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Why Authors Disappear

Behind the scenes at YA Highway (the garage? The auto body shop?) we discuss many important things, including Kate Hart's sparkly eye shadow and that time in 7th grade meangirls chased me and romancing sweet Transylvanians, be they of the Veronica Roth or Rocky Horror variety.


Recently, we've talked quite a bit about when authors disappear – as in, they stop participating in writer's forums, neglect their blogs, tweet less, so on and so forth. Obviously, this isn't universal. A number of authors even increase internet face time upon publication; with flourishing blogs and must-read twitter feeds. But the Case of the Vanishing Author is common enough that I think it's worth discussing (in a much longer blog post than I intended, apparently).

First, because I'm kinda one of them. Second, and foremost, because I've seen some misunderstandings when it comes to why. Warning: can o' worms. Ready your fishhooks.

For me, at least – it is NOT (not not) because I think I am somehow superior, now that I'm published.
OMG no.
I can't swear there aren't diva authors out there, though I'm wracking my brain trying to think of any. But for every author I've spoken to about this topic, a sense of Now I'm published! superiority (ew gross) has absolutely nothing to do with their hiatus from the internet. To be honest, the majority of one- or two-books-in authors are still wide-eyed and blinking, wondering, how did I get here? What is that beautiful house? Where does that highway lead to? (Sorry.)

Busyness is another common explanation, and a valid one. Published authors aren't necessarily busier than aspiring authors, though. Some are tremendously busy, certainly, especially those with multi-book deals, who travel a ton and keep day jobs and rear children besides. But most authors, I think, are just super-busy in spurts. There's someone on the other end waiting for those revisions, so no lollygagging allowed. That accounts for sporadic disappearance, oftentimes.

Yet another valid reason is the classified nature of publishing. You can't discuss submissions to publishers, advance figures, contract negotiations, sales information, and that sort of thing in public. Or rather, you can, but you really shouldn't. For face-saving reasons, sure, but mainly because it's not the best idea to anger your publisher (or agent!).

But there are many other reasons authors taper off. Reasons that are a lot harder to explain, because they touch upon personal things like Stress and Anxiety, and a whole host of controversial topics.
Once you've landed an agent, sold a book, and particularly after you're published, suddenly there's this whole new set of rules in regards to internet interaction (in the YA echo chamber specifically) – rules that are hazy and changeable, depending on whom you're talking to. Even the boldest, most self-confident author has to worry about saying the right thing, and the wrong thing, and too much of a good thing, and offending reviewers, aspiring writers, other authors, other publishers, and on and on and on. It's an ongoing angst, and it pops up in myriad little ways, almost every time you engage in the online community.

SUCH AS
Thanking book bloggers for Waiting on Wednesday posts. Is that sucking up?
Clicking "like" on Goodreads reviews that resonate. Am I leaving people out?
Commenting on reviews of my books. Obviously a no-no if it's a negative review – but what about positive reviews? I mostly stick to reviews tweeted to me, but even then. What if people think I'm obsessing? Stalking myself? Help!
My blog. Am I talking too much about my books? About myself? Have I been published long enough to make my advice worth anything? Am I just shouting into the wind?

All of a sudden, writing forums seem scarily public. It's challenging to discuss books critically online, because almost every time, we're friends with the author, have met the author, or likely will some day. We're thrilled but also daunted by our blog and Twitter followers, our Facebook and Goodreads friends.

Don't get me wrong – in so many ways, this is all fantastic. I know it makes me choose my words more wisely, even when composing a tweet. (then again…) If something is important to me, I have more reach. But I'm ultra-aware how even minor slip-ups can spread. Moderate slip-ups can become memes. And the internet has a looong memory.

What's more, there seems to be a consensus that authors shouldn't complain publicly – that they should take hard knocks like professionals; suck it up and move on. I'm partially on board. Critical reviews are part of the process. (And super important to the community – hell, I read them first, even for books I adore.) And just because an author's microphone is louder doesn't mean they should sob into it, because it's depressing and also pretty boring, frankly.

However, I think it's disingenuous to suggest hurt feelings are for amateurs – that publication comes with instant impermeable armor. I'm no wimp (well, except when it comes to heights or carpentry) (or wormy things) (oh god, parasites), but I still hurt and grieve and angst. All authors do, I'm pretty sure. (If you don't, please share your armor vendor, kthnx).

