“They are building a you in their minds that only bears a tenuous connection to the person you are behind closed doors…” publishingishard.substack.com/

Being a public person, in any degree, is a risky business. You absolutely cannot control the emotional agendas of people who will seek contact with you, and you *will* get burned more than once.

And that doesn’t even cover the people who are just lonely and genuinely want a connection you can’t give because you have a life to live and work to do.

*Then* there’s the Rando Calrissians, the harassers and shit-stirrers looking for new victims to fuel their own engagement numbers and need for sweet sweet indignation, and the outright nutbars.

Once you hit “send”, anything you say goes on a server and is out of your control. It’s out there FOREVER, because the internet never forgets.

Spend a little time NOW thinking about what you want to keep private.


I have trusted friends whose DMs I bitch in. (Who doesn’t?) But those friends have earned my trust and proved their own discretion. You cannot be too careful.


And even if you are perfect, even if you are saintly, someone will take something you mutter once out-of-context and attempt to turn it into a shitstorm.

Decide NOW how you’ll handle that. Don’t wait until it’s blowing up your mentions.

Anyway, I wish posts like the above were part of a welcome packet new writers/publishing pros had to read before being let loose in the digital wilderness. It would save a lot of grief.

(And now I’m thinking of some stuff back in the days of IRC chat, in AOL chat, and later in the heyday of LJ, and… whew. WHEW. We all Learned A Lot.)

@lilithsaintcrow Along with sitting any prospective writers down with Writer Beware, or my old contracts, so they can see what they SHOULD cover.

@StevenSaus OMG, I tell them to go check Writer Beware, and sometimes they… don’t? I’m like “for god’s sake, just go read, it’s free.”

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