As writers we create that much needed platform by blogging. We write about our stories, the process of writing and our lives. But what happens when our personal life of writing crosses over the boundaries of our company.
We want exposure, but at what price?
This week I posted a commentary about an airline accident on Flight To Success. This accident could have been a scene in my aviation thriller, Flight For Control. We had quite the forum discussing “what” happened and “why” this plane fell out of the sky. Then I received "the" call.
My Chief Pilot made me remove this discussion because he said that it went high up in the company and I was “violating" their social media policy. Apparently a newspaper may publish it, and in our policy we’re not allowed to talk to the media. But I never gave them permission! I didn’t speak to any reporters! Do newspapers have the right to take and print our written words off our blogs?
My airline has been reading my blog and enabling me to continue to write. They like the support and positive community image I’m creating for them. But then I found a skeleton under the ocean, and was sent a gag order. I pulled that post after it circled the globe from blog to blog, and now I’m contemplating this social media world and the rights of our employers. Actually our rights. Beyond our rights, our responsibilities to the safety of an industry if we should find a snag.
We write for many reasons. To entertain, inform, educate, and communicate. This situation has made me think— what if you discovered something that was going on in your industry, that happens to be within your genre, and could potentially lead to multiple deaths and you hold the key to informing, educating and communicating. And it fits so nicely on your blog… of course this is what you write about. Wouldn't you? But writing about it leaves you open to losing your job and your career.
What are the boundaries, and perhaps ethics, of the “gag” order? As writers, should we risk the repercussions and write about it anyway? How much of our personal life should be ours and not owned by the corporate world? What happens when my novel gets published and they don’t like what they read?
Sometimes truth is scarier than fiction.
How do you deal with the ethical conflict between social media, your life and that of your day job? The boundaries are fuzzy lines.
Enjoy the Journey!