But for all the reasons above, we keep it private. We share with family, friends, our patient and blessed critique partners. We retreat into private forums and email threads. That's good – you don't want to see my angst face, it's not particularly becoming. But it also means there has to be less participation in public venues, like Absolute Write, the Blueboards, Twitter, Facebook, our blogs. Especially in the beginning, when we're still learning to manage this crazy wild scary wonderful author career thing.

So when an author tapers off, fades away, vanishes, whatever you want to call it, it's important to know that it's not personal. Or rather, it is personal, but only on the author's side; and we -- I!-- hope it's only temporary. At least, until I figure out how to put on this clunky newfangled armor correctly, because I'm pretty sure my underwear is showing.


What do you think about disappearing authors? Do you wish authors were more vocal about stuff like this? Less vocal? (Fill in your own discussion question here ____.) I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Kirsten Hubbard

Kirsten is the author of Like Mandarin, Wanderlove, and the middle grade novel Watch the Sky.

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40 comments:

  1. This is a great, great, GREAT post. Thank you.

    1) for explaining why I have so much FEAR over my internet interactions (tho, I'm pretty sure I AM talking too much about myself on my blog...maybe?).

    2) for reminding me that having a deal doesn't make me fearless or indestructible. Thus, the fact that I'm wracked by a million MORE fears now than I was BEFORE my deals does not make me less of a person. Or a whiner.

    3) for letting the world know that authors aren't being snobby if they interact less! I'm crazy behind on emails right now, but it's because I have a book due in 2 weeks! It's SO NOT PERSONAL, yet I'm so worried people will think it is...

    So yes. Fabulous post. Thank you Kirsten.

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  2. Wonderful post, Kirsten! I had a lot of angst over my internet communications when my first book came out and I probably hid a lot. I wasn't good at promoting myself or asking other people to promote it and get my name out there. It didn't feel right to me.

    I promised myself that I will make a better go of it when my second book comes out. Don't know if I can keep that promise. I'm at least going to try not to clam up and blend into the wallpaper.

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  3. Great post. Going a little deeper into the anxiety/fear induced disappearance, failure (perceived or otherwise) can be a reason authors drop off the face of the Earth.

    I remember when I lost my first agent after over a year and a half of having one and dreaming about the wilds of success we would have together. Hello, naïveté. My name is Stephen. When we parted ways, it was crushing. I actually shut down my blog. In effect, I disappeared, too embarrassed to carry on.

    So now I’m back. From outer space. (I won’t go there.) New agent. New chance at success. And I’m blogging again. Much less about the submission process this time. ;)

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  4. My sparkly eyeshadow brings all the boys to my... book.

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  5. Great post! This has been happening to me this year to some degree. It's hard to balance everything and to know what to share. I've blogged less and less. Thanks for writing this!

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  6. What a beautiful wonderfully written post. As a prepublished author, I do understand why published authors might retreat or suddenly be fearful of the internet. I've seen those whiny posts by published authors so I understand everything isn't tulips and cupcakes on the other side. If anything, there is more pressure, more stress, more angst.

    And I can't pretend to know what I'd do on the other side. But isn't that when a published author should be out there more, making friends, interacting with readers. When the book fades from the bookstores, isn't that when authors should be networking?

    How are your followers or potential friends going to remember the books, just 6 months old, if published authors retreat?

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  7. Great post! I think it's so easy to imagine what being a published author SHOULD be like when you're standing on the other side. But none of us really know until we're there, blinking & wide-eyed.

    Reminds me a lot of before and after having kids. I thought I knew how I'd be and judged parents who didn't do what I would. That all changed once I had kids and realized NO ONE knows what the heck they're doing.

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  8. This is such a great post. I had been wondering things like that myself.

    As an avid reader, and YA book blogger, I know that I never think "man that author is promoting themselves too much" I love getting comments from authors on WoW or on twitter/goodreads. It's nice to know that they like your review or that we are excited about their book.

    All of the bloggers I have talked to, love to hear from authors as much as they can. I even keep emails going with some of them and it's great!

    Social media must be a scary world sometimes though. There are so many thoughts and opinions floating around all the time- some of them nice, some of them mean. And I know I'm certainly guilty of wondering if I say the wrong thing, that I will make people mad. And I'm just a random blogger. I'm sure it is worse for authors.

