Great post here by John Scalzi commenting on Elizabeth Bear’s post on dealing with the idea people have of you as a writer – i.e. they’ve never met you, but have an idea in their head about who you are based on your writing. It’s the idea of false familiarity.
The other day in the Whateverettes sidebar I linked to Elizabeth Bear’s discussion about being fictional — or, less pithily, her dealing with that fact that lots of people who read her books and/or her blog have an image of her in her head which is a construct, based on that writing, which may or may not have much to do with who she actually is. The number of people carrying a fictional version of her around in their head is smaller than the number of people who have a fictional version of, say, Angelina Jolie or Barack Obama in their head, but it’s a large enough number of people that she does have to deal with it.
And it’s a weird thing to deal with. As eBear notes:
“Sometimes, it’s a little like dealing with 5,000 high school crushes. Sometimes it’s like dealing with 5,000 high school enemies. Sometimes, I learn things about myself I did not know from my Wikipedia page.”
The rest lives here.