This question comes up a lot in my mind when I sit down to blog or I pop on Twitter, which I joined as “The Edifying Word” and only recently added my name to (now I’m “Kristin at The Edifying Word”). I’ve struggled to find the balance, but my hope is that I can honestly answer “both” to the question in the post title. The Edifying Word has morphed over the years since I started it, when I pretty much only posted book reviews, and most of those were by authors who requested my reviews, often through the Book Blogger’s List. I don’t regret starting that way — I met some fantastic authors that way, whose books I continue to read. But eventually I changed to a static home page and started offering editing services, which I LOVE DOING, and neglected the blog. I’ve been back at it lately, mostly with the Indie Author Spotlight but I’m also trying to be more engaged and to write more insightful, themed pieces. Because I LIKE to. Even if it outwardly seems to have nothing to do with editing…
My Twitter activity has morphed, too, from solely editing-reading-writing posts to a more diverse set of topics. I wanted to show more of ME, but I struggled with how personal, how REAL should I be? I still struggle, though I’ve gone decidedly more personal than I used to be. I actually think it’s helped me professionally, though, because I’m connecting with people I like and who actually like me. I’m learning about new books, new authors, publishing activity, agents, and more. I’ve gotten to work with several amazing clients that I’ve met through Twitter, AND I’ve learned a lot from the editing community (#edibuddies — thanks for answering my questions and building me up!). I’ve also learned, as I share more, that there are lots of other editors out there like me: struggling to balance their passion for editing with their children, families, jobs, etc.
I’ve learned to see that needing a longer time-frame to complete edits or not working full time is an advantage rather than a hindrance. I find that I work best with clients who also have competing priorities–children, spouse, job, etc.–and who value my straightforwardness. I also find that I put less pressure on myself to accept any job that comes my way, and try to sign on for the jobs that really excite me. Rather than trying to sound “professional” or “smart” or “qualified” I’ve tried to be authentically me, weigh in where I have something to add and stay quiet when I don’t, and support authors and editors and all members of the writing community.
Sometimes I get unbalanced. Just today I came to the realization I’ve been on Twitter A LOT, which is not awesome for my kids. I’m going to find a new way to approach my social media usage, though I haven’t figured out how yet. But that’s ok. Live and learn, and where necessary, apologize and make appropriate changes.
So, here I am being more personal than “professional” in the truest sense of the word, but you’re getting the real me, not an image. If you like me, awesome! I’d love to know you, talk about books with you, or kids, or life, or even edit your writing! If not…we’re probably not a good fit for each other.
Speaking of being professional, though — you may have noticed my new logo and website design! It’s still a work in progress, and I’ll tell you more about the designer when she officially launches her business, but I’m really pleased with what we’ve done so far. I’ve put the logo below, and the submark is at the top of the post. Check them out and tell me what you think!