    Thanks for sharing, and don't be strangers. You are superstars to bloggers! :)

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  9. Here are a few more insights from the short-story realm: at the beginning, I'd talk about any open call for submissions that promised a five-spot and a copy. As the value of my words increased (through mad practice, better internal filters, and signposts like sales and personal rejections), the number of markets I find worth talking about has shrunk. Novelists might find the same thing--landing an agent means less time talking about the rest, placing at a publisher means less time talking about the others. Expertise is as much about narrowing down your knowledge as it is about deepening it.

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  10. This is a great post. And while it may in fact explain a lot to your readers and potential fans, it seems sad to me. The very folks you need on your side at the time of publication, to buy your books and spread the word, are the very folks you alienate by cutting off communication and going underground so to speak. It is a slippery slope and for sure one that no one wants to navigate. So, I certainly don't envy you there. I wish every newly published YA author peace of mind, joy and the confidence to know that you are loved. In fact, you are cherished. You represent the future of YA literature and are a treasure to readers, writers, agents, publishers, editors, librarians, teachers, parents and lovers of YA lit. Shrug away those feelings of inadequacy and fear that you may say the wrong thing or too much of the right thing. Publication is exactly the time when you SHOULD be actively communicating with your core audience. However, you mention both publication and folks with new deals, which is not the same. Regardless, I hope you feel encouraged and know, your readers WANT to hear what you have to say upon publication. Your reviewers appreciate a thank you, your pubilcists want to see you out there working as hard as you can at being YOU. You are awesome. Never forget it. Thanks for posting.

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  11. Great post. I go through spurts of disappearing when I'm dealing with revisions or edits, or when real life whacks me upside the head as it has a tendency to do once in a while. And I constantly feel like I'm talking too much on forums and groups. I'm glad I'm not the only one!

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  12. Maureen Johnson does a great job at interacting (she's on twitter like crazy) and I think she's able to show her personality well. I don't know if she posts on book blogs though; that I understand would require a thoughtful approach to commenting.

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  13. Kirsten, first of all, HI! I miss you! And this so well said. The internet is noisy. And sometimes, that noise is just too much, for any number of reasons. When I feel my anxiety levels rising, it's often because I've been on-line too much.

    We have to keep our sanity intact, and sometimes that means stepping away.

    We each do the best we can, right? :)

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  14. Heh. I'm not even published yet and I have all these roadblocks. My blog is a little backwater pond with a few starving minnows...

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  15. I published my first novel via a small press publisher earlier this year. I, too, was and still am wary about what I post. Although no one might be looking now, they may in the future, so I feel I have to be on my best behavior.
    I've used my publisher as a reference. She keeps it pretty casual with her facebook and twitter posts, and it put me at ease that I don't have to be so strict about keeping to a certain topic or not being able to be myself. I have learned from her posts that you are still supposed to have fun with it. I still haven't mastered blogging and have no idea what I am "supposed" to be talking about. I often feel like I'm just floating around out there waiting for something more to happen in the meantime.
    Then again, since publishing my book I started Grad school, lived in three different states, changed jobs three times, and had a death in the family. I haven't even reached my book birthday yet!Sometimes life just doesn't make it any easier. Authors are people with lives too.
    It's hard to remember that being an author is a part-time job, even without agents to keep you motivated.
    Thanks for the post!

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  16. Why have an online presence? Because authors are told they should? The folks I follow and interact with online are people who are sharing of their authentic selves and who enjoy the interaction. Fear-based communications aren't any fun for anyone. I have a lot of fun on social media.

    I haven't updated my blog since October and I'm not worried about it. When I do write a new post (which will be soon because a post is brewing in my head) that post will have come from a genuine place. SHOULD I post more regularly to drive traffic to my blog and therefore my book? Maybe. But if it's not genuine it will be boring, so I'm not doing myself any favor.

    Why worry so much about what others think? Yes, you have books to sell and need to sell a certain number to be offered new contracts. But not everyone is going to like you or your book. That's a fact. By being our authentic selves online we have a greater chance of touching those people who WILL enjoy our books. And besides, cliche as it is, life really is too short to paralyze ourselves with fear, no matter what our occupation.

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  17. What a wonderful post! As book bloggers, we love to hear from authors during all parts of the writing/publication process. But we also understand the need to step away periodically. Thank you for sharing!

    Nat

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  18. This is a great post, and I'm glad you wrote it. There's a lot that goes on as an author, both published and unpublished, and this is a business with a lot of emotional investment.

