Friday, March 04, 2005

Don't worry, I'm not taking off my shirt

I smiled and nodded this morning as I read Mick Silva's confession over at My Writers Group:

It's strange blogging. It's like publishing your journal or taking your shirt off in front of the class. It feels sort of wrong like I'm doing something I shouldn't, which is probably why I like it.

Right there with ya, Mick. Except the only class I ever took my shirt off in front of was my gym class, and it was kind of necessary then. But I know what you mean.

Just yesterday some of my author friends were discussing how much of ourselves we should reveal on our websites. Should we mention our hometowns? Post family photos? The consensus was no.

The point was made that anybody can be found in this internet age, so an intelligent and determined stalker isn't likely to be thwarted. But just as we lock our doors at home knowing full well that a truly dedicated burglar will simply smash a window, we should take reasonable precautions on the internet. Why invite trouble?

I know I come off sounding a little coy when some of you e-mail me and ask personal questions. You sound like sweethearts, all of you, but I don't know you, do I? And if you wanted to find out where I live so you could come here and kidnap my teenager's pet turtle, wouldn't you try pretty hard to sound like a sweetheart when you e-mailed me? Sure you would.

Yesterday I posted a photo of some receipts and records I was pulling together to work on my taxes. What you don't know is that before I snapped that photo I looked closely at all of those papers and adjusted a couple of them so that no personal information was showing. So anyone who enlarged the photo hoping to see some figures on those royalty statements from Harlequin was disappointed. Too bad.

I've shared a lot of personal stuff here, and as Mick Silva suggests, I often feel a little daring about some of the things I write. But I am not a stupid woman, so what I write here is always carefully filtered for public consumption. If it doesn't appear that way to you, maybe it's because I'm just a good writer.

Didja ever think of that?

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