I Almost Ruined Everything

Last night’s work read was a children’s book written by a celebrity.

Daily Blog Tips is hosting a blog project about mistakes. I used to blog for my day job, and I made a ton of mistakes when I started out. I also made some mistakes when I first started this blog back in October.

The biggest mistake I made & quickly rectified was in posting my thoughts about a book I read for work that was not due to be published until January 2007. I wanted Reading is my Superpower to have content at its inception, and since I had a gazillion reports I’d written on books, I figured, “Why not repurpose them?” Fortunately, less than 24 hours after I had this harebrained idea I realized what a mistake it was before I caused serious damage both to my new hobby and to my professional reputation.

So why was it a mistake?

First of all, I was hired to write those reports, therefore the content does not belong to me. I didn’t have the right to post that material publicly.

But there’s more.

I thought, well, if I write brand-new posts about these books that don’t mention anything that I included in the reports I wrote for my bosses, then it’s not a problem. And here’s where I made the second mistake–I blogged about a book I’d read for work without checking to see whether it had been published yet. I had read a very early version of it, but publishing cycles are very slow and I was still months ahead. Good thing I had second thoughts and checked the publishing date and took the post down before any harm was done to my reputation. Since the blog was so new & not really optimized, I don’t think anyone even read it.

The last thought I had was to schedule the post to go up when the book came out. But then I got really paranoid and thought, “what if my bosses find out that I’m blogging about work?” I really love my job and don’t want to jeopardize it. Plus, it’s important to me to behave in an ethical fashion.

That’s when I decided not to breathe a word on my blog about the books I read for work, not even in my own words, not even after they come out. It’s hard, because sometimes I read books that get me really excited and I want to talk about them, but it’s not the right thing to do.

53 thoughts on “I Almost Ruined Everything”

  1. Why don’t you talk to your employer about wanting to write about exiting new books on your blog, and get a blanket pre-approval for it?

    It’s advertising! Best possible around! Most good books go unread because you’ve not heard they are good!

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