    So from the reader side, having not yet been published, it's really easy for us to say, "Keep blogging published authors! We love and miss you!" But you obviously know that. And if it was that simple, you'd probably just do it. But emotions are not simple. So that's sort of like telling an anxious person, "Just stop being anxious! There's nothing to be anxious about." You know that, but you can't just turn the anxiety off, or else you would have done it already. Sounds simple, but isn't so simple.

    So I think that it's really good to have posts like this out there. I know that for me, sometimes I get so wrapped up in the anxieties that come with trying to cross that publishing hurdle that I forget it isn't the end. A whole new crop of things to worry about pops up when you get there. And it's totally understandable that published authors struggle too, what with all the motive-questioning and reviewing and everything else that comes along with it.

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  19. I definitely haven't gone underground. *waves* *twirls* *does the chicken dance*
    ...too much?

    Such great discussion so far. thanks, everyone! And stephen, you raise a really good point. The need to retreat can happen at any stage.

    Just a few notes. I want to underscore that I'm not asking for author pity -- we are SO incredibly happy to be here, angst and copyedits and all. Also, it's not (necessarily) about feelings of inadequacy, or assuming readers don't want to hear from us! Readers are the absolute greatest, and I know I engage with them all the time.

    But this post was inspired by many many conversations I've had with other authors, or writers with book deals. Sure, they're not at the same exact stage, but publication is sort of a gradient, entering-the-online-spotlight-wise. A lot of it boils down to all-too-human anxiety, the kind it's not so easy pep talk oneself out of. For some introverted authors, knowing there's an audience waiting makes engaging even more difficult, not less. Different people are different & react to things differently, you know?

    While writing a post like this is a little intimidating, many of my readers -- and especially YA Highway's readers -- are writers or aspiring authors, and I respect them & think they deserve honesty. An opaque wall between there and publication doesn't benefit anyone, I don't think.

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  20. I never take these kinds of posts as wanting author pity, just writers trying to explain what it's like on the other side. And in this case, explain why they aren't out there.

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  21. Awesome post and discussion!

    Like Kaits said, it's like telling an anxious person "stop being anxious." For some people, blogging and online interaction is appealing and fun. For others, it's angst-inducing. And more fall somewhere in between. It's personal, on the author's side, as the post stated.

    I can think of several authors I absolutely love that have next to no online presence at all. It doesn't bother me. Should it? Tweeting and blogging are great ways to promote yourself and your books, but I don't think any writer should guilt him/herself into doing it if it makes them uncomfortable for whatever reason.

    *strums opening chords to different strokes*

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  22. This is a wonderful post. Thank you Kirsten!

    I'm not a writer (I see several posters are) so I don't know if my .02 counts and I've only been an avid reader for a little over a year now. (I've read 150+ books so maybe "obsessive" is a better term?)

    For me, as the reader, it's always exciting whenever an author takes the time to respond to a review I've written, a tweet or an e-mail because I know you all are regular people (some of whom wear sparkly eyeshadow) living busy lives and writing amazing books in the process. I'm always appreciative of any time you all share.

    I do tend to notice when authors who are normally active on Twitter or who blog regularly seem to disappear but again, I figure it's either because you're next book calls you away or your everyday lives do. I have often wondered about the pressures and would be intrusions that come with book success and how those affect authors.

    I've also seen negative comments posted on various sites that are reminiscent of how people treat celebrities and I question how someone can claim to be a "fan" but not be willing to respect an author's privacy or their need to pull back for whatever reason.

    (Personally, I think those people are just jealous because they can't write awesome books like you all and their sparkly eyeshadow doesn't bring all the boys to the...books. More power to you!)

    Thank you again for letting us behind the scenes and for what it's worth, try not to get too caught up in what others think because as long as you keep writing the best stories you can, there will be people who will read them. :)

    Blessings!

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  23. A friend pointed this post out to me and I just had to comment.

    I am online. A lot. A lot a lot. Facebook, twitter, goodreads, blog, the lot of it. And for the most part, I really enjoy it, and that's why I'm there.

    But sometimes I'm touring, or I'm writing, or I am choosing to quietly read a book or play with my kids instead of doing a blog post.

