Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Confused

Because of circumstances, we stayed home this weekend. That meant that--with the exception of a few times when golf or baseball took over the TV--we watched a number of the various weekend "news" shows. And, I'll confess, I sometimes found myself voicing my opinions rather strongly, usually either to my long-suffering wife or to myself.

Now, authors are urged to post periodically in order to let their readers know a bit about them. But we're also warned not to directly post things that might be controversial, lest we offend potential readers. I've always felt free to share my opinions, and am reasonably tolerant of those who have divergent (ie, "wrong") viewpoints. Seriously, I have wonderful friends in both camps. But I note those who maintain a public persona via social media try to keep their opinions under wraps. And, to this point, I've tried to do the same. But it's tough, sometimes.

What's a fellow to do? Readers, what would you like posted by an author to let you learn more about them? Authors, what do you post that is "safe," and won't turn away readers. Or do you care? I'd like to hear.


8 comments:

Priscilla said...

If you're not traditionally published, do you still need to keep more controversial opinions under wraps?

When authors post opinions I don't care for, I don't unsubscribe unless they spew attacking and hateful things. There's a difference, I think, between having a conversation between folks of opposite opinions and having an argument.

Richard Mabry said...

It's tough to know where to draw the line.

Lora D said...

I would highly recommend staying away from controversial issues that do not relate to your writing. Everyone wants to believe they are right, and if a public figure they like (in any arena) states the opposite, it will be a major turnoff. I HAVE unfriended a couple of authors who I used to highly respect until I learned of their personal beliefs. I'd give them a chance first, of course. But once it was obvious that they adamantly supported something I was completely against, plus if they even argued with those who presented a different opinion in order to state their case even stronger, I was done. I didn't want to have anything to with them--or their books.

I would say it's wise to stick with only whatever relates to your writing. If you write a book that touches a controversial issue (abortion, guns, immigration, whatever), you can write why you chose to address that topic, what research you've done on it, and why. People can choose to read or not read that book, and hopefully they will be more likely to associate your opinion with a book and not you as a person.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for your comment, Lora.

Gail H. said...

I assume, maybe blindly, that most authors I follow are Christian and therefore share most of the same views and values I do. I think Christians most of the time are too quiet in standing up for what they believe. All we hear are the negative in the news.

Richard Mabry said...

Gail, I wish I could assume that. But I have to be true to my principles and beliefs, which sometimes might mean stepping on some toes unless I'm careful. So, I walk the line between standing up for my faith and beliefs, without turning off some who might change their minds after reading what I have to say. It's a thin line, but a necessary one. Thanks for your comment.

Patricia Bradley said...

It is a very thin line, Richard. I almost always stay away from controversial subjects, except for abortion, and even on that subject, I try not to be in your face. Getting angry and spewing hateful words never changed anyone's mind. Rather than argue, I gently ask, "How do you think God views abortion?" Even if they don't agree with me, they generally agree that abortion grieves him.

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, no argument there, but don't you get tired of posting non-controversial material? I know there are times when I want to shout back at the people who post on Facebook.
By the way, I do try to keep my posts on this blog non-controversial, but I really get tired of some of the vitriol I see on social media.
Thanks for chiming in.