When something bad happens, it's usually a great opportunity to teach a lesson.
Not that anything truly bad has happened. But in pondering a recent Twitter experience, I realized I had enough to say about it to post something thought-provoking. Or at least mildly interesting.
First of all, if you're not aware of the awesomeness that is #askagent on Twitter, you need to get with the program. Of course, that means you need a Twitter account.
The #askagent hashtag allows you to tweet questions to agents and get quick responses. Gracious souls like Colleen Lindsay, Elana Roth, and Lauren MacLeod often share their time and expertise during these sessions, and even if you don't have a specific question, you will learn a lot by reading the questions and answers that fly by (and they do fly).
That's the backstory. The "being misunderstood" part comes in when Authoress begins to read tweets insinuating that she is somehow trying to "gimmick" her way into being published by hosting an anonymous blog.
Granted, the comments came from folks who obviously don't read my blog. But this is an opportunity to for me to clarify what, exactly, I'm doing here, and why.
So. Here goes.
I started this blog in April, 2008. Honestly? It was a complete, spur-of-the-moment idea. As in, "Hey! Wouldn't it be cool to create a supportive blog for my fellow writers? And I'll stay anonymous and keep this separate from my real blog, real self."
So I did. And the rest is history.
I've never been the kind of gal who wants to spill her personal journey-toward-publication all over the Internet. Even my account on Verla Kay has always been anonymous, and once I started this blog, I stopped posting my stats on agent responses over there.
Because, you know what? People simply don't need to know all the nitty-gritty, behind-the-scene details. It's unprofessional.
So. The confusion arose when I began to talk about my blog as a potential platform. Because, let's face it -- it is. It's a great author platform.
We all need one of those, yes?
So here it is. Mine. Except I'm anonymous. Which doesn't lend itself to selling my novel when it's finally out there.
"Okay, folks, my novel's on the shelves. Just browse the YA section, you'll find it!"
Anyway, the platform exists, though that wasn't my original intention. And the question I posed on #askagent had to do with when/how to unveil myself in order to actually use the platform.
Then came the subtle accusations.
I mean, seriously. How stupid would it be to attempt to woo the publishing community by creating an anonymous persona? That would help me get published...how?
You all know me better than that, despite the fact that you don't, ur, know me. But I'm awfully transparent around here, despite keeping my personal details private. If you were to meet me in person, I think you'd say, "Wow! You're you!" Or something else (profound) like that.
And I'm not pouring time into this thing to "gimmick my way" into being published. That's kind of hard to do if, yanno, nobody knows your name.
No. My efforts to publish my work are separate from this. Otherwise I'd be signing my queries, "Sincerely, Authoress."
I'm not doing that.
And I'm not switching the blog from "Authoress" to "Real Name", either. Not yet.
I'd dearly love to hear your thoughts on all this, so comment away! I may not attach my name to it, but this wonderful community of writers (you! all of you!) is an important part of my day, and of my journey.