    And it hurts my SOUL that there are blog readers and bloggers out there who might grudge me that absence. I hurts it even more when I hear bloggers complaining about ungrateful authors, or authors who don't reply to tweets, or authors who don't reply to reviews or comments or whatever. Because, first of all, an author's only responsibility to their core audience is to WRITE BOOKS. We are authors who blog, not bloggers who sometimes write. The core audience, if they truly appreciate the author, should want another book, not another blog post or another tweet. And the other reason it hurts my soul is because the Internetz have absolutely no way of knowing how much or how little that author is able to put in, time wise. I could spend 24 hours a day replying to every comment and e-mail and tweet I get, and I still wouldn't catch up. Does it mean that I don't appreciate them? I don't think so. Does it make me ungrateful? I don't think so either.

    Georgia, I know you mean well, but I hope that an author would have to do more than withdraw from the internet to earn alienation from core readers.

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  24. Thanks for a great post, Kirsten. For me, it's two things why I go quiet. Deadlines (both real and self-imposed) and the fact that sometimes (more than I like), I just feel brain dead. There's are a real need to turn it all off so I can recharge.

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  25. After cleaning the litter boxes (3) and thinking about my comment (1), I wanted to add that stepping away from the outside world for a bit to protect the magic-making creative process is different from hiding in fear. One is empowering and the other is disempowering. Creating works of art is not easy. Being a writer or an artist is not easy. I scrap with my own neuroses constantly. I just wanted to encourage anyone reading this blog post to go ahead and step on the necks of your demons. It's fun. When we worry about what others think, aren't we truly worrying about what we think?

    Thank you for this thoughtful blog post.

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  26. A-men Maggie! You said exactly what I was trying to convey which is why you are the writer & I am the reader.

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  27. Great post! I find that I communicate best with my readers using the forum I like best: twitter.

    I moved from my popular blog at LJ, where I was very active, over to tumblr, where I can post short, sweet things and re-blog adorable picture quotes (you guys are SO talented, how do you make those things??)

    Anyway, I agree w/ Maggie that our job is to write, that blog posts are time consuming, but also agree that readers do love talking to us as much as we love talking to them. For me, the 140 character version of communication works best for me!

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  28. As someone in the trenches of new book deal with a release date looming next year, I can really appreciate this post. I always feel terrible when I need to break from the internet whether due to my obligations to my publisher, my own stress level, or to recharge my creativity. Personally I'm finding even with a release date next October, it's hard to keep up with it all. And just like my own internet activity, everything goes in spurts. Periods when I get slammed with emails from editors, agents, bloggers, and friends and then crickets. I know that I'm relearning balance. My life situation has changed. I thought it would be easier to get it all done - the blogging, the tweeting, the writing, the editing - when I had more hours to do it, but there's still a need for structure, which as a creative type I suck at.

    Recently I was impressed to see author Kiersten White take a month long blogging break. She spoke to my own fears as a new writer, saying there was a time when she felt like she couldn't walk away and recharge but now she feels like she can. I'm sure that's security that comes with her super awesomeness and NYT Bestsellerness, but I think it's a lesson to all writers that as Maggie said above our only job is to write books!

    So I'm going to take that to heart (except for maybe next October ;) and when I'm feeling overwhelmed and creatively drained, I'll remind myself that my only responsibility as an author is to write books. And as a person my responsibility is to live. To play with the kids. To go Christmas shopping. To read a book. The rest comes after.

    Thanks for the post.

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  29. What an insightful post. It addresses so much of what I'm going through right now. I published two books a decade ago when the blogosphere was young, and I was not prepared for the minefield I stepped in when I got a publisher (actually two) who released three of my books last month.

    Yikes. I've got a target painted on my forehead. I tried to write a handy guide for older ladies who want to support their favorite authors with reviews (the over 50 demographic tends to be ignored.) Suddenly I'm a "bully" who is hated by all reviewers and I'll "never be reviewed in this town again." Everything I say is read by people looking for a reason to hate me. I just didn't know.

    If I disappear, I won't have a career, so I have to tough it out and hope they move on to bigger prey soon, but newbie authors should be warned: here be dragons!

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  30. I <3 this post. My book doesn't even come out until 2013, and yet I already worry about this kind of thing.

    Because of issues with ADHD,I already struggle with things slipping through the cracks, and I already worry about dropping the ball and letting emails slide,and offending people unintentionally. I can't even imagine how much harder it will be when I have so many more things clamoring for my attention.

    And like someone else mentioned, my first priority has to be family.

    So again, thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in my worries. And that I'm not the only one who has to creep away sometimes, in the interest of my own personal sanity.

