Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IWSG: Profile Pictures

Today is IWSG day, a monthly event Alex Cavanaugh launched to get writers sharing about their insecurities and other things.

Before I continue…Who did the Blogging from A to Z Challenge? Although I didn’t do A to Z this year, I saw some neat themes out there and plan to revisit the April posts in a few participating blogs.

So…I put up a new profile picture.

The idea of posting my picture has always made me squeamish. Posting a profile picture is a non-issue for so many people, but for me, it caused some angst I had to remedy with a series of pep talks from one side of my brain to the other:

What if certain people from the past and present find me here?
Even if people I hadn’t intended to find this blog actually find it, I have not posted anything here that reveals intimate details about my private life. Also, I’m not embarrassed by anything I’ve written here. (Although, ask me about my early fiction, and I’ll tell you a different story!)  Once in awhile, I might look back on an old blog post and realize my perspective on a topic has shifted since I’d written about it. But I stand by my phases of creative development nonetheless.

Would having a profile picture make me less comfortable about sharing? 
Inspiring me to blog on would be the many writers I follow who post their full names and pictures on their social media while sharing so openly and generously. I tip my hat to writers who put themselves out there like that.

How much thought went into your profile picture? If you don’t have a profile picture of yourself (and yes, I’m looking at you, Alex Cavanaugh!), why is that?

29 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yeah, that's me!
I made a promise to my wife before this all began - the craziness of the publishing world and public life would never spill over into our private life.
I like your photo - you have a beautiful smile!
And I did the insanity of the Challenge. It was like IWSG post day for a whole month...

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

I only posted a picture online once I had my book contract because for publicity purposes, people often want a picture. I didn't understand why people would care what I look like, but a picture is a common request, so it's out there now.
But I will say it is nice to get to see your face. I suppose we like to picture the person we're talking to, so maybe that's why people want profile pictures and author photos!

Pat Hatt said...

Profile pics I never really cared about, not a fan of putting pics of everything I do online though. But a profile pic, meh, let them look. If they don't like what the cat has to say, they can go away.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

My problem with profile pictures is I hate photos of myself. Every time I have an author "photo shoot," I have to pick the smallest of all evils to post. Then I think, I should have another one done that I like better. But since I keep getting older, (which is the alternative to dying, I remind myself), I hate the new ones even more.

So to be completely honest, I wish I could use a profile pic taken in my 20s. (Which I wouldn't have liked when I was in my 20s, but I wish I could go back and slap that younger me. She didn't know she had it so good!)

YOUR picture, on the other hand, is LOVELY. Very nice to meet you at last! :)

Claire Annette said...

Hi Cynthia - lovely picture of lovely you.
I did the A-Z Blog Challenge. It was a great experience even though it was very time consuming. I wonder how people can blog daily? And, I am amazed by people who have more than one blog!

Margo Berendsen said...

I do like to see photos of the bloggers I interact with... so YAY! nice to see you!! (and I just remembered, I am behind in emailing you!) I really liked what you had to say here, too: "Once in awhile, I might look back on an old blog post and realize my perspective on a topic has shifted since I’d written about it. But I stand by my phases of creative development nonetheless."

Romance Reader said...

I need to keep a low profile because of my other job so I don't use a real photo of myself. You look lovely!

Jay Noel said...

As much I like pumpkins, I think you did the right thing.

I spent the first 5 years of my blogging life in total anonymity. When I rededicated myself to pursing the writing-thing, I put a pic of me up there. I figured, if I'm going to be putting myself out there, I should start by, you know, putting myself out there.

Cherie Colyer said...

You selected a great profile picture. I give mine a lot of thought too. It has to be a picture of me I like.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. =)

Peaches D. Ledwidge said...

I'm not sure if this is my first time here.

Your profile pic shows a nice smile, which is welcoming.

I blogged for two years without using a picture of myself, then I started a new blog and used a my picture. I censor myself more when I used my own pic.

S.P. Bowers said...

