Professionalism: A Prerequisite of Being a Professional
I was perusing the twitter the other day, looking for new people to stalk–uh, I mean follow when I came across a man whose profile stated that he was a writer. Always eager to talk to my fellow wordsmiths, I considered following him. As I always do, I ran through his last few tweets to make sure he wasn’t one of those people who tweet nothing but promos for their books, or who only posts their daily unfollow stats. Those are super annoying and I don’t need that jazz clogging up my feed. But he wasn’t one of those people, so I took my cursor up to the follow button and almost clicked it.
Just before I clicked the button, I happened to glance over at his photos and what do you think I saw? Yup. A picture of his penis. Now I’m not against penises (peni?) in any way. They’re nice to have around. However, if you’re labeling yourself as a professional writer and you’re on a social networking site looking to meet other writers, I don’t think showing your weiner is the way to go. Now if you’re looking to star in a pornographic film, perhaps that’s an acceptable practice, but not in the world of words. Writers write about genitalia but never do we show ours to each other. Needless to say I didn’t follow the guy, and I now understand why he didn’t have many followers.
This post doesn’t just pertain to the dong dazzlers of twitter. No, it also goes for the topless taunters, female writers who like to flash their boobs and their thong-clad asses in badly taken selfies on Facebook.
It also goes for the self-proclaimed professional writers who like to not only voice their opinions about everything from religion and politics to whether or not it’s acceptable to eat meat, but also cram it down our throats, trying to force us to believe as they believe.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s fine to have opinions. Hell, if you know me in real life, you know I have some pretty potent beliefs and opinions of my own. The difference between the Facebook sopa-boxers and me is that I keep mine to myself. I don’t post my beliefs on social media sites or even on my own websites. Why? It’s simple. I’m running a business here. And if we’ve learned anything at all from the actions of Barilla pasta and Chick Fil-A, it’s that you keep your damn opinions to yourself. The fact of the matter is your beliefs WILL hurt your sales. Not everyone is a vegetarian and the fact that you keep bashing us meat-eaters will cause your steak-loving fanbase to turn against you the same way that homosexuals and their supporters have turned against the aforementioned companies for their views. If you keep shouting from the rooftops about how much you hate the Democratic party, then your liberal fans WILL leave you for someone else. It doesn’t even have to be someone who shares their views. It just has to be someone who doesn’t walk around with a megaphone, shouting their opinions at all who pass by.
Your fans aren’t your fans because of what you believe, but if you constantly point out how different your views are from your reader’s views, then they’ll notice. And if your opinions are wildly different or if you drone on and on about how right you are and wrong they are, then they WILL leave. It’s a huge turn-off for people to be berated and that’s essentially what you’re doing.
If you’ve been paying attention for the last month, you’ll surely have read about how people–most of them other writers–are protesting and boycotting Ender’s Game because of the views of the author. This is a prime example of what I’m talking about. And yet, even though writers are protesting a fellow writer because he shared his views and they don’t agree with them, they still post theirs for all to see.
Are your views and opinions THAT important? Are they so profound that you just HAVE to share them on the internet? Are they important enough to ruin your career? Because that’s what will happen.
Everyone has their own opinions. They don’t need yours. Same goes for genitalia.
If you still don’t believe me, then take a minute and go to Stephen King’s website. Dean Koontz’s website. James Patterson’s website. ANY famous writer’s website. What do you see? More importantly, what do you not see? You do not see political views, religious views, or any other views posted or mentioned. You also will not see nude photos of them. You will see book information because as I’ve told you before, this is a business. Our business is selling books. Our business is not talking politics or religion or posting photos of our nude bodies.
That’s the end of Business 101. Now go out there and be professional.
Posted on November 6, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Dean Koontz, ender's gam, ender's game, James Patterson, opinions, opoinions, Professionalism, stephen kin, Stephen King, Writers. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.