wet. And we had newbies and semi-newbies and even somebody who was just there eating a doughnut who joined us.
And of course Melody, who wanted to make a love connection with Old Spice Guy.
Oh, who can blame her? God help me, I love these commercials.