Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blogger vs. Author

A warning... this post may be long. A lot of things going through my head.

I'd like to think of myself as a pretty open person. Everyone who stops by to comment or read my posts I treat as my friends, and I hope I haven't offended anyone with anything I've said. It's not meant to come out that way. I'm being myself, which is a bit crazy, a lot loud, and I may say something that's immature. (Okay, most of the time I will.)

I received a comment that I'm being too open. Too revealing. And too unprofessional. That if I choose to keep being this way, I may want to consider the effect it will have on agents who have my book or query. I appreciated the advice, and also that someone took the time to tell me the negative effects from blogging the things I do.

What did stick out to me in the comment (besides what I mentioned above) was that she was directed to my blog because it inspired one of her clients. And as discouraged as I felt, I also felt a bit elated. A client was talking about me, and what I'd done to inspire her. I had no idea my little blog had that effect on someone enough to spread the word. Call me naive (because I am) but when I post, I write for me. I write things I would like to see if I'm having a down day and want to be cheered up. It may come off childish, it may come off unprofessional, but every post is 100% me.

That is also how I write my books.

That being said, I understand where this person is coming from, and I'm sure she's not the only one. My personality can be off-putting. I'm sure I've scared off plenty of people with my word vomit and TMI posts. I also apologize again if I make you uncomfortable to come and visit me. There is no obligation, I promise.

Also, because I know how to take constructive criticism (I think all of us writers do) I'm going to be taking her advice, and toning it down a notch. I do want to be taken seriously in this business, but I also want people to know I'm a *real* person. Someone who isn't afraid to be herself. Striking a balance may take a little bit, so forgive me if my posts seem funky over the next little while.

I'd still like to end with a Harry Potter spell today. :)



  1. Hm, I love your posts. You're always funny and yet deep, inspirational. Like now.
    If you want to tone down a notch, do it, but I don't think it's necessary. Only if you're afraid many others think like her ...
    Well, I say do what you feel is the right thing.
    But I sure will miss your wittiness ;)

  2. Cassie, you are beyond awesome. Your book are the same way. If you find the right agent/publisher they will understand that this is you and people respond to it. I personally love your loudness it really stands out in a sea of the same stuff. Don;t ever give up. You work girl!

  3. Juliana: Thanks girl. I'll still be myself :) I don't think I know how not to be.

  4. I also love your posts. I understand where the commenter is coming from, but ultimately this is your decision and not theirs. I love your personality, posts and love for your bloggers and family and writing. Don't give up about the agent thing - you WILL find someone who loves your work as much as you do. :-) (I also blogged today btw)

  5. Well, I think you're awesome. I wish I could be more confident and open and... word vomity. And I don't think if I was a reader who found your blog after reading your book "professional" or "unprofessional" would even enter into my thoughts because it's just you being you--funny and engaging and sometimes inspirational. And that's really cool.

  6. I agree with everyone else. I think "you" are awesome as is your blog. It's who you are. And if an agent is put off by the blog then they wouldn't be the right fit. You have to do what feels best. I know of one particular author, agented by a very particular agent that doesn't hold back. She is who she is when she blogs. And I love her for that. ;)

  7. !00% disagree. Your blog is never too "open", your personality is hardly off-putting, your blog hits and visits speak other wise (bloggers would LOVE to have your numbers!)
    And to say your open, friendly, comedic demeanor make you seem unprofessional is hogwash (that's a technical term)...anyone who knows anything about blogging knows that you can not have your spoon in as many pots as you do, be in the number of places you are in, and reach and help the number of people you do and NOT be professional.
    I am awed by you crazy lady. And you might think you're all TMI, but your never political or offensive. You're just a splash of life who maintains one whale of a schedule.
    I'm sorry but I'm throwing the bullshit card on this one. There I added profanity...I'm unprofessional too. :p

  8. See? I was so upset, I used the wrong your up there...See my distress lead me to commit grammar error.

  9. Interesting...

    I *do* think it's important to maintain a level of professionalism, but I don't think you've crossed any boundaries... because we *know* you... That person probably just didn't *know* you, and was probably a bit taken aback by your awesomeness? ;)

    Cass, you're pure entertainment. And you need to stay pure entertainment... you're branding yourself. And from what I've read of your writing, you're stinkin' hilarious. Your books reflect your personality--and it's all part of branding and who you are.

