Monday, October 11, 2010

Too Much Information?

Image from The Digerati Life
It's no secret that I have a book on submission.  Maybe it should be.  Perhaps I should have guarded it like a state secret, but I couldn't.  The reason I'm wondering if I did the right thing is because now my failure will be as public as my triumph.  Do I want the whole world to know if my book doesn't make it?

The point is, it's tempting to tell all when you are hooked into social networking.  It's a necessity in this day and age to show you have a web presence and that you are conscious of publishing as a business that will require you to do your fair share of book promotion.  But with all this connectedness, we risk a lot of ourselves out there in cyberspace and I wonder if this is a good thing.  

My previous post was about how writers supported other writers.  Most of the people who were telling me to keep going after that last rejection were people I met online--other writers who were looking to connect with their own kind, who were looking for support.  I've had friends jump in and offer encouragement and people I never would have expected are rooting for my success.

So, should I have put myself on the line like I did?  Is is okay that anyone linked to me by a mouse click knows my writing fate?  Maybe not, but if the trade off for that means I get to know more people like me who are working toward perfecting that book and getting "the call," or I get to see the positive, generous side of so many others, then it's all worth it.

So what do you think?  Too much, too little or just right?


  1. I did the same thing, though I hadn't hooked into the writing community yet. But my 300 FB friends knew I was writing, knew my MS was requested in full... and then knew when it was rejected. I still get asked, "How's that book?" and I have to tell them what happened.

    The progress on the current MS I'm writing is being blogged, tweeted and Facebooked (lol, like on the blog I *just* posted 2 min ago at http://www.smilefeelgood.coom) and you know what? I'm going to keep talking about it. Even if it's rejected, even if I'm back to the ole grindstone & starting new with the next...

    I think your sharing gives you support, and the rest of us feel as if we're one of you. We're all in this lifeboat together, so we may as well share our woes. It'll make the triumphs that much better!

  2. Gah! What a question... It reminds me of a new pregnancy. Should we announce it or wait until the 3 month mark, when the miscarriage risk is lower?

    I announced it. In fact, I sent out a department memo the day the test was positive.

    As Jessica said, we're in the lifeboat together and I think that means the pluses as well as the minuses.

    We're here for you and happy to share the joy, celebrate the success and yes, even get you drunk and over the rejection, if needed, which it won't be.

    Not this time. :)

  3. I think it's all about what you feel comfortable sharing. There's an awful lot of support in the online writing community, and knowing other people who are going through the same process can be so helpful. Keeps you going during the inevitable slumps. :)

  4. i find that I need the support my online community gives me. I'm pretty guarded, but I make big use of messaging on Twitter and FB when I don't want EVERYONE to know. It's a hard balance, esp. since online, folks that you don't know can search you if you announced something publicly. That's the part that scares me.

    keep at it!!

    xo, SL

  5. How else are we gonna know to have chocolate on hand? :)

    Lots of chocolate to celebrate a sale, even more in the unlikely event of an "R"

    The more positive vibes heading your way the better, so share away, I say


  6. I have had the exact same thought/doubt myself! Like you, I have opened my journey publication up to anyone who would read/listen. That does mean I have a great support system. And lots of helpful advice. It also means I have to let everyone know when I fail. But personally, I think it is worth it.

    Keep us posted! ;)

  7. Ah don't sweat it. If you don't toot your horn no one will know about it. We are all bombarded with the cacophony of distractions. Any failure will fade so quickly. You would notice it much more than anyone else will. Hey, if it's successful?

  8. Besides, you can't succeed if you don't try. I'm looking forward to it.

  9. Jessica - There are times I feel like I'm drowning; I like the lifeboat analogy.

    Patty - I'm terrible at keeping happy secrets, too. I have a question, though. Can I get drunk of it's good news too?

    Linda - The slumps always come and the support is the best thing. I'm lucky to have found so many great people.

    SL - I keep pertinent details quiet, and no matter how annoyed I am by a particular rejection, I don't share dirt. My biggest worry is looking like a loser to the world if I fail. And the thing is I know most people won't feel that way.

