Is it reputable or is it dishonorable?  Well, so that you have a clear understanding of what a reputation is, let me give you a little refresher on the word.



The estimation in which a person or thing is held, especially by the community or the general public;  the way in which people think of someone or something.

As an author, regardless of what others think or how I am perceived, my reputation is of extreme importance to me.  I have worked hard to build my name and standing in the literary community, therefore, I guard it, and the perception of it, with great care.

Because we interact with our peers and our “communities” without the comfort of solidarity, yet, in an anonymous world behind keyboards, there are those that feel these situations offer them a green light to behave poorly and recklessly.

We’re all familiar with online “trolls,” aren’t we?  The ones who go around the web wreaking havoc on everyone’s lives and enjoying every moment of it?  These people tend to hide behind fictitious names so that no one knows who they are, and their steps can’t be easily traced.  After the demise of those fake identities, they simply create new ones to continue along their senseless paths of destruction.  (Wait just a moment, let’s not focus on these trolls too much, as I have not the time or the energy to lend to these “zeros,” even in my writing.  Moving on…).  And then, there are those who cause similar chaos online under their real names or Pen names…they just don’t care what others think about their poor behavior, and truth be told, these are the ones I worry about most. The fact that they DON’T CARE ABOUT THEIR REPUTATION OR HOW THEY ARE PERCEIVED, is a very scary thing.  Trust me when I say that if they don’t care about their own, they will lose no sleep over trying to destroy or taint yours.

You see, when I hear someone say that they are an Author, I tend to hold them to a certain level of esteem, and I’ll admit, I also expect a certain amount of professionalism and decorum from Authors.  Why?  Because although change is good, there are some things (in my mind) that should never change.

I remember as a child, dreaming and wishing that I could one day meet my favorite Author (Louisa May Alcott), but deep down, knowing that would never be possible.  Not because she died in the 1800’s but, when I was but a young lass, Authors just weren’t so “accessible,” and there was this mystery surrounding them. (And just for the record, a little mystery is a good thing).  We didn’t have the luxury of interacting with them on Facebook and Twitter the way it’s done now, and you know, that wasn’t such a bad thing.  In the way they carried and conducted themselves, the Authors of old cared about their reputations and how they were perceived.  (Kind of reminds you of the Authors on the current RWISA roster as well as those members of RRBC who also greatly value their reputations).

Today, we have many who display attitudes of nonchalance of behavior all over social media.  This is evident when you see the kinds of conversations they carry on on Twitter, the types of images and videos they choose to share on Facebook, and lastly, the behavior they choose to exhibit period.  Sadly, I’m not only referencing the younger generation. I’ve seen the most unprofessional behavior recently from those who are in grandparent and great-grandparent seasons, that have shown me exactly the behavior TO NOT EXHIBIT when I’m in that same season of life.  I’ve witnessed with my own eyes, two adult women (Authors) in knock-down-drag-out cat fights (aka…war of words) on social media, and as an adult, a mom of daughters, and a professional Author…I was embarrassed for them.  Never in a million years, would I behave in such a manner!

In my embarrassment for them, I wondered, Do they not care that others are watching them?  Watching this?  Who would want to run out and purchase their books after witnessing such disgraceful behavior?  I surely wouldn’t.  I imagined seeing the both of them (in the real world) standing outside of a bar, brawling, pulling each other’s hair.  I experienced such embarrassment … for them, because clearly, they weren’t embarrassed at all.

Engaging in this type of back and forth war-of-words publicly, seals the deal on your online reputation.  People who were friendly with you before, start to become quiet in your midst.  You’re now noticing the ones who once called you “friend,” are now moving away from your inner circle.   Still confused as to why?  People who hold themselves in high esteem, are smart enough to know that you can quickly be tagged as “the company you keep,” and I’ve never once heard that reference used in a good way. These people, professionals who care about their reputations, do not want to be aligned with amateurs who are clearly not in their league, nor are they on the same level.  I personally, tend to quickly move away from people who display such volatile and indecent behavior, as you just never know what they’ll do next.   When it’s displayed once, once is enough for me.  {Note to readers:  I’m the lady who believes what people show me … not so much what they tell me}.

As I wrap things up here, my advice to you is this: Think before you speak and think even harder before you act, lest you do or say something which you might regret later.  If in the past you have found yourself guilty of any form of public juvenile behavior, you can still turn things around … if you work hard enough.  Your online reputation is and should be, just as important as your reputation in the real world.  Let what yours say about you, be a true reflection of who you are and how you want to be perceived and received .

