You’ve read Janet Reid’s post about the dangers of talking about rejections online, correct? Just making sure.
She suggests keeping your querying off your blog completely and I understand her reasoning. She says it sounds like complaining. Well, yeah, it is. Posting about rejection or waiting is cathartic. Unfortunately, if you’re using your blog to build your platform, then venting is not what it’s for. It’s for building connections in the blogosphere and publishing industry.
You know, this isn’t my only blog. I have another one where I complain about everything. It would be nice to get sympathy from friends about the process, but that’s not what this is for. It’s for inflicting etymology on you. My other blog, however, is just for complaining. It’s also just for me because I don’t think it’s very fun to read groaning and moaning about how everything is everyone else’s fault. Hey, it’s my blog and I’m not using it to make connections.
That isn’t to say it’s completely wrong to voice a complaint on your blog. Just do it with sensitivity to the blog’s purpose. Remember that there are a lot of agents out here with us and they might not like seeing criticisms of their policies. Say you worked in advertising and you had a blog to connect with other industry professionals. You wouldn’t start bashing their companies when a deal fell through, would you? No. Because it would be professional suicide. As awesome as writing and blogging is, it is a profession, too. Unless you want to stay at amateur status, you can’t rip on people. A legitimate complaint is different, but even then it could turn companies off from working with you. That may not seem fair, but everyone is uneasy with working with someone who might go to the internet and complain about them.
Look at this situation that Paul Joseph brought up (and especially read the two articles he links to). A teacher’s personal blog was found by her students and her venting did not go over well with the parents. On one hand, it’s her blog, she didn’t post details and the people are really being oversensitive. On the other hand, it upset--and I can’t blame them for this--the students she’s supposed to be teaching.
I’m all for freedom of speech, but with that comes with a legitimate factor: you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from repercussions. It means freedom from interference. I don’t like that the teacher may be fired but that’s the thing about the digital age. Anything you post is really hard to eradicate. That’s why people suggest you don’t post drunken pictures of yourself on Facebook. Perspective employers can access them.
In the end, all of this is a murky issue. The answer to "how much is too much?" is not easy to get to and requires constant thought, reevaluation, and sensitivity. It’s possible that in ten years, people will be far more accepting of annoyed blog posts. It’s also possible they’ll put in a "no blogging" clause in employee contracts.
Blog with care. The internet is not as consequence free as it seems.