Wednesday, June 4, 2014

#IWSG Bigger Than Life ...

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We all know as authors we must make our characters bigger than life, otherwise, the story is bland. A person's real life would be considered boring if you shadowed him/her all the time. I noticed that I have been trying to make myself bigger than life as a public figure. You know, to create interest? Aren't authors supposed to be exciting, interesting, fun? Just like celebrities.

Ha.

Ever since I was first published a few years ago, I have always worked hard to keep up a certain image. To please. But it becomes burdensome, having to think of the world as a whole in perspective of an author. This applies to my blog, my facebook, twitter, everything social network. Even at writers conferences when I present.

This is a state of being, you know? You can't let your guard down as you walk down the aisle of the grocery store as you might have a few of your signed books in your satchel in the event you strike up a conversation with a to-be fan.

I am just who I am, I just want to be myself without having to sound like a self-proclaimed person who is constantly wearing down the public hawking their wares with over exaggerated enthusiasm. *Shiver*

What about you, what do you think an author should be? Am I over-thinking this?

31 comments:

  1. I think you should just be who you are. Be natural. I never thought about putting more effort into my public persona. But your points are valid. I should give it more consideration for the future.

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    1. I am a true worry wart, it is wonder I don't have high blood pressure! Let me know what you find out, I'd love to hear it as a blog post. ;)

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  2. I think that the more you're obviously trying to project a particular persona, the more problems it's going to cause, by getting in the way.

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    1. Oh, so true! Make it simple, keep it simple. Thank you!

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  3. I'm a huge fan of being me since acting has never been my strong suit. And Stu is right, it could cause problems trying to remember your persona. Best of luck and nice meeting you!

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    1. I agree! Thank you for your thoughts. Posting this had made me evaluate how I really do present myself anywhere at all. It is an ideal that looms over my head that I had to get out onto my blog. I'm so glad I don't wear a mask at this point and hope to never.

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  4. I dunno, but I'm glad we are passed the authors/painters/... are living on the edge, out drinking in dark places, skirting with insanity.

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  5. For me, I think it stems from not begin entirely comfortable with the public persona, thing. I have a friend who is really famous and I see him as two people. The one I know and the one his fans know and it's exhausting to watch. Let a tiny bit of the real you out at a time and see how it sits with you. I bet people will love you, still.

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    1. That sounds good! I shouldn't feel apologetic if my black shirt has a bleach stain because I had cleaned the counter tops and got some on my shirt. Or unshaved legs. haha! xD

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  6. Be what is comfortable for you. That will come through as authenticity in your writing. Go with your 'gut' instinct.

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    1. True. One thing is that I am always honest with everyone--even my blog posts and comments on FB and every social network. I usually bite back my own drama because I feel like a dork after I share that part of me.

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  7. It's hard to put yourself out there if you're not naturally a social butterfly, but I think, as others have said, the best policy is to be honest and be yourself. People will like you better for it.

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate your thoughtful thoughts. :)

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  8. Unless the author is naturally nasty, it's all right to be real I'm pretty even-keeled most of the time, and I hope my blog reflects that.
    Welcome back to the IWSG, Elizabeth!

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    1. Hi, ALEX!!! Yes, you are. Your blog and actions and behind the scenes reflect the wonderful person you are. You're awesome.

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  9. Idk. I always pictured most authors as humble, quiet workers lol. But there are various faces to a person. I can be quiet and loud and stern and crazy.
    Normal and yourself is prob best. Whatever normal means hahaha. Or scratch it.

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    1. Normal? Buahahaha! Writers obey the voices in their heads. I tend to scare people around me because I am honest and upfront (tactfully, though!) I suppose I feel uninteresting if my life isn't bigger than life. :P

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    2. LMAO never thought of it that way hahah I guess we're all a little crazy

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  10. I'm not published yet, but when I make it to that point, I have a feeling I'll still be boring little old me. No one will find my actual life all that fascinating. Like you'll find within any other profession, authors come in all shapes, sizes, shades, quirks, and smells. Eewww. Forget about the smells. :)

    Anyway, I often find myself hoping that my humor will gloss over how boring I actually am. Maybe that'll be my persona.

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    1. ROFL! You made me laugh, thanks! xD It'll be a fine day when you get published! I'm rooting for ya.

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  11. I don't think I'm in your class. But since you asked - be the person that you like best.

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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  12. Be true to yourself that way your prose will ring true. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  13. First of all, congrats on publishing your novel. Although I understand the need to market it, etc, I think there are ways to do this without losing the essence of who you are. For example, I have a dry, warped sense of humor. I'm an acquired taste for sure, but despite this, I have forged many friendships in my community. I think the reason is because I have become comfortable in my skin. No everyone will like me, and that's okay. Not everyone will like my book, and that's okay, but those who do will get the real me.

    If you're struggling with the public versus private face, just be yourself with good manners. The rest will come.

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  14. This is hard for me. I'm not an interesting person. I hope my books are. lol. I just want to write. I don't know. I just try to be me with all the bad stuff taken out. =)

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  15. I think you should just be yourself. After all, that's probably where your writer's voice came from, so if people like that voice enough to like your book, then they'll probably want to see you as you are.

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  16. Well, I was going to say something profound and reflective on the subject of feeling as though I have to wear a king of 'mask' when people are talking to me about being a 'writer'. Unfortunately, that got blown right out of my mind when I caught sight of your fascinating post that concluded with the discovery of the whereabouts of the floating garden at Fontainebleau. Whew! That was FASCINATING! And doing that sort of thing is what writers do... Definitely genuine. Being yourself.

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  17. I think an author can still be themselves - wear their pj's to the store in the evening to pick up milk or an energy drink. I think you do have to worry about image, but only when you're working - like conferences and appearances and stuff. But I don't think you have to be prepared ALL the time to sell a book on the spot.

    I've only sold a few short stories though, and no ones asking me to present at Writer's conferences; so I may not be a good judge of being yourself AND a published author.

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  18. Image is important from the marketing perspective and the business perspective. I think our persona should be authentic but cultivated according to how we want to be perceived by others. Fans or peers in a setting such as a conference should see us a bit differently that our spouses, children, family or friends do and yet we should put on a phoniness.

    I think it's comparable to looking for a job. Our resume and our first impression says something that might be different that what might be gleaned from getting to know us better. But if we're not honest then we are apt to lose credibility.

    Be yourself if that's who you want people to see and if you don't want them to see the real you then it might be time to look inward to see if there are changes that need to be made.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  19. I think you should just be yourself. It's easier that way.
    I'd imagine that it's difficult to be other than who you are? Unless you have undiagnosed Multiple Personality Disorder? Or something similar? LOL
    Thanks for visiting my blog, Elizabeth!
    Writer In Transit

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