What does your online reputation say about you? Is it reputable or is it deplorable?  What do you think others are saying about you, based on this kind of reputation?  We’d love to hear from you via the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by!

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.




Add yours →

  1. Great post, Nonnie. I am reminded of a quote from Warren Buffet – Berkshire Hathaway.

    “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I tend to be protective of my online reputation and ignore (do not respond) to nay sayers. My blog is family friendly and I only share posts that are uplifting, inspirational and fit with my blog theme. Fortunately, I find a lot to share and enjoy supporting my friends, who are all extremely supportive of me. Lots of food for thought in this post and in the comments as well. Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Nonnie. I’m amazed at some of the behavior I’ve read about recently. This article is spot on, and I think everyone should read it. We should always remember to act professional and “walk away” from the haters.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Room With Books and commented:
    Once again Nonnie Jules tells the TRUTH in her blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a shame this subject needed to be brought up among supposedly mature adults. But it did, Nonnie and you addressed it beautifully as did all the comments. Sometimes I make excuses for people because often writing on sites and texts can change the context of what we say. But that’s no excuse for the horrible things I’ve seen writers and readers do to others. One nasty goodreads bunch literally destroyed a young friend of mine, physically and emotionally. Due to them her first book, and a good one will not be read because in fear she pulled it off the market. They went after me and my reputation as a book reviewer too but being older, I knew how to handle them. I guess most of us feel that as writers we have more integrity than others, but people are the same everywhere, good and bad, and we need to be careful with people online that we don’t know well. Like you so aptly stated, we need to know when to speak out and when to walk away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Micki! What you mention about the behavior that is allowed to run rampant at Goodreads, is the very reason that I, or any RRBC forum, will not support it. Those who choose to “hang out” there…well, that is their choice, but they cannot promote it here.

      We live in a society fraught with negativity and “ugly” and I feel that my purpose here on earth (we all have one), is to rally all that I can, to bring about positive change in any and every arena possible. Will I succeed? On a grand scale…maybe, but reaching and touching one person at a time to possibly effect change, is my truly attainable goal. Palaces are built one brick at a time, and so shall the (almost) perfect world that I envision for us all.

      Reputations are at stake. Writing careers are at stake. What you do and how you choose to do it in these online forums, will determine your ultimate success as a writer. You can soar with the eagles or you slum with the pigs, either way, YOU will have made either choice to do so.

      Thanks for dropping by, Micki!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well said, Nonnie!!!


  7. This is just fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A bit of kindness goes a long way, whether online or in our daily offline lives. Our ability to attract others to our work depends on living that rule, I believe. There are those who thrive in fits of drama and believe it increases exposure and sales, I suppose. But professionalism and kindness allows those who read my work to enjoy it for what it is and not colored by my antics. Besides, a reader or a supportive author are with gold to me, so why turn them off?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think we’ve all seen those cringe worthy actions. It’s so easy to get caught up in a moment, say the wrong thing at the wrong time, give in to the golden rule and do unto others instead of turning the other cheek. But, I found the secret to my happiness is to be kind. It takes no more effort and the world is that much better.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for the article Nonnie and very good advice. A good reminder think before we post as in real life think before you speak.


  11. It’s so true that the internet provides a sort of “screen of anonymity” that many choose to hide behind. Unfortunately, for many people, it’s their only outlet for the anger inside. I suppose in a way that is good, since everyone needs to let off a little steam, but it’s also true that folks need to sit back and take a few deep breaths first. Everything would be so much better if we could all do that. That being said, it’s also true that “haters are gonna hate”. In the end, all we can do is avoid those kinds of people and hope someday they can learn to behave as civilized people too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Karl! What if “avoidance” comes too late in the game? I mean, you really don’t know what kind of personalities you’re going to run into, as most often, folks are putting their best foot forward when you first meet them; but when the ball drops…we’re all left scrambling for cover! Using this cloak of anonymity as an outlet for anger? Let’s not give them anymore reasons to try and justify their poor behavior.

      Thanks for dropping by, Karl!


  12. Good article. Goodreads reviewers should be required to read it!


  13. I hope they see me as a serious writer but that might be just a dream? Thanks N for such a great article.


  14. Thank you for this reminder, Nonnie! I wholeheartedly believe that the majority of those who act this way on social media also do so in their personal lives. I have met such a person when I was about 30 years-of-age. She wasn’t happy if she wasn’t causing trouble and drama in the lives of others. I was taken in in the beginning because I didn’t know such people as this existed in the real world. Once I found out, I stayed clear.

