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.