Critique Group

Are you a Professional?

In Dawn Allen on August 14, 2013 at 8:00 am

Before you answer, I’m not referencing whether you have sold your work. Writers are artists, and it’s easy to forget that the business side of what we do is just as important as our craft. For the moment, put your love of that aside. This is about what happens outside of your writing haven, what happens when you ‘the writer’ appear in a public venue as the author. How do people you encounter perceive you? Do you know? What are some things you can do to protect your author image?

In person (Such as at conferences):

Appearance: This is a job. Never doubt that. People will judge you by how you appear. This doesn’t mean designer suits. It does mean clean and relatively wrinkle free. Make up doesn’t matter unless you look like you’re selling something other than your book. You want to be the best version of yourself.

Networking is always important at conferences. However, the word left out of this recommendation is ‘effective’. If your networking is bashing people over the head with your tome, probably not going to work out for you. Networking has to be a two-way street. Help out your fellow writers. Take an interest in other people. You never know when that will make all the difference for both of you.

We all hear about the golden rule and how we should use it as a guideline. Treat others as we would want to be treated. It sounds good on the surface. Unfortunately, not all people have the same standards. I prefer to think of this as treat others better than you want to be treated. If you truly want to be a consumer friendly author, this just makes good sense.

Online 

It began with the evolution of email and then cell phones brought in texting. Next thing we knew there was Facebook and Twitter. Bottom line a whole new form of communication was born. The down side is it has its own language which isn’t always compatible with professional writing. Still, writers are creative sorts so we overcome that. A bigger issue is that tone is difficult if not impossible to determine in online communications. It leads to treacherous waters for any professional. Keep these things in mind:

  1. Word choice is a key indicator of tone. Watch for negative diction that may put the reader off.
  2. Syntax can play a key factor in how a reader perceives something. Make sure the sentence you wrote in your head is the same one that came out on that screen.
  3. Is your content appropriate to your audience? Is it divisive? Make certain the content meets the needs of your base without dividing them.

Remember these key and unforgiving facts.

  1. Other people tweet and retweet.
  2. Once you put it out there, it can go viral. If it does, will you be proud or devastated?
  3. Because the unforgiving part is once it’s out there, there’s no taking it back.
  4. Can your future or current career survive your momentary obtuseness?
  5. There are more than enough people willing to see you fail. Don’t be your own saboteur.

DawnAllenSig

 

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