    I’ve also seen people online tell all about things that should stay private between them and the other parties and also get into a knock-down, drag-out word-wars online (washing their dirty laundry in public). It was embarrassing for me to read, but to think that these people may not have learned any better was sad. It makes one wonder how they were raised.

    I believe overall we should all be respectful and kind to one another. If we do that, we don’t have to worry about our reputations. It doesn’t mean there won’t be disagreements, but those should be handled privately and with honor.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for this great article, Nonnie! I think some people believe they are “invisible” on social media; since they aren’t physically face-to-face with others, they think they can say anything with no consequences. But the reality is there are lots of people “hearing” what you say. We need to always be aware of being courteous to and thoughtful of others, but even more so with social media!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Interesting article. I’ve seen people leaving terrible comments on the internet but they can hide behind pseudo names. As for authors honestly I haven’t come across any negativity at all since getting more involved in WP. I personally enjoy great relationships with people and even written a post on how great I feel the online community is. Strange how people can forget themselves here in cyber space. If it ever happens to me in real life I just dont reply just like harmonykentonline said in the above post. Tip of the day is dont bite and let it go immediately. Cheers Nonnie 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Great stuff Nonnie! 😀
    I’d like to hug the anonymous person who coined that last quote. Who says everyone has to go around giving uncalled for opinions on absolutely everything (and whether they’re qualified to do so or not as well!).
    One of my earliest literary heroines, from Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies (which these days is not seen as ‘politically correct’) is Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby. It’s a pity so many people these days haven’t got a clue what that means, because the world would be a much better place if they did!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. A beautiful, wonderful, lovely, reminding, inspiring important post! Thank you Nonnie…I’m so grateful 4 crossing paths w/your group, as I try 2 stay true to my intentions, inspired by another fave of mine, Epictetus, “surround yourself with those that lift you up, whose presence calls forth your very best.” A powerful, positive start to my day!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It isn’t just on social media, either. Sometimes I read a haateful email and wonder if the person writing it is aware that there exists such a thing as a “forward button.” And, of course, one must always remember the most important rule for dealing with trolls online: never engage! Thanks for the timely post. Given how election season in the U.S. is going, it’s is wisdom we need to keep in mind!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. A wonderful post, Nonnie. I am sometimes too overly protective of my online identity and reputation and that’s because I’ve worked terribly hard to build it. It’s also the reason I limit content shared on my blog by myself and others to match that same brand.

    As for engaging in anything inflammatory, whether on Facebook (ugh!), Twitter or commenting on a “hot-button” post, I have a hard and fast rule not to participate. I made that decision when I ventured online. I’m here to network with readers and other authors, share tips and posts about writing and books I love. The rest doesn’t interest me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Mae! I wouldn’t say that I stay away from “hot-button” posts, but I will say that I am always a professional and I know when to engage and when I should remove myself from the playground and let the ‘nuts’ play all by themselves. How about that?

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. A thoughtful piece, Nonnie. I have witnessed some cringe moments on social media that always serve as a reminder to avoid that kind of behavior. Your post also brings up the thought that we should try and guess the reaction of our social environment in advance of publication. If every author held a mirror to the words in advance, I’m sure most would end up in the trash folder. Thanks for the lesson and reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I appreciate that you bring this important issue front and centre today, Nonnie! Fifty years ago, if I displayed juvenile behaviour in public, very few people would know about it. Today, misbehaviour on the Internet is on display to the world – and it never goes away!!! I’m personally appalled when I see obscene language, etc. bandied about on social media without a thought about how it will damage one’s reputation. I agree, as Authors, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard and guard our reputations jealously… that, and the quality of our writing is our professional lifeblood!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Nonnie, thank you for always being so on it. Our people would say that you always hit the nail on the head. :). Your article today is the one reason I dread FaceBook. It exposes you in a way you will never be able to tell. Twitter tends to to hide one better, especially with the limited word count, it stops anyone from going all out with un-necessary words. But then you know Nonnie, there are people who believe that being foul mouthed is a quick way to stardom. These people don’t mind being nasty, uncouth, and out of control with words, because that is who they want to be, that is what brought them to notoriety. I hide behind few words. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  24. harmonykentonline May 24, 2016 — 9:46 am

    Great article, Nonnie, and I love the quote at the end! Like you, my online reputation is important to me; after all, I’ve worked hard. More than that, though, is that’s who I am. That’s one reason I always felt so reluctant to move into the world of social media; I just don’t believe in airing my dirty laundry for the whole world to see. Recently, a member of my family attacked me via Facebook, and I decided the best response was no response. No point in adding fuel to the fire. And, really, her comments say more about her than they do me. Whether she sees it or not, she’s holding up a huge mirror. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

We love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: