#CorpsMission – Quarantine (Personal v. Professional profiles)

In the novel, there are a series of epidemic and pandemics that wipe out a good bit of the population.  The Corps Quarantine Unit, known affectionately as Q-team, is in charge of setting up and maintaining Quarantined zones. Keeping the sick away from the healthy.

Today’s job is nowhere so drastic. This is more about separating the personal from the professional.

I maintain three blogs, and three twitter feeds.

The Personal

I have one that’s personal – it’s about the food I eat, the city I live in, and goofy stuff I do with my friends and family. It’s my oldest and most established persona online. On all counts, it has the biggest reach. Loads of followers on Twitter, Pinterest, and friends on Facebook.  The reasons I created those accounts was for keeping in touch with family and friends, often I experimented with new media from that persona.

It’s very tempting to shift these people over to my other accounts, to boost my numbers over there.   I don’t want to do that, though. Because then where will I tell stupid stories about my cats? On my SEO blog? On my Author blog? I don’t think so. Those audiences don’t care about what gluten-free pie recipe comes out the best.  The most I can hope for is to send messages from this persona to lure people over to the other two.

The Professional

I have this one – I initially created this SEO Translator blog and twitter account to serve as a personal portfolio. I never really set out to optimize it or build a following. I wanted to have a link to put on LinkedIn and on my resume that would tell potential employers my personal SEO philosophy.  That’s all. But then I attend conferences and tweet hashtags. I make friends in my industry. I chat with people. (I’m chatty like that). So this Twitter account’s not doing too shabbily. People actually sometimes read this blog.

I have a funny feeling that this Corps Mission series is going to become something of a buzz-feeder on its own. Which sort of delights me, and sort of scares me.

Why does it scare me? Because this account is the Q-line. It’s the fence between my “real life” and my “real job”, and the work that I do in the late evening hours plugging away on a rickety laptop covered in stickers.   This is the blog that if my boss remembered it existed and read it, he would shrug. “Yep, that’s what she does all day.”

This is the day job I’m not quitting.

Do I really want the people who know me in my professional life to learn that I’m an aspiring science fiction novelist?  (A little late to ask this question, dontcha think?)

The Paranormal

Then there’s the author persona – the name I’m trying to build.

To put it bluntly, I write some twisted stuff. My fiction is roughly as dark and weird as I do not appear to be in public. (I’m rather bland and perky in person.)

If – and this is a BIG IF – If I were to ever gain any sort of fan base for my writing, there is the outside potential of attracting crazy people.   It might be that I won’t want strangers having multiple ways of getting in touch. It might be that I want to keep that Q-line neatly divided, and speculative fiction fans don’t need to know the author’s gluten-free pie recipe.

My Diagnosis

All of the above just boils down to a fact that I already knew:  I have to build this persona from scratch. I can’t use any of my existing reach to build it.   I’d seriously considered shifting my Pinterest account to my author name, because it’s already built up such a nice following, and it’s such a pain to maintain more than one account.  But the truth is, I need to hold the Quarantine line.

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