    Maggie - The good vibes are what's keeping me going. There's so much good will. I appreciate that. But chocolate is needed in large supply for celebrations!

    Elizabeth - We are most definitely on the same page. Here's to putting it all out there for the world to see.

    Jon - The voice of reason. Thanks for the encouragement. ;-)

  10. I'm more in the camp of staying quiet, but that's just me. I'm a little self-conscious, so I'm probably not the best judge. But it would be nice to have people to commiserate with, that's for sure.

  11. It's such a tough call! When I sold my first book to Harlequin/Silhouette's Bombshell line, I had a web site up right away. After the line was canceled, I went through a long drought with a couple different agents and several books on submission before we finally landed another deal. I sometimes felt like a doofus having that web site out there, and I'm glad I wasn't blogging or tweeting during that time because I wouldn't have wanted to give everyone whiplash with all the ups and downs we went through.

    At the same time, there's a lot of comfort to be found in online writing communities, and it can be terrific to have that support network when things don't go as planned. Bottom line, I guess authors just have to do what feels right and hope for the best. Good luck!


  12. J - I an understand why you would be hesitant. There are times I tweet something and say "why did I do that?" It's not until the responses come that I know why I put myself out there.

    Tawna - Whiplash. yup. That's what it feels like. I want to believe it could happen, so I talk about it, but I still have that niggling doubt. I guess time will tell. In the meantime, I drag my online and real life friends through the story with me. Luckily for me, they go happily. Thanks for the good luck wish...we can all use it.

  13. You know what, I'm glad you're sharing your journey. I think most aspiring authors are sincerely rooting for their writer buds--and also share in their sadness when things don't go their way. To me it's a real sense of community, even though it's mostly's other people who "get" it. Anyway, I am so grateful and honored you've shared with the twitterati, and I wish you only success, and as I write this, my toes are crossed. HEE HEE!!

  14. Janet - I'm totally overwhelmed by the support and honored to have found such a great group. I'll have a beer with you anytime...we'll celebrate my book and your inevitable non-fiction deal. (How's that for positive thinking?)

  15. Jeannie, I'm glad you shared. If things go the way you want, then we'll all celebrate with you. If they don't, we can all be here to help you through it. It's nice to share with people who "get it." We understand how big of a deal this is!

  16. i've found your journey fascinating and wish i had been there longer. from where i write, it seems like it's happened overnight. i know it's not the case at all, but i'm thrilled to be here on the upswing. and please know that i'll also be here if things go south. they probably won't, but publishing is a crazy roller coaster. good thing i like amusement parks!

  17. Julie, Abby-I feel like I'm all over the place. I go from crazy excited and positive to being certain a rejection is right around the corner waiting to pounce. There is no rhyme or reason to the emotions.

    In any case, it's nice to have people behind me, sharing the craziness. Thanks.

  18. Hi, Jeannie! I think you're an amazing writer, and I can't wait to see where this road takes you. So please keep us updated!

    Regarding this post in particular, I think you demonstrate the perfect balance between exposing just enough information to draw us in, but hold back a wee-bit so we come back for more. And in my opinion, that's what a talented writer should do!

    As for the outcome of your recent submission, I'll always be a fan and support you regardless if you're published or not! You're awesome, and please don't forget that a great story always finds its way to a publisher. Something I've said a lot of lately (because there are MANY in the same boat as you), it's not a question of "If" you're a published author, but "When!" :)

  19. Tory, Thanks for that beautiful comment. The support I get from my writer friends leaves me in awe. We'll both find a home for out work and we'll meet someplace to celebrate when we do.

  20. I feel that I am inspired by others who can bare all to the world in terms of their successes and failures.

    Besides, I don't really see a rejection as a failure...I see it as one person didn't like my MS. The problem is that the one person who says "no" is deemed to be the "know-it-all" of the world of books.

    You're not showing people that you've just failed or succeeded, you're showing them that you have "guts" :)

    Keep inspiring!!!

  21. Thanks. :) I have three more chances to inspire people...I hope one of them is a success. But you are right; there's a quote that the only true failure is never trying at all.