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?