15 September 2012

I’m a Mess: The Many Faux Pas of a Well-Meaning Writer


Recently I stumbled onto a wonderful blog and commented on an author’s post about her soon-to-be-released book. Besides saying congratulations and that I couldn’t wait to read it, I told the author (publicly) that I’d love to review her book on my blog. Sometime shortly after I posted my comment I was hit by a wave of nausea. I’d just crossed a line.

I don’t know blogging etiquette yet. As genuine as I was about being excited to read her fascinating novel, it was completely rude of me to mention my own blog in the comments section of a post celebrating HER book release. Before I realized I could delete my comment, panic-inducing scenarios started bouncing around my head like pin balls: What if she calls me out in a public reply to my post, drawing attention to my obvious ignorance? What if everyone thinks I’m a slimy self promoter? What if people go to my blog and don’t like it?

Putting yourself out there is awful. If there was a way to be a successful writer and somehow avoid mistakes, faux pas, criticism etc. that would be great. Unfortunately, that’s just not how the world works…my world, anyway. Perhaps it comes with the territory of being slightly dorky and introverted, but I’ve never been socially smooth. I forget names no matter how hard I try to remember them. My eyes glaze over when someone gives me driving directions. I’m the girl who forgets to mute my phone on a conference call or accidentally sends a flirty text to my fiancé’s mom. I say the worst thing at the worst time with the best intentions. That’s me.

I did a quick internet search on blogging etiquette and it looks like I violated the number one rule, but I’m forgiving myself. And I’m pre-forgiving myself for the other rules and codes I’m going to break because I’m sure it’ll eventually happen. I’m also sure of this: I’m genuine. I care. I love people. I love reading, listening and encouraging. I smile a lot. And I give oodles of grace because that’s usually what I need too. That’s me. I’m a writer and I’m a mess.

How about you? Ever stick your foot in your mouth?

(image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

8 comments:

  1. I've done the foot in mouth routine on occasion myself, yes...

    Not quite as much as a politician though.

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    1. Hehe politicians are in a league of their own ;-)

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  2. All...the...time. I'm verbally awkward, always saying the stupidest things at the more inopportune time. That's why I'm a writer. I can think before I open my big mouth. Good article, thanks for being awkward at times too; makes me feel less lonely.

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    1. Exactly! Being a writer let's me think things through a little more when I'm trying to articulate something. In person I'm a giggly dork :-) Thanks for sharing, you're definitely not alone!

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  3. Sure, I do it all the time. I had no idea that was an unwritten rule, though -- so I do it even more often than I know.

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    1. At least you know you're not alone. Maybe you've been bending the rule with more finesse than I did!

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  4. It happens in every new adventure, writing and blogging is no different. I'm a dork too, I learn the hard way. It's easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. :)

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    1. True. I'm getting good at the whole asking forgiveness thing haha!

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