Authors have a public presence. Those who read our books seek us out online and follow us on our social media channels. The last thing I want is to put someone off of reading my books because I came out strongly on one side of a debate. Whenever I consider blogging or posting about something political, I think long and hard about the repercussions. I think about my audience and how it might be construed. Not only could I potentially alienate readers, I could actually hurt them by devaluing something they feel passionate about.
The opinions we share online are, like it or not, forever in the public eye. They are there for our readers to find and for potential publishers and employers to find.
I'm not trying to make anyone paranoid. My hope is that you'll think it through thoroughly before you post something you may regret in the future.
Ask yourself some key questions before you make that next political post on your author page:
- Who could I be alienating by posting this?
- Could my post possibly hurt my audience?
- Would I be comfortable with my future readers, publisher, or employer reading this?
- Will this post build others up or tear them down?
When in doubt, don't post it. Let it lie and see how you feel about it in a week or a month. It's better to err on the side of caution than to have regrets.
Melinda Marshall Friesen writes speculative fiction for teen and adult audiences. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with her family.