I've been having some thoughts about a disclaimer I've linked Pinky blog to. We're living in an odd age where reader and viewer demand kind of weirdly backfires in entertainment and public journalism, and it even spills over into personal social media and other creative sites now.
One of things I wrestle with as a public blogger opening up about a lot of private stuff is how I affect readers with similar experiences either themselves or through family and friends. Working out how to share my content is not a trivial thing. Sometimes I splat freely, but most of the time I'm more overly cautious to a variety of sensitivities and triggers. I want to be me, but I understand that I can be abrasive, and I'd rather retain a smaller steady readership than catapult to controversial heights of glory.
Today is Writer's Rights Day. "This day was created by several different groups that represent writers. According to them, the average writer earns less than $9,000 a year and is not treated well by their publishers. The goal is to get writers to band together and protest this treatment, but the various groups all have different ideas on how to go about doing this." It's kind of like the Hollywood writer's strike, only this isn't a strike. There's so much in media right now about rights, it would be easy to assume this is about writers having the rights to publish content, like this very famous case last summer. It sounds like the rights to state the truth or something, which, as you can see in that article, is still hotly debated even now.
Anyway, I'm not actually writing about Writer's Rights Day, but it got me to thinking about my disclaimer link. One of the points made in the disclaimer is that I have the right, as a blogger, to not share my life on demand, to not have to answer to being pushed for more personal information, or to be told how to behave. Since people have actually surprised me showing up on my doorstep and then publishing pictures on the internet without my permission, you can imagine (especially growing up with a Mennonite heritage on my dad's side) how violated I felt, not to mention my trust in 'friends' plummeting like a rock.
This also extends to private conversations. I've had loads of convos on PMs, DMs, emails, and texts that have been not only copied and shared, but used to set me up for public disaster. I've been run roughshod by people who have carefully built trust up with me and then used things I've shared to turn other people against me. This goes so far back in my internet history across all fandoms that it doesn't even matter who, what, and when. It just happens. It's human nature to use other people as entertainment.
Part of becoming public again was me creating a 'brain gaming' plan that results in driving traffic. Part of the overall content is sharing personal stuff. If I were doing this naively, I'd be in a world of anguish, but this is part of my 'job' now, which is currently voluntary because I don't get paid yet.
So back to the fake and sad thing. This is the kind of stuff that drives traffic. I could feed into it and use it, I could play someone's game, but then Pinky blog is no longer my stuff. It becomes someone else's stuff. And worse case scenario, it becomes a big beautiful web war with lots of casualties and me winding up even more famous, if you will.
We're all famous now, aren't we? I've been thinking about how many people I've 'shut down' over the last couple of years trying to contact me privately (I'm not counting spammers and porn links sliding into my DMs), and the only diplomacy fails that have blown up on me have been actual friends.
Defining what 'friends' means is hard. I've not had a single problem since the comments I wrote on bravery not included. I'll paste the part here that I think pretty much spells out my rights as a blogger. There's more because I lost my temper, but I didn't lose any readers over it, even though you pretty much rarely ever see another comment again.
"Go along for a couple of years and everything's cool, suddenly comments about every little move I make start happening and the next thing you know it's all about not playing fair someone else's way and it doesn't matter whether something was inappropriate or how it affected me personally, I don't have the right to be who I've spelled out I am in triplicate on a blog I spent years putting together that doesn't seem to be bothering anyone else. This is my blog. You choose to come here. You choose to make yourself visible following me around. You choose to risk being snapped at when you mow over noticing what other people don't seem to have a problem noticing. My content is not about you, your feelings, or trying to please you. My content is about helping other people find their ways out of the dark, and trying to be honest enough to set a good example for that in a world where many of us feel lost. If you can't help me do that, get out of my way."
Just a reminder, since it's Writer's Rights Day and I hope to make some money one day myself, I have been very clear about not hiding who I am. I have chosen to present this way, and sometimes I have to make decisions about hangers on and people who insist they are friends who change the tone and perspective of my agenda by over-interacting with me. I shut down private interaction simply because it got so overwhelming (remember, aspienado with a GAF at 60), but I shut down comments to pending because I'm too mean for people to pretend to be nice to me. You can't call yourself my friend if you don't understand what you are triggering in me even after I spell it out both publicly and privately, and you really don't want me airing private laundry to prove anything.
Writer's rights are about working. Pinky blog is part of my LinkedIn resume. My klout score continually hovers above 60 because I've studied stats and analytics, hubbing my networks, producing content, and driving traffic. I host a large part of my content on my own dime and don't receive compensation for anything at all yet. I've built my web presence from scratch during stress and illness, and I'm not going to corrupt it with misleading directions that 'supporters' push me in.
I do a lot of favors on social media, and there are stacks of favors I've been doing all along. I don't expect recompense or even thanks. It's a natural part of networking to do favors. One of my rights as a writer is not having to do favors because of social media pressure, and that includes friendships. Why is this coming up? Because along the way I finally figured out that's why some people become friends with aspienado. I'm a great catalyst and easily used. Well, I'm running into a lot of stuff about this being a common problem with writers. We enjoy producing content and we are easily exploited. Hence the disclaimer.
A friend found this, and it's perfect. This is what happens when someone goes out of the way to become friends with aspienado in an attempt to put me into a metaphorical box. This has happened several times over a number of years. Yes, it's amusing.
Note- This was a writing prompt to help me get through a hard day by focusing on doing something constructive while I'm home alone. Writing has helped me get through many hard days. If you're having a hard day, I recommend trying out a blog. You can always make it private if you don't want people reading it.