Friday, January 19, 2007

Persona

So, I have this blog. And while I have ideas I need to write down, it's not the only purpose. I have this blog to start to create a space for “Zoe Winters” to exist in. To network, to start some small scale promotion of my name.

So now I obsess. I have this horrible habit, which I'm working right now to break, of giving TMI. Sometimes to the point of alienating others. There is a time and space for everything, but dragging the persona I'm trying to gradually create through the proverbial mud is counter productive.

I see the writing loops and while many of them are closed and private for the most part, it's still “out there.” It's not totally private. You don't know every person who sees what you write. I'm at a cross roads. Do I murder Zoe Winters while she's still young and start over? Or do I keep going and try very hard to know what's “appropriate” to attach to my name and what isn't?

Because sooner or later I'm going to “make it” and then this paper trail I've been creating, is going to come to light. I mean unless I make it REALLY big, it's probably safe to say that most of the world won't know most obscure things about me that I've posted. Still...how many strangers is too many to let into any aspect of your private world, even if you operate under some level of anonymity with a pen name?

Something that I really admire in authors is emotional honesty. Someone who is real and naked as a person and not hiding. To me this displays courage and a level of “kickass” that I aspire to, because it's so raw and real. At the same time, sometimes it can alienate. I won't name names, (because it could come back to haunt me later...watch as I try to learn the fine art of diplomacy...yes...she can be taught!) but I've seen some author blogs where they are just catty and bitchy and whiny all the time and I think they are alienating their fans because in some way they are alienating me.

And yet at the same time it's like a car wreck...I just can't look away. Who can really say that scandal has hurt most people's careers? Once you get big enough and well known enough for anyone to CARE about your personal scandals, it just keeps making you larger than life in the public view. There comes a point where there really is no such thing as bad publicity.

Then there's the issue of people saying you said things you didn't say or saying you are a certain way that you're not. Even the most carefully planned “persona” can still end up revealing things about you you don't want floating around. Some of those things will be true, some of them not. The more public you are, the less people think you have a right to privacy or feelings that aren't up for public scrutiny.

I won't kill Zoe Winters just yet. It could be a messy death and I'm not sure where I would hide the body. But I'll try to keep in mind when I post something, that someday the whole world could know it. And I'll try to remember that even though there are some things I don't mind being public knowledge now, that might not always be the case.

Beliefs change, views change, how we approach life changes. But once you're in the public eye, you're a static figure. If you said a political party was stupid 20 years ago, it'll stay with you, even if you're now a part of that party.

How do you feel about your public persona versus your private identity? How much emotional honesty is too much, and TMI? Is it all a matter of individual opinion? i.e. A case of...you can't please everyone?

By the time anything near “fame” happens to me, if it ever does, the things I've shared that may be “TMI” will likely already be assumed about me, just by reading what I write. Fiction is fiction, and yet people often assume certain things about authors based on what they write. I'm not sure one can write “anything” for publication while still insisting on being totally private.

You're often out there pretty naked, even if you don't think you are. Some people will always read between the lines and be able to separate what's fiction from what's fact. And even if they're wrong...that won't stop the gossip.

Wow...cheery huh?

10 comments:

Michelle said...

Zoe, I don't like putting too much of my personal self out there. I'm quite a private person, so that's just me. My writing is something else, and I think writers accept that the self that is in their work is out in the world to be loved or hated, and made peace with that. That said, I do believe in honesty, but I prefer not to say anything negative, so I don't dis anyone, but if I have something positive to say, then I say it. If I hated a book, I just don't review it, I don't review it and trash it. Which makes things hard because its my turn to review on MM this weekend, and I haven't read many books I like lately.

Karin Tabke said...

Zoe one of my many mottos/mantras is, (and it's not my orignal) 'to thine own self be true.'
Be honest. And remember too, we are all, no matter where we are in life, a work in progress.

I enjoy your POV, keep at it.

Zoe Winters said...

hehe Michelle, I echo your thoughts. Except in general I'm a very "open" person. And I'm starting to think perhaps it's wise to draw some lines and limits on that.

Also, you might try the book: "Nice" by Jen Sacks it's kickass, about this girl who is so nice she can't kill her boyfriends and finds it easier to kill them. Has some really important things to say underneath the satire I think. Also another great book is "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer, I'm reading it now. It's a YA vampire book, but completely enthralling.

Karin, Thanks! :)

Zoe Winters said...

crap michelle! I meant to say she's so nice she can't break up with her boyfriends and instead kills them, not that she can't kill them and kills them, because that obviously makes no sense lol.

Michelle said...

I knew what you meant, Zoe, LOL.

Zoe Winters said...

heheh yay!

Edie said...

Zoe, I heard of that book. Maybe from you. LOL

I haven't noticed that you gave TMI. I'm with Michelle in that I don't speak negatively about anyone on blogs. I have enough positive things to talk about that it doesn't bother me or make me feel like I'm holding back my opinion.

Zoe Winters said...

heh edie, I don't feel i've been TMI on blogs, more on "writer loops" because they tend to encourage "debate" even if that isn't their purpose. Very easily it dwindles. I'm starting to if I feel strongly about something, rather than "engage" just make a blog post. Cause it's not really about the other person anyway, it's about me and wanting to be "heard" and a personal blog is the best platform for that I think. Because them people can choose to read it or not, not have it thrown in their face on a message board or yahoogroup. ;)

spyscribbler said...

Hey, Zoe. I feel your pain. When I started blogging, I really learned my limits by noticing which posts I regretted.

It took me awhile of blogging to figure out what I wanted to blog about, and what I wanted to get out of blogging. I blog to inspire myself, and to learn. And especially to learn from commenters. The conversation in comments is far more interesting and educational than anything I say.

I'm just saying, don't trash it. People will forgive your human qualities, and you'll find your own rhythm. I read every blog you post!

And listen to Karin. She's a smart lady. :)

Zoe Winters said...

thanks Spy. :)