    I have no idea what this person was put off by, but there's *always* going to be that someone who objects to what you're doing. I've had lame comments on my blog too--once someone told me I was being stuck up, that I was full of myself--and all I was trying to portray was my confidence... so you never know how people are going to misread your intentions, you know????

    *huge hugs* Don't change a thing about you, girl. I seriously LOVE you!

  10. Can I just say that you should never apologise to anyone for being who you are. This is your space, and if people don't want to read what you write, then they won't come here. (425 followers kinda implies that you've got something right.)
    If an agent doesn't like your blog, then they wouldn't be able to work with you any way. It's just saving you having to tell them that they aren't right for you :o)
    Stay as you are :o)

  11. Okay... my dearest Cassie Mae.
    First off - I've loved you even before I met you and that's because of this blog!

    Personally, I don't want you to change a thing. In fact, as I read through your book last night, I was so inspired. (This is not only from your book, but you blog as well!)

    You are 110% YOU and that is what makes your blog and your writing so amazing. You're not off to impress anyone and I think you're better for it!

    In fact, I think we need a play date or something so you can talk me out of being such a chicken shit!


  12. I think being yourself is a huge part of being a blogger (and a good writer). I understand if you want to come off as more professional, but in my opinion, I think you're doing a fantastic job!

  13. This is the reason I keep coming back to your blog. Because you ARE just being you. And you're hilarious! Don't change the way you blog just because of one person. Be yourself. That's what makes you YOU and why so many people love you and follow your blog. You'll find the right agent for you. Some personalities just clash and that's okay. You're going to have an awesome career someday. I know it. :) *Hugs*

  14. I don't even know where to begin in stating my surprise at you receiving a comment like that. If someone doesn't like your blog, they can just jog on! Yup, professionalism is important, but so is reaching your audience. And that is what you do.

    I don't want to read a blog by a person who isn't open and honest. I come here because you were the first blogger I met who made me think, "Damn, I could hang out with that girl!" If any agent sees your talent but doesn't accept you as you are, they aren't the one for you. Don't ever change, lady, because we all love you as you are! <3

  15. Cassie, your blog is fun because it is ALL YOU. You are gaining an audience by being you.
    Now, if you were being really negative or using a lot of foul language, that might be a problem for an aspiring author. But you're not.
    Don't change now. You don't have to be super professional-business. (Heck, I'm not!) You just have to be genuine.

  16. I'm actually upset by your post, Cassie Mae.
    The person who commented on your blog could have as easily come to my blog and told me the same things. My response would be: This is me! Take it or leave it.
    I would appreciate it if you DIDN'T change anything about your blog. If you, the rightesously awesome woman you are, give into the haters, what will the rest of us do? Should we all tone down our blogs to be boring and professional all the time?
    What people love about you is your voice. Your blog and books are packed with it. Dare I say, your voice will be what gets you published someday. Don't tone it down, not even a notch. It's how we connect with you on this blog and how we connect with your characters in your books. You lose that, you lose your reader.
    Love ya girl. Keep fighting the good fight. Thank you for being authentic and consistent. You're dependable and honest, too. You do NOT need to change, not even a dab.

  17. I think I caused an unintended S&&t storm. While I will remain anonymous ((if only not to get the daggers in the inbox) I wil say I agree with everything all your fans are saying. You are a wonderful, humorous, and uniquely gifted woman. You have a fan base of other unpublished but aspiring writers. But, one day YOU will be published and then subject (as we all are) to all the google justice that the computer can give. You do not want to be the flighty girl who is saying things like "awesome" and "super cool" because YOUR READERS will not respect you once they find all that about you. In fact, they will dismiss you. I am sorry but I know from where I speak. How much do you know about the personal life of J.D.Salinger, Harper Lee, S.E. Hinton, J.k> Rowling? - do you think that LACk of knowledge actually contributes to their success. GO to Stepanie Myer's website and see if she talks about going to the bathroom. No, she doesn't. You may have a HUGE follwing among your fellow writers and bloggers but what you need to think of is you AUDIENCE. I will not say any more. Good luck, sweetheart.

