Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Writer's Conduct

The Writer’s Conduct

When I was still writing my debut novel Dehumanized, I was following a few of my favorite authors on Facebook and was mostly observing how they conduct themselves in their posts. Most of them were professional, only posted things that pertained to the topic of their books, and barely ever said something of their personal value. I thought to myself that that’s how I have to act as well once I was published. I needed to be mature, PG-13, and to the point. Like a businessman who was attending a meeting. And for a short while after Dehumanized went live I did just that. I only posted when necessary, on Facebook or Twitter, and never spoke out about the non-book related things in my life. I figured that’s what we do once published, be professional and all that. Well, I was wrong.
Well, not wrong per se. When it comes to the stories you got to promote and be professional about it, but there’s no need to be all stick-up-the-rear all the time. Once Dehumanized was out there I started connecting more with other writers, people who I now call friends, and saw that they weren’t all business all the time. They talked about their personal lives, made jokes, spoke their minds about movies that they didn’t like, and really were just themselves. So I finally learned that even though I had this book out I could still be myself. I could still make jokes, still shoot with my friends in the comments on one of my or their statuses, and most importantly just be myself.
What’s the point of following an author you like if all they do is post once a week reminding you to buy their books? You want to know who that person is, want to know the voice of the words you read so fervently, and just what makes us freaks tweak.
So now if I have something to say I say it. I try to not go crazy, of course, but if I find something amusing or entertaining I share it.
Here’s an example of the kinds of things I like to share with my followers/friends-

(Scene from Supernatural. This is an actual scene. It’s hysterical.)

So if you’re a writer, don’t think you need to act a certain way because of it. Just be yourself. It’s hella more fun!
-Michael Loring
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  1. Being yourself matters most to your readers. That's how you make a connection and believe it or not even friends.

  2. I went through the same process for a while, but it became difficult not to be human. I followed authors I liked, but after a while got tired of them only selling and pitching. The thing is, we're not robots, we're passionate about life and you cannot distill that. The interaction is good. I want to know what my readers think, what they like. If they read and like my work it means we share an interesest in the same or similar stuff. I think because our lives inform our writing--its something you cannot escape--interacting and connecting with people is essential. Besides, it's that little bit of humanity that you inject that is far more powerful than the most creative sales pitch, in my humble opinion.

  3. Very true! Something I'm a little jealous of is that as soon as they have at least one book out, authors seem to become a little more "serious" - suddenly their deadlines seem to matter more and they respond to fellow bloggers less. I've got to learn to work as hard while I'm still trying to *get* published! :-)