Walking the Line

Unless you've been buried under revision pages for the past several years, you've heard non-stop about the importance of an author platform. Obviously, by way of the existence of this blog, I've bought into the idea.  Honestly, I love that, as a reader, I can look into the private world of the masters who have written some of my favorite works.

I mean really, wouldn't it be cool if Jane Austen was alive and could blog about her world.  I'm kinda geeked out by the idea of it.

There are all kinds of idea about what makes a good author site/blog.  Many folks cite wanting to know about author inspirations, their path to publication, updates on the progress of their current projects and the like.

I also think it's interesting to read about certain aspects of authors more personal lives. I would love to learn that you wrote your novel on graph paper in half-hour increments during your kids baths. Did your dog literally eat your first draft forcing you to start from scratch? That's awful and I want to hear all about it.

Insight like this can remind us that writers are real people.  However, when does sharing cross that invisible TMI (too much information) line?

For me, the line is irrevocably crossed when I start to squirm. If I open your website and immediately feel like I accidentally read an entry in your diary, damage has been done. I don't want to hear about your husband's affair, your strong political/religious beliefs or the inadequacies of our public school system.*

Let me clarify a point here.  This really applies for fiction writers.  If you are a non-fiction author who writes about child labor violations, then I'm going to expect that your website will leave me feeling slightly uncomfortable.

However, for the fiction writers among us, it should be noted that some topics should just be off-limits.

*I know that sometimes these experiences/beliefs can fall under the category of inspiration, but sometimes less really is more. :)