Oops! Was I Not Supposed To Tell You That?!

Should writers heed this advice, and just shhh? From: http://www.lifeinaventicup.com/2008/03/index.html

Give a writer a pen, and he’ll give you his soul.

But should he?

As social media takes over the world, people have to be careful about what they write on their Facebook page, Twitter or record themselves saying on YouTube. Especially since employers are now not above Googling their potential employees. People have to be extremely careful what they revel.

This can be very disastrous for writers.

Writers experience that constant urge to create, create, create. I can barely exist without a pen tightly tucked between my fingers. Our imaginations continuously drive us to turn a blank piece of paper into lingual art.

But must we always be so personal?

I graduated from University a year ago, and have been on the job hunt ever since. With those constant 15 Things To Never Put On Your Facebook! headlines that pop up on the sidebar of my Yahoo! page everyday, there have been times I’ve grown paranoid about the things I blog about.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve outed myself as a Purell carrying, whacked out hypochondriac, a guy who considers coffee his first girlfriend, and someone who refers to his past weight issue as an alter ego named Big Sam.

Would you hire that?!

I’m actually worried about what I might say on a job interview.

“What are your weaknesses?” is usually a standard question.

“Well, I have self esteem issues that probably steam from when I was relentlessly bullied in grade school and at home,” I can imagine myself replying. “And I have a story about it! Chapter One.”

I admit, to tell a good story, I don’t care at all what I revel about myself. And from reading my fellow WordPress bloggers, I realize that all writers are this way. The only thing that writers care about is that you read our work. It’s the greatest compliment. Seriously! Here goes our deepest darkest secrets! Read!

Imagine how much easier the job would be for police if most criminals were writers. Just put them in an interrogation room, and hand them paper and pen, or a WordPress account.

Sonnets about stolen jewelry for that beautiful girl they stalk everyday. Haikus about the high definition TV they lifted for the World Cup. A personal essay about the dangers of letting a bank teller slip a dye pack into the sack of money.

We’ll revel anything.

I recently had a meeting with a former teacher of mine to talk about job and networking opportunities.

“I’m one of those obsessive compulsive people who sometimes can’t step away from a sink without turning it on and off 12 times,” I found myself telling her.

Paranoia suddenly washed over me, and my body tensed.

Did I really just revel to the person helping me launch my career that I have a touch of crazy? My thoughts cursed me.

“I find myself out there, too!” she replied.

I forgot! She’s a writer! And she proved this by then going on to revel some of the “out there” stuff that she’s done.

The same thing went for the comments on my recent Help! Caffeine Is Out To Get Me! post. My fellow bloggers reveled to me, and anyone else reading my piece, their own anxiety issues, addictions and, yes, even kidney problems.

Non-writers, of course, mainly choose other outlets for expression and dealing with life everyday. Painting. Racquetball. Cooking. But, for me, personally, I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t write about the things that go on in my life.

At my restaurant job, I once had a 20 minute debate about the nature of toast with a disgruntled customer. At my retail job, I rang up a fanatical nut job (redundant?), who not only made racist remarks about an Indian family one cash register over, but also demanded that I hand her 20 plastic bags to hold her one book in, because she claimed she wanted to destroy the environment. I’ve been unable to start a career ever since I graduated. My father died a few weeks ago from liver cancer. And I’m still unable to drink caffeine. If writing wasn’t already my addiction and outlet, it would probably be alcohol. Or sewing.

So, do writers have no sense of personal barriers? Obviously not. We’re a community whose souls have no personal space, and that’s not only normal, but it’s encouraged.

The number one rule of writing that’s been beaten into me is that you write what you know. Whether it’s the lead character in a novel that is loosely based on the author himself, or a reporter whose niche is crime, because his mother was a cop, it comes back to the self. And what do we know better than ourselves?

Who, other than writers, wants to completely revel themselves for all the world to read? Most people are afraid to. But with about 7 billion people on this planet, most of us also have similar life stories. So, others will read our work in hopes of, not only being entertained, but seeing a reflection of their own lives in our stories.

Right now, all over WordPress, writers are hoping readers stop by their blogs, even if it means exposing their own souls. I am, too.

