Public and Private Life: Where to Draw the Line

Do you think about your brand when writing blog posts? Recently, I’ve written and discarded at least 18 posts because I felt they were too revealing. I questioned those posts because I want to be a successful writer. Part of becoming successful is building a brand that people want. In a world where sponsors drop individuals for voicing opinions and making questionable decisions, it would be foolish not to put some thought into what you share.

So, how much should I reveal about myself? Where do I draw the line between public and private?

Let’s start with what I’m wholeheartedly willing to share:

• I’m a writer of fiction and poetry.
• My writing career began with a weekly movie review column.
• I’m passionate about books and enjoy reading multiple genres.
• Instead of writing book reviews I write book opinions.
• I support other writers.
• Writing conferences, social networks and blogs have expanded my writing network dramatically.

• I suffer from severe depressive disorder, anxiety and chronic migraines.

Sharing these things is natural and causes no compunction. When it comes to branding, I think the first six reveal my attitude toward writing. The last one gives you a glimpse of the person behind the words and opens the floor to dialogue with others who struggle with the same issues. I wouldn’t be here if others hadn’t listened when I needed them to.

Now let’s get to my personal preferences:

I prefer
• Droopy to Snoopy
• Led Zeppelin to The Who
• Dean Martin to Frank Sinatra
• Gene Wilder’s Willie Wonka to Johnny Depp’s
• Mac to PC

Favored:
• Spring is my favorite season
• Gray is my favorite color
• Shrimp Scampi is my favorite dish
• Almonds are my favorite nuts

Not Favored:
• Snow
• Alarms
• Snakes
• Manipulators

Why do those things matter? They don’t. But they show my personality. It’s always nice to know a little about the authors/writers you like and getting a peek at their preferences can also reveal a bit about their writing. Has any of this information changed the way you think of me?

There are topics such as religion and politics that could cause controversy and yet I feel no shame in sharing my beliefs.

• I am a Christian.
• Politically I’m an independent. I don’t identify with any party.

Photo provided by Asif Akbar and freeimages.com.

Photo provided by Asif Akbar and freeimages.com.

Those two topics can be broken into a plethora of sub-categories. You might want to know what denomination of Christianity I follow. You might wonder if I’m liberal or conservative. You could speculate on where I stand regarding social issues.

If I answer those questions will it change the way you feel about my writing? If I leave them unanswered will you think me weak or ashamed of my position?

I’ve grown into my opinions and affiliations through experience, research and the development of my moral compass. Personally, I respect your right to opinions that differ from mine. We come to our conclusions for reasons that range from how we were raised to our personal experiences. I don’t want to use my writing platform to debate. I do plenty of that with family and close friends. Does that mean I’m excluding my reading audience? No. It means there has to be a line somewhere and I’ve just drawn it.

That should tell you a little about me as well.

  • I think it’s hard for a writer to know where to draw that line. You want people to get to know you, but you don’t want to push them away by alienating them or yourself by saying the wrong thing. You’re entitled to be yourself, though. You are who you are, and if that’s who you want readers to get to know, draw your line wherever you want.

    • I think I’ve been honest in my blogging and that honesty has revealed a great deal about me. The problem stems from wanting to mix things up a bit with my blogging topics. By doing that, I’m opening doors I’m not sure I want opened. I’ve had to reevaluate the topics and take a closer look at what I want to share. While alienating folks isn’t my plan, I do want a bit of privacy.

  • I think it’s hard for a writer to know where to draw that line. You want people to get to know you, but you don’t want to push them away by alienating them or yourself by saying the wrong thing. You’re entitled to be yourself, though. You are who you are, and if that’s who you want readers to get to know, draw your line wherever you want.

    • I think I’ve been honest in my blogging and that honesty has revealed a great deal about me. The problem stems from wanting to mix things up a bit with my blogging topics. By doing that, I’m opening doors I’m not sure I want opened. I’ve had to reevaluate the topics and take a closer look at what I want to share. While alienating folks isn’t my plan, I do want a bit of privacy.