It made me very nervous but I figured I had to do it to be professional. It gets easier after a bit. Of course, I've never had a problem with stalkers or people in my life that could make it a problem. I hope it stays that way. I think safety always has to come first. I love your picture! It makes me feel like I know you a little better (not in a creepy way though)

Lexa Cain said...

I think your picture is adorable! I don't have a profile pic and never will. I have things pubbed under 4 pen names and several different genres. I'm a private person but mostly I want to be free to grow and change. I'm always surprised by people who publish under their real names. There are a lot of crazies out there...

Emily R. King said...

I like profile pics, mostly because I remember bloggers better with them than without them.

Emily R. King said...

I like profile pics, mostly because I remember bloggers better with them than without them.

John Wiswell said...

Very little thought went into my profile picture. I dislike nearly every photo there is of me, so I went with one of the few that a girlfriend insisted was cute. Personal pictures help make people more approachable online, though this can make things better or worse depending on their personality. I just choose to make myself more approachable in service of the kinder personalities out there.

And I like your picture! It's very welcoming, and suits the tone of your blog!

Sherry Ellis said...

I like your profile picture! I think it's nice to know who you're communicating with, so I prefer seeing profile pictures on blogs.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

It was a long time before I put up a profile picture but since I've got an author website, Amazon author page, Goodreads author page, it seems like whether or not to post my picture is not really an issue. I finally had a professional one done and that's what I use everywhere. Except Twitter. Twitter is my silly space so I put up a silly photo.

Suzanne Furness said...

I do have a pic on my blog but not on twitter. I might change my mind in the future but for now this seems to work for me. I think yours is a lovely picture.

Vicki Tremper said...

I think it's nice to finally see your face! When I added a profile pic to my blog, it was a step toward being more "out" about my writing, taking my writing seriously and asking others to as well. I was claiming my role and it was an important step for my journey. But I don't judge others for not having one.

Medeia Sharif said...

I have a standard author photo and only a few personal photos on my blog--readers do want to know what we look like. I'm a private person, though. I like to use my book covers for profiles.

Julie Dao said...

You are so lovely! <3 When I first started blogging, I was more nervous about sharing too much. But I realized what you realized, too - that I'm not ashamed of what I post here, and I'm always careful never to talk about work or politics or religion or any of that stuff. I want to be a writing professional, and I want people to read my books one day. This is me and I want to be out there. But I totally get the anxiety that may come with sharing your photo, name, or work.

Nick Wilford said...

Your picture is lovely! I think an author pic is good for marketing purposes if you're publishing books. But I totally understand why people would not have one as well, as well as using a pseudonym.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Hahaha! I think we're all looking at Alex :D My picture is me on a cruise and I love cruising!

Kate Larkindale said...

You have nothing to be worried about. It's a lovely photo! And you should be proud to own what you do here,

Christine Rains said...

Your picture is beautiful. :) I have the same worries, though. I dislike having my photo taken, and I worry that people won't see my writing as something extraordinary when I look so completely ordinary.

Mike Louie said...

I'm definitely on the extreme side of sharing personal life with the public digital life.

The joys of being a "nobody" to the world is that we could be as transparent as we'd like without worrying about what others think. So long as we're not offending anyone or putting ourselves into a vulnerable situation, I encourage openness. To know who I'm interacting with goes a long way - especially if you know what that person looks like. You become more relatable.

If I ever reach 'celebrity' status, this might all change. But I'm not going to worry about it. I'm happy with my public profile and posts. If anything, I hope they encourage people to want to engage with me further. I may change my mind when trolls target me but for now, I'm happy to share :)

Shannon Lawrence said...

I love your new profile picture! I like to have a face to put with a name/blog, but I've never not engaged with a blogger just because they didn't have a photo. Still, it's always nice to have this image in your head of who you're "talking" to. It makes it seem more like you know them.

Mark Koopmans said...

I love your profile pic, too... and more power to your elbow (as they say in Dublin) for putting yourself out there (it's easy to read you were uncomfortable :)

Here's to positive profiles and proficient posts no matter what :)

M Pax said...

Your photo is gorgeous. Can I use it as mine? :) I use a photo, but often think about getting a new one or a better one. But I don't think most people really care. Do they?

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