  18. Oh, that stupid balance thing. Hate it. Good luck. I happen to enjoy your blog--as does a million (maybe not that many) others. I think we'll live vicariously through you and see how it goes. Haha. Sorry.

  19. There has not been one single instance in reading your blog where I have thought you were unprofessional. Ever. And I PROMISE, I would tell you if I did. I think if you keep writing what you do, your future AUDIENCE will love you as a person as well as you as a writer. There has never been a moment when I thought of you as flighty or clueless or anything other than a genuine person who I love and adore (and had better meet soon!). There are several PUBLISHED authors blogs who I can't stand to follow because they are so DRY. I think you have success here and in life because of who you are and if you change that, you are cheating yourself.

    Holy long paragraph Batman. Is there a spell for indentations?

  20. I wanted to pop in here and tell you all again how much I appreciate your support! I've been emailing my responses if you have an email address so I know that you get them. Because your words mean everything to me.

    I'll be out the rest of the day, but I'll check back again tonight and respond to anyone who's commented, easing this 'word-vomity' girl's mind. You all *know* who I am, so there is no need to explain why I say the things I say, or talk about the things I do. Why I share my stories for entertainment and for fun. Because you all know that.

    Thanks for brightening my spirits today. :) And I promise not to let someone change who I am.

  21. Wow! I am shocked by this. Truely. I only followed you because you are hilarious and over-the-top FUN! Blogging should be completely unassociated from your writings. I hope I don't ever get judged for what I'm blogging about cause most of the time how I blog is different from what I write. And if someone can't figure that out then they're brain dead. Period.
    Also I see the Anonymous Wonder vomited all over your comment section again. I wonder if "they" noticed all of their writing faux pas' or the fact that she said... "You have a fan base of other unpublished but aspiring writers." Obviously she didn't do her research cause SEVERAL of your followers are published. *rolls eyes* please just be you and you only.
    "How much do you know about the personal life of J.D.Salinger, Harper Lee, S.E. Hinton, J.k> Rowling? - do you think that LACk of knowledge actually contributes to their success. GO to Stepanie Myer's website and see if she talks about going to the bathroom. No, she doesn't." Can I slap this person! No... we might not know but wouldn't it be cool if we did?! I can't stand robots wannabes.
    Love you Cassie!

  22. Heh. I find the comment interesting. I think the most wonderful thing about your blog is that you have a very distinct 'voice'. You've heard it all before. Voice can't be taught, and it's what every agent, editor, and reader wants. You have it, don't hide from it.

  23. No. No. No.
    There is a place for constructive criticism but its not on a personal blog.
    I call bullshit.
    Don't change a thing.
    Be yourself.
    You are awesome! You are funny! If someone has a problem with that then that's their issue not yours.
    Too open? Too revealing?
    Don't change a thing.
    Just my humble opinion.

  24. Well you've already passed a big "professional" test which is taking constructive criticism well although I disagree. I think you being exactly the way you are is why you have so many people who regularly read your blog. Don't tone it down too much. I think that would be a mistake. People want Cassie. That's what you should give them. I know it's a fine line but people gravitate to YOU and I just think it would be a mistake to get all boring because one person thinks you should. That said, I support whatever decisions you make that are meant to further your career!

  25. Ouch. When I read the comment above that all of us are just a bunch of unpublished writers, I cringed a bit.

    Well, trust me, if I went to Stephen King's website and found out as much about him as I do you, I would have the umpteenth more respect for him.

    Coming from my OWN stand point, I thoroughly enjoy your posts and if and when you publish, your books have the same thread of honest and honesty that your blog does, I will be first in line.

    Maybe the anonymity of these famous authors help them, but in reality, how many of us will get that far?

    And here's another way to look at it -

    Standard publishing IS going by the way side. It isn't a necessity to success, although it's very difficult to make money off of it, I know. But with that said, this blog IS connecting you to your readers, and unless you are writing slasher horror, a chemistry manual, a marketing guide, or a tear jerker sappy bust ripping novel, this will just be an extension of your work.

    And on another note, Lisa Unger is one of the FEW writers I remember at the top of my head that isn't a constant best selling writer like Stephen King. Really. Most writer's i have to look up by their book first to remember. I'm an avid reader and don't write down each name. So why this writer? I get her emails, check out her blog, and recognize her on twitter. If I see her book in a bookstore, I'll stop. Why? She has a presence I remember. Miss Cassie? You have a presence.

    Whether or not you want to tone your posts is definitely up to you. But openness and the lack of success does not equate. One does not mean another.

  26. I think these are spammers Cassie. They are on both posts one after the other? Sound right to you?
    I would suggest blocking them and not responding to them. They are looking for just that.

  27. You can't please everyone, but you should never change who you are to do so! I think your blog is lovely, and if someone doesn't like it, they should simply just move on, no need to kick up a fuss upsetting people :)

  28. Well, that's a huge bummer. I read anonymous's post above, but feel pretty conflicted about the points made.

    Yes, we all have to think about how we are perceived on the internet. However, our blogs are also an extension of us. We get to decide what we want to reveal, and how we want to do it. Have you ever read Sarah Dessen's (? of sp.) tweets? She tweets about everything. It's not unheard of. If the revelations are done with intent, then screw what other people think.

    Another case in point, Chuck Wendig. While he is already famous, I don't think he became famous and then started swearing in his blog. That's who he was, is, and will continue to be.

    Last point on this rambling comment! You write for a younger audience, who would totally connect with posts about being afraid to use bathrooms in rest stops.

    This person has a point that we should all keep in mind how we put ourselves forward on the computer, but until it's your agent/editor, who has a say in your future - I say screw 'em.

    You have a huge fan base already, and you got it by being who you are, and being genuine. That's what's important to people. Not that we all maintain the status quo some person thinks a professional writer should have. (I hope that made sense...) :)

  29. Hmmm...the criticism made about you previously and in the comments section of this post seem very personally-directed to me, which says far more about the person who made them than it does about you.

    Her comments are opinion. The nature of publishing has been turned on its head. JD Salinger did not live in the time of social marketing--nor did JK Rowling when she wrote HP. I think you should do what works for you. As a published writer, I've learned to ignore or throw out useless opinions (as the one listed above in this post). Be yourself, Cassie! Otherwise, you're being someone other else, which is fake. (((Hugs)))

  30. I enjoy your posts, they make me laugh and are insightful. Don't stop being yourself, keep doing what you love.

  31. Seriously, don't change. I think people worry waaaaaay too much about that sort of thing. Any agent who would reject a solid project and promising author over a blog is not someone you want representing you, and if that agent does have concerns about anything in the future, you can always go through and delete stuff at that point. Until then, life is too short to worry.

  32. Okay, these anonymous people commenting need to be blocked. And comments deleted. It is the same freaking hater that doesn't want anyone to know who they are.

    Please Cassie. Don't listen to them. I have so many things to say in apposition to their comments but I'm not going to because I won't stoop to their level.

    We all love you.

  33. Hi Cassie,

    I'm very new to all this blogging lark but I'm enjoying it hugely. Why am I doing it? Because I'm finally getting my head down to do what I do best - writing.

    I knew nothing about blogging, but I have to say I've enjoyed, a learned a lot from yours. Honesty and oppenness is good, and your writing entertains me. Who doesn't love being entertained?!

    If you can't be yourself when writing then why do it? Some of the greatest artists of all time upset huge amounts of people - Beatles, Pistols, Picasso, D.H. Lawrence, Shakespeare...I could go on...but they were people who did what they wanted - something that defined them, not what defined other people.

    You're quite right - if people don't like it they can stay away, but in the words of a great Austrian, Mr. A. Schwarzenegger...I'll be back!


  34. Hmmm. Are you even gonna make it this far down the comments? (Yes, I know you will.)

    Don't have too much to add. I agree with most of the above posters.

    Personally, TMI will not turn me off from an author. What will is if they are hateful and mean and if they put those words out for all the world to see.