I just hope none of this costs me a job!


20 thoughts on “Oops! Was I Not Supposed To Tell You That?!

  1. Love the post! I laughed and heard myself repeating “yes!” about 15 times, because I totally agree. My mom gave me a personal intervention not too long ago, saying I told people too much about myself in my blog.

    • haha. I feel like some people might want me to..umm..not revel too much either. Especially since there’s still that stigma a little bit about putting much information about yourself online. But, pssh! Who cares, right?! If at least one person takes the precious time out of their day to read something you wrote, then it’s worth it. And, saying, that..thanks for reading! And keep on writing!

  2. writing is my way of healing. if i couldn’t write, i couldn’t breathe. it used to be in my journals, on bits of paper, the back of receipt stubs, the side of a text book… whenever an idea or thought entered my head, the best way to ground it was to write it. now i blog, but still use whatever piece of paper is lying around when i don’t blog. i often think i reveal way too much, and didn’t put my name to my blog until a few days ago. now, well, i care less about posting my sectres and i find i write more, because that is what i do, that is my passion. good luck sam, i have no doubt you will get hired soon x

    • I’m also a big believer in writing on anything that is handy. At my job right now, we’re not allowed to write or read or anything. So, when the boss isn’t looking, I’ll get some register tape, and write on that. It’s annoying not having a notebook, but hey, you take what you can get. You have to do what you love! If it’s your passion, why not jump all the way in it, and just write about whatever comes to you…if makes you look “weird” or not. Thanks! And keep writing!

  3. … Im just saying It wasn’t me ,I was never there ,it must of been someone else who looks like me and is wearing my fingerprints.

  4. It’s true.

    Writers face a dilemma. Either they must write about personal issues–about what really matters to them–and potentially receive criticism or “punishment”; or, in order to potentially achieve success, they must conform their writing to society’s “ideals”–making their writing become purposeless and meaningless in the process.

    “Should writers heed this advice, and just shhh?” For true writers, the resounding answer is NO, whether their actions reflect “positive” qualities–or not.


  5. Another great post! You know what? Authenticity is the new it thing! Be yourself and you will only attract things that are in line with who you really are. 🙂

    • That’s the goal! I always feel sad when some people have to completely change themselves to become successful or get others to like them. We should all get the chance..and hopefully choose…to be ourselves and not be afraid to express ourselves.

  6. Killing that barrier between life, thoughts and writing is probably good for your writing at least. It discards a layer of self-censorship – without harming the self consciousness I think. I don’t think it’s a feat I could manage – too much vigilance/looking over shoulder/paranoia when I was growing up – which was appropriate for then, but casts a shadow for later.
    The other challenge with complete transparency is that our lives are linked and those other people can get very twitchy about too much of my revelation that may bring down unintended consequences on their heads.
    Following on from what Sam said – I’ve been thinking about pen names – because there’s an already published writer with the same name as me. Different genre, but still. Is their room in this town for both of us?

    • I’ve gone through two pen names, but the writing never got anyway. So those two “guys” suck. I would say it might even be a plus to have the same name as an established author. You’re the “other” guy..I don’t know..maybe it’s a way to attach yourself to someone else’s status.

      I worry about that…I worry reveling too much about other people, because they may get really angry about it. In fact..I may be doing a post soon on here and use a pen name. Which works, because I actually would like to invite other writers to post things on here some times..I want to open up the No Niche to lots of other styles and topics..because well..it is a No Niche blog…but with that in mind..I believe I can get a way with using a pen name on here

      Now if I wasn’t so picky about what name to pick.. umm…

  7. “The only thing that writers care about is that you read our work. It’s the greatest compliment. Seriously! Here goes our deepest darkest secrets! Read!” You spelled the words etched in my heart. Writing is one place where most of us can shed our skins and just tell the truth the way it is, perhaps with a dash of eloquence and humor.
    It was a refreshing read. 🙂

  8. Yeah, I love this post, I totally agree. Being a writer I write about anything and everything, though with this WordPress account I make sure I’m pretty anonymous because I am aware that employers will google information out of you behind your back. It’s strange for me, as a writer I’m pretty open, but when it comes to my personal life people hardly know anything about me.

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