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  31. Yeah, this is a fantastic post, Kirsten. And the comments are excellent, too. I guess the only thing I'd add is that, as an aspiring/new author, I felt this huge pressure to Put Myself Out There. A few books later, it's like Oh My Lord: I Am So Frickin' Out There! Browsing online sometimes gives me this weird sense of eavesdropping on people talking about me, and then I can't figure out whether to say something: "Um, actually, I'm right here." Sometimes it feels awkward to comment and sometimes it seems weird not to.

    Anyway, I agree with Heidi: Twitter and FB have become a good compromise for me. But I can't remember the last time I did a Twitter search on my name. Or actually I can, but only because it was kind of traumatic.

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  32. One advantage of blogging early into the "getting published" process is learning the ropes, and being able to take advantage of the wisdom of people like Kirsten and Maggie before I'm in that position. Right now, while I'm still looking for an agent, I'm introducing the blogging community (that may or may not be future readers of my published work) to who I am and what I'm about. My hope is that when (when when when) I am eventually published, I won't have to explain myself to my blog readers if my blogging decreases, because they will have been following me for a while and would know me and know my appreciation for everyone who stops by my blog for a few minutes each day.

    Thanks for this, Kirsten. :)

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  33. Oh, I'm so grateful for this post. I'm not even published yet, but already I feel this angst over my online presence. What, where, why, when, and who? Not to mention how.

    Anyway, it's something I could have long conversations about, but I'm glad to know that there are others who have similar feelings.

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  34. I think the published author angst is totally understandable, but I think it stems from the pressure that writers seem to place on ourselves in every aspect of the writing and publishing process.

    Worrying about how your online interactions will be perceived after publication is natural, but I don't think people are judging authors in the ways that you described.

    It seems odd to me that a writer (or reader) would be upset about another writer disappearing from the online world. Sometimes the real world intrudes, and that's normal!

    It's easy to put authors up on a pedestal when you just really love their work, but everyone is human. Everyone is entitled to step away from the interwebs.

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  35. This is a really useful post.

    I haven't even landed a contract, and I am about to resubmit to an agent who requested an R&R.
    But I still blog less. I guess there are some of us who aren't really bloggers at heart anyway and only update it in dribs and drabs. But it's already something I don't want to blog about in great detail, the agent submission process. I don't want to gripe or seem unprofessional by going on and on about it. There are more productive uses of my time. And with the redrafting, I don't have anything left in me to give to a blog. This takes up all my spare energy and time. it's all about the book. And it should be.
    I don't know how I'll be if this book actually gets picked up.

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  36. Stacia Kane, who's usually very active online, disappeared from the internet for the last month or so. Turned out she had a perforated intestine and had been in the hospital having multiple surgeries. Moral of the story: JUDGE NOT, LEST YE LOOK LIKE JERKS LATER.

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  37. Fantastic post...a lot of food for thought. I'm going to chew on this for a while. Published my first book this past summer, so a lot of what you said resonates.

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  38. I only have one word: YES. YES. YES. YES. YES.

    All of what you said. YES.

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  39. okay so besides the fact this is one of the awesomest posts i've ever read i have only one thing to ask:

    HOW DO YOU MAKE IT AS A BACKPACKER IF YOU'RE AFRAID OF PARASITES?!?!

    because i very specifically remember in Wanderlove when a huuuge black-and-white-striped cockroach makes an appearance and after reading that i've become a bit...well, TERRIFIED, let's just say, of what i'll do about it if i'm ever lucky enough to go backpacking because i can barely handle a freaking moth.

    so yeah. just wanted to voice my concerns. ahem.

    also, DUDE, i need to reread Wanderlove like, ASAP.

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  40. thank you so incredibly much for your comments, everyone. this has been a fantastic (and fascinating) discussion, and you guys really made me think.

    as for parasites: THEY'RE SCARY!! but I've never, like, HAD one. I think it helps that I don't eat (most) meat, and that's where you'll get them abroad, for the most part.
    the zebra-striped cockroach was real, though. I was on a press trip at a jungle lodge in Belize, and it was very eco-friendly, which meant no pesticides, which is great, but it also meant zebra-striped cockroaches. I'm usually okay with insects as long as they're not ON me, or in my bed. then I go as psycho as the next person.

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Item Reviewed: Why Authors Disappear Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kirsten Hubbard