Saturday, October 11, 2008

Blogging . . . It might be a Bigger World than You Think

By Keith Fisher

This blog is dedicated to the struggle of being published in the LDS market, and in the past, I’ve stuck to that format. Today, for a brief second, I beg your patience. I’ve been experiencing a bit of a dilemma and I need to talk about it. No, it’s probably not what you’re thinking, but it caused a debate within me and it’s time to put an end to it.

In the past, I’ve taken a tongue in cheek platform for talking about books, the mechanics of writing, and of getting published. I’ve tried to share my struggle in the hope it will benefit others who are trying to break into the exclusive fraternity of being a published author.

A few blogs ago, I wrote about a book that impressed me and I talked about how I’d like to write books that touch people's hearts. I wrote my blog in my usual way. The book was a romance, and as a man, I have a standing joke about the romance genre, when in fact I read as many romances as I do mysteries. I try to diversify my reading and get a feel for what’s out there.

After writing the blog, I fielded a comment by someone who writes romance. She demanded I tell the world the name of the book I’d just read. Now, as most of you know, I left the title out, because of my style of writing. It was my joke.

The comment, and what followed, gave me cause to think about what I write, and how I write it. At that time, I visited a blog that is supposed to be about writing. I found an article dedicated to an extreme political point of view. I commented, and expressed another, perhaps softer point.

Having piqued my interest, I went back to the blog, to see if my observation had stirred discussion. I was shocked to find my comment had been deleted. Now, if my opinion had been mean spirited, or abusive, I would understand. I wondered if I had offended.

All of this gave me cause to ponder my words. I wish I’d saved a copy of what I wrote. I’d like to analyze it. As it is, I’ve been contemplating the nature of what we do in these blogs.

As you might imagine, part of being a writer is reading. We must read, and we must read all the time. Another part, is promotion, a writer needs to get out there and promote his/herself long before being published. To this end, many websites and blogs about writing have been born, and as with the need to read, a writer should stay apprised.

Part of promotion is offering a piece of myself to the public. I would be foolish to attach my name to something volatile. If my intent is not clear, then I have shown myself in a poor light. At the same time, I need to realize that mine is not the only, or best, conclusion and if I’m going to write about politics or religion, I should expect differences of opinion. If I don’t want to deal with those differences, then I should turn off the allow comments section.

One final note, then I’m going to go back to writing about writing: I enjoyed my friend, G. Parker’s blog last week, and I whole-heartedly support my leaders, but I would like to add something to what our religious leaders have suggested.

If you’re going to blog about your beliefs in God and your views on political issues, you need to know you’re opinion will be attacked. Gird up your loins, you have entered a battlefield.

Good luck with your promoting and your writing—see you next week.

6 comments:

MoJo said...

I was shocked to find my comment had been deleted.

That's too bad. I personally don't delete dissenting opinion because it's necessary to a conversation.

I also don't want comments I make that later embarrass me deleted because I said it and I'll own it.

As for being attacked, yes, that's the nature of participating in controversial topics.

Keith Fisher said...

Glad to see you stop by Mojo. I'm surprised to see you visit my blog. I must have a fan.

I'm glad we can agree on ownership of statements. What I wrote was not embarrassing though.

Also, perhaps I should have mentioned that we need to determine what is controversial and what is not. I have been involved in controversial subjects for 45 years now, and I've learned that some things aren't worth wasting my time over.

Good luck with your romance books. have you had anything published yet?

MoJo said...

Keith, I hope you don't think I meant that what you wrote was embarrassing. I didn't mean that at all.

My first novel is coming out on Hallowe'en.

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

I have only one comment. One of my writing teachers said this, and I've "hung" onto it since then. I even put it at the top of my blog. It's simply this:
"Your value is in your individuality."

Th. said...

.

Even the most innocuous sort of publishing (eg, blogs) can be controversial. I've found that when I expect to be controversial, I'm very often not. And when I have no thought of controversy, I can stir up wild anger. It's a mystery to me, but I guess the lesson is this: in a world of 6 billion people, there may not be a statement that won't offend somebody--and if that person comes across your statement, suddenly you've started something.

Fun place, this Earth.

ali said...

I have to agree with th. that's how things work for me on my blog. I'm also with mojo ... If you're going to say something, own it. You said it, it's yours. I'm surprised your comment was deleted simply because it was a dissenting opinion. On my blog, I have only ever deleted advertising or crude comments.

Even if someone says something hurtful or critical (and that's happened) I've tried to be open minded and in many cases and nice discussion has ensued that has truly opened my mind ... and perhaps my commenter too.

And all of that was so badly written that I probably ought not to put my name to it! But I will! So there. Ha.