    And that definitely is NOT you.

  35. I didn't see the other attacks on you on this post when I commented earlier. I totally agree with Jenny. Delete and ignore.

  36. A blog is a reflection of you. I admire anyone who sticks to their principles.

    I went through a stage last year when blogging made me unhappy because I was holding back. Once I decided to stop censoring myself, I became happier.

  37. Lisa: Thank you so much! I certainly don't want to be boring or anything, and as I'm seeing in this post, being myself has given me a lot more than what I could've hoped for. Thanks for having my back :D

    Lara: It's weird to hear the words 'fan base' when associated with me, lol. But you are so right. Until the day when my agent or editor tells me to tone it down, I should keep on keepin' on :) Thank you!!

    Susan: Thanks! *hugs back!* This blog does work for me. I've met way too many awesome people to stop being who I am now.

    Prerna: Thank you!!! :D

    Ru: I worry about a ton of stuff! I think that comes with motherhood and writerhood. You are so right. I should not be worried about this, because my blog is a good thing :D

    Neil: That's exactly what I wanted to do... entertain. :) And thank you so much for your support. It means a ton!

  38. Lara: Will do :)

    Donna: Exactly! That's when I gained my following, was when I decided to let people see the *real* me.

  39. If you can't be you then what's the point? Cassie you are awesome, and there is no reason why you should tone down that awesomeness. You have over 400 followers for a reason. I think your comments and the way your mind thinks is refreshing! Don't change that over a silly comment. Different strokes for different folks. A lot of people don't like horror books, do you think Stephen King cares? No because he writes what is true to him. Point is keep doing what you're doing because it makes you happy and that is all that matters!

  40. Do what feels right to you! No other opinions matter.

  41. Don't change Cassie.

    All else aside, when you get an agent/book deal and IF you're advised that it would be detrimental to your career to have these posts up, then you can make a nice pretty blog-book out of them and delete them from the inter-web.

    Just keep doing what you're doing, lady. We all love you for it :-)

  42. I find this to be hilarious. Isn't it a sign that you're doing something right when someone tells you, you're doing it wrong?? I'm pretty positive that's true :)

    Keep on keepin' on, Cassie!

  43. Cassie, you were the one who found me, a fledging writer, bumping around in cyber space. You built my confidence, taught me the right way to show my trueself and allowed me into your circle of friends. I can't tell you what you mean to me and your fellow followers, but if you stop being who you are then where does that leave the rest of us? Not many of us have the guts or wit to be so open and be so inspiring and funny. You are strong and intelligent and witty and the best friend anyone could want. Please ignore the hater, what do they know. They suck big hairy balls.
    Squishy Hugs with Mountain dew. xxxx

  44. I love your blog and let me just say, that was not a long post. I've seen longer from you and they are always worth reading every word. :)
    A2Z Mommy and What’s In Between

  45. Everyone's got an opinion. Mine may not be worth much, but I think you're doing something right. Just look at the amount of comments you get. You're making an impact on people's days. You're building a following, building platform. And that's what publishers want to see. This isn't a PC corporate culture. It's you being you, kicking a$$ and taking names! :)

  46. I love you the way you are and there's a publisher out there just waiting for you. You have and always will be a great breath of fresh air.

    Teaser Tuesday

  47. Well, shiver me timbers and call me Alice.

    Cassie, (I asked Leibby & Morg who confirmed the spelling) I'm jumping in here late, but with the same support as everyone else bar Anon.

    You are so genuine that for most of us reading about you is like talking to you - which is something that friends and fans like to do with the people they admire and appreciate.

    As Morg would say: Be. True. To. You :)

  48. Anyone who reads most of these comments can see that the opposite is true - your personality and openness are a major selling point. Agents and publishers would find it easy to market you as a 'writer who is everyone's best friend'. As you say, it's in sync with your writing and lots of people love how your personality comes across.

    I did consider whether or not to post a recent post I was inspired to write, which talks very candidly about my experience of mental illness. Maybe some agents ot publishers in the future will read it and decide they don't want to work with me because of my mental health problems. Fine: I wouldn't want to work with anyone who judges people who are or have been mentally ill. It was far more important to me to be open and honest, in the hope that discussing my experiences will help others and contribute to reducing the stigma that surrounds mental illness. I had to do what was right for me - and you owe it to yourself to do what's right for you.

