Lessons Learned: Words Hurt Your Career

By J.A. (Julie) Kazimer

In case you hadn’t heard, and really how could you not have since I’ve begged everyone to The Fairyland Murders_ebook (1)notice, that I have a new novel coming out…well…yesterday. The Fairyland Murders hit the streets and all of the publishing world is abuzz. Reviews are coming in. Newspapers are asking for interviews. Readers are smiling in anticipation of spending the entire night reading.

In my fantasy world.

In the real world, it’s more like a slight blip on anyone’s radar. The publishing world is hardly abuzz with my name, let alone excited by anything but the promise of two weeks off at the end of the month. Newspapers can’t ask for interviews because they don’t exist anymore.

But I hold out hope for those readers, the ones who wait months for a release. I’m that kind of gal. I pre-order than mark it on my calendar so I know when it will pop up (at 1am) on my kindle.

But this isn’t going to be a rant on how no one loves me.

Today’s post was going to be on what I’ve learned since 2012 when CURSES! first came out. Trust me, it’s a lot. But something else came on to my radar that I think might be more important to talk about.

What is appropriate for us writers to say and NOT to say on social media.

In case you haven’t read recently about a certain writer’s twitter blowup when her book didn’t make the 2014 most notable list. Now a couple of things came to mind when I read her response. The first was, though I hate to admit it, yeah, well mine didn’t either so what makes you so special? Then I started to think of all the writers behaving badly things we’re seen over the last five years. And how many writers refuse to get personal on social media and all the articles that say we shouldn’t discuss anything on social media we wouldn’t discuss over a nice dinner.

I suggest if you agree with that advice, when I invite you over for (pre-made) dinner, you say no. Yes, I see why people offer this advice, and why many writers think social media is akin to standing outside in your underwear flagging passing by cars over while singing tunes from The Sound of Music. Again, I get it. TMI is all around, especially at the dinner table when sat at the adult table and Aunt Mary discusses her latest colonoscopy results…in vivid, mind shearing detail.

However, social media proves that individuals have power. That, whether their individual voice is heard or not, documenting the world matters. In good and bad ways. If you’re not on social media or if you are and are afraid to post personal stuff, please don’t be. Yes, no one wants to hear about your colon I detail, but knowing a little about you and your personality is a good thing…until you go off the deep end, and then we can point and laugh. After all, life is about jeering your peers.

What social media lessons have you learned? How do you feel about writers behaving badly on social media? What is our responsibility to our readers?

J.A. (Julie) Kazimer
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J.A. (Julie) Kazimer is a writer living in Denver, CO. Books include The Junkie Tales, The Body Dwellers, CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale, Holy Socks & Dirtier Demons, Dope. Sick. Love. SHANK, Froggy Style, The Assassin's Heart, The Fairyland Murders & The Lady in Pink - Deadly Ever After Mysteries.

9 thoughts on “Lessons Learned: Words Hurt Your Career

  1. Julie, I agree. if my dinner parties don’t incorporate a bit of tussling, I consider it a failure. If that means that I lose a few readers when I post real things on social media, so be it. I think I gain more than I lose!

  2. I’m one of those who chooses to keep my rants to myself and a few close family and friends. Yes, I have strong opinions on lots of things, and yes, I rant and rave and say bad words in the privacy of my own home (or with those close to me). But I have a strong aversion to airing all those opinions in front of the whole world which seems to bring the name-callers out from under their rocks. I’ve been sucked into a couple of Facebook discussions where I tried to lend a calm voice amidst a volatile group of ideologues and got slapped down so hard my teeth rattled. I’ve got better things to do with my time.

    • Hi Pat,

      I agree about rants. Too many people go off at the smallest things. I think you do a great job of giving what people want, which is a bit of yourself, while walking that line. In fact, I use you in my workshops on social media as an example of good blog content. It personal enough, but non confrontational. Perfect.

      I have my doubts that you shy away from anything!

  3. Great opener, Julie! I think authors should worry less about showing their human side and expressing their opinions, and more about spamming or trashing each other because they look at another author as competition.

  4. Publicity is publicity; good, bad, or otherwise. Some crave it, some drawn to it, some avoid it. It someone wants to thrown themselves on the floor of the grocery store and scream and kick (via social media) I say let them. My choice to follow, comment, approve or not. The sharks are out the waiting to attack. And if some yayhoo with 115k followers tweets my name, that’s 114,990K more people who see it than if I did it myself.

    As long as “we” keep reacting to each vocal fart by those who think they are famous, they’ll keep up the antics.

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