Author Krista Tibbs

Reprise: To Potential Employers on Behalf of Part-time Writers

In Being Human, Commentary, Integrity & Freedom, Politics & Government, Spirit on February 13, 2018 at 8:59 pm

For the vast majority of authors, writing is necessarily just a part-time gig. This means we have to balance professional identity and writer identity in some way without compromising either. So, on occasion, I feel compelled to re-share the following thoughts.

I made a conscious choice to write this blog under my own name, because I think very hard before I speak, in person and on paper. But no matter how carefully one words an essay, if it is worth thinking about, there will be readers with a different opinion — and those people may interpret the article personally but judge the writer professionally, even if one has nothing to do with the other.  That’s the risk we take when we write.

A web search is a fact of the background check these days. So, beyond rehashing every interview, part-time writers also have to wonder about the effect their public writing will have on their “real-world” careers. I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me, below are a few things I would want potential employers to keep in mind:

  • When I write about the voices in my head, it’s okay; I’m just referring to my characters.
  • My cats write my blog sometimes, but don’t worry; they refuse to go to meetings in my place.
  • My characters’ actions don’t always represent what I would do in the same situation. In fact, they are often just the opposite: I think of something I would never do or say and let my characters try it and see what happens.
  • Just because one of my characters advocates it, it doesn’t mean I advocate it. See previous bullet.
  • My essays are just one perspective at a point in time, a snippet designed to provoke thought and conversation; they are not my entire world view set in stone.
  • If you disagree with the viewpoints or beliefs in my essays, it doesn’t mean we can’t work together. Half of your best teammates probably share my point of view but have just never said it aloud in your presence. Diversity of thought is the best antidote for groupthink.
  • I write under my real name to be accountable to everything I say. So you can rest assured I will also conduct myself with accountability and integrity in your organization.
  • If you ask me in an interview what is the biggest risk I have taken, I will tell you it is writing my books and exposing myself to public judgment. Is it worth it? Yes.

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