Sunday, January 21, 2018

Protect Your Good Name

I enjoy reading memoirs. About four years ago, I noticed a memoir at my library called Molly's Game. I brought it home and read it cover to cover. The story began with a competitive skier in Colorado. Molly Bloom. Ultimately Bloom began to run a high stakes poker game in Los Angeles. While I know little about poker, the story and writing held my interest. At the end of the book, the FBI had arrested Bloom and the story was not finished or resolved. While I enjoyed and appreciated the book, I went on to reading other books and didn't think much more about the story—until last month when the movie Molly's Game was released.

Prolific screenwriter Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay. While in general, I do not go to many R rated films, I was eager to watch Molly's Game. The movie picks up where her memoir stopped and tells the rest of Molly Bloom's story. Repeatedly throughout the movie, Bloom is pressed to give the government the details of her high stakes poker clients and she refused. If she gave in, she would get all of her funds back from the government and much more but she did not.Why?  She didn't want the release of this information to destroy or hurt the lives of her clients. Also she was protecting her own name. One of the themes of the movie is how Bloom was firm on protecting her own name. It is a well-crafted story and worth seeing.

This film started my thinking about what steps am I taking to protect my own good name? I've written many books and magazine articles and worked as an editor for several publishers. In this era of social media,  stories can spread rapidly on networks—whether they are true or not. What steps are you taking to monitor and protect your own name?

Here's a couple of action points:

1. Be aware of the necessity for every writer to be cautious about what they put out on social media. Those posts are there forever.

2. Be actively monitoring your own name and how it is used with free tools like Google Alerts, TalkWalker and others. I use several of these tools and I find each one finds different sites and are easy to use and monitor.

I have been on Twitter since July 2008 and posted over 40,000 times. No one else is making these posts. Each time I type something on Facebook or Twitter, I'm aware of the longevity of such actions. These posts are searchable and long-lasting as in forever.

What actions are you taking to protect your name online? Let me know in the comments below.


Are you protecting your name with consistent action? Get some detailed action points here.  (ClickToTweet)
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3 Comment:

At 6:49 AM, Blogger MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA Left a note...

Terry, thank you for this unique and relevant post! To my knowledge, I have not read a post on this topic before, yet it is one that needs to be addressed more frequently.

I am reminded of Proverbs 22: 1: "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold." Unfortunately, some authors today are seeking great riches at the expense of a good name. As a result, they are compromising their values for money and fame.

May we always remember that we write first to glorify God and second to bless our readers. Anything else that results from our writing is a by product of those two priorities.

Many blessings to you!

MaryAnn Diorio

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

Mary Ann,

I love that verse from proverbs and one that I think about often. Thank you for your feedback and this comment. Blessings to you,


At 6:26 PM, Blogger MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA Left a note...

You are most welcome, Terry! Thank YOU for your valuable insights.




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