Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Writer's Reputation

by Terrie

When I started out in writing, I sent out nearly everything I wrote. I figured no one would remember me if it was bad. Unfortunately, of course, some of the bad stuff got published, but no problem. A magazine is only around for a month…at least it was then.

Today, some of my bad writing has been posted on the Internet, as magazines put up online archives. Those stories I figured would disappear are still floating around, ready to be found.

Thanks to archives, sites that do nothing but archive the internet, and Google, what we write may still be floating around long after the Second Coming. It’s there for agents and potential publishers to track down. It’s there for readers to find. It’s there to hurt or help your reputation.

Everything you put online is important. You just don’t know who is looking. My publisher found me through a free online column I write, which led him to my website. If I hadn’t been taking my work in those places seriously, I wouldn’t have been offered a contract. Those bits of writing were my resume.

Often when I review applications at BellaOnline, I google an applicant. Sometimes what I find gets them rejected. Sometimes it strengthens a weak application. Your past writing and activities matter.

Whether you are blogging or keeping a family website, make sure every bit of writing you do is worthy of a publisher’s eye. You don’t know who is checking your out because they need a project. If you want to write LDS books, be sure you speak well of the church. If you want to write a parenting book, eye your online writing for suitability. Don’t lose a great opportunity over a little bit of thoughtless writing!

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