  49. Cassie, I know you've had a lot to read through on this post but let me just tell you I enjoy a bare-bones honest post now and again. You're a writer, not a ranter.

  50. I wouldn't change a thing if I were you. The fact that you have people like myself visiting your blog day after day must mean you're doing something right. Just go with your gut and don't let anybody's expectations define who you are. :)

  51. Theresa: Thanks girl! I certainly wouldn't change my books to fit everyone's opinions. I'd do what I felt made it better. I won't do it with my blog either :)

    Darci: Oh, that's a good idea. :) I may do that anyway, lol.

    Juliana: Thanks! I'm going to look at it that way for sure :)

    Jade: You are such a sweetie! Thank you for calling me strong, intelligent, and witty for realz. It means more than you know. :)

    Sheena: Thank you girl!

    Michael: Thank you! You guys are all so right! I'm not going to let this person get to me.

  52. Obviously, you've gotten a ton of great advice already! I'll agree with the others. You are totally awesome! The right agent for you will not be turned off by your blog. They will think you're hilarious, just like the rest of us!
    That said, if you choose to 'turn it down a notch' that's fine, too. I hope you find a balance that makes you happy! :)

  53. your blog is your voice! dont change for anyone!
    your writing makes you an author, let anyone say what they want, it just adds to your popularity =)

    and when you get haters, you know you've made it!

    you show your wisdom by responding with grace and not retort, better than most!

    ps, anonymous haters arent worth two poops! too much? too bad!

  54. I'm coming late to the party and I'm not as frequent of a flier as I'd like to be, but I've always loved your blog and felt welcome here. Your bubbly personality comes through in the text and it's great. Don't tone it down too much. ;)

  55. Yeah, I wouldn't say it's that important to be professional. Be as real as you want to be, let your character attract readers, and the rest will sort itself out!

    I'm looking for some ninja writers to interview for my Ninja spotlight series. If you're interested, go to http://kelworthfiles.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/im-looking-for-a-few-good-ninjas/ to find out more!

  56. This is your blog and you should write about whatever you want. If people don't like reading certain posts, they are free to leave. Don't let anyone tell you what is acceptable and what is not, as you make the rules. After all, your blog is your personal universe and when you are here, you rule. So keep on writing and you keep enjoying what you do. Enjoy.

  57. Man oh man, the only reason I came over here to follow you was because I liked the way you wrote. I love people who are honest and open, giving us who they really are. It's refreshing.

    Now maybe this would be a problem if you were writing stuffy literature. But you are awesome YA! Any reader would love to have this sort of author interaction. You are you! You are the best brand for your work. Take a look at new author Susan Dennard - she's profesh, but I love the way she blogs too. So open and normal! Like chatting to a mate.

  58. You can't ever expect to please everyone. So if you can't please the whole world, it makes the most sense to please your audience.
    I think the advice was well-intended--from that person's point of view. But she's not your audience.

    A Faraway View

  59. Hey Cassie,
    I've been a bad blogging friend lately but finally have a little time for some catch up. I was reading through all your recent posts and had to stop at the one to comment - I think everything about your personality, your blogging style and all that goes with it is awesome. I always know I'm going to laugh and enjoy myself when I stop by here. I say don't change a thing!!

    I never get why many people take having fun as being unprofessional! Ugh!!

  60. I read about this on Nancy's blog and made a comment, but I just realised I didn't comment here.

    You've had a lot of support and I'm going to echo it. This is your blog - you get to choose what you put on here. Just looking at the wallpaper indicates that this is a fun blog, and that you are a lively person.

    I hope you don't feel the need to change too much :-)

  61. Just seeing this now, and wanted to echo all the support. You be YOU! Nothing else matters than to be true to yourself!

    It's ridiculous to counsel an author to put on an aura of aloofness, snobbery and elitism as the way to "be professional". As a reader, I LIKE seeing the real person behind the words.

    New follower and new supporter of you!


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