Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Define Trust

So in the spirit of confessions, I mostly trust people. I know. It makes me naïve. HWMNBMOI says you are all 14 year old boys and dirty old men and you will all abandon me when I confess I have to be 40 pounds overweight to fill a B cup.

But I happen to think ALL of you are who you say you are... but would I trust you with my STUFF? What are the markers that push people cross that trust line? How do we know who REALLY wants to give us good feedback and who might revise it and call it their own? I know this HAPPENS, but I have to confess, I am not NEARLY as paranoid about it happening to ME as I once was.

My first book (CONFLUENCE) first send out, I did not trust THE INTERNET. You heard me... I copied discs and mailed them. (is this more safe? No clue.)--I happen to think NOW that G-mail is probably plenty safe. I've even sent stuff by *gasp* Yahoo.

Why am I asking? Probably silly... provoked by something that only struck me for an instant... I am part of an ABNA prep group and yesterday got a Facebook message, “Love your pitch, would love to read your book”... erm...

Now at the time I read it, that was all it was. At the end of the day I ALSO had read this woman's pitch and we BOTH have ghost stories (only her ghost is angrier) and she really had accurately identified me as a good match to trade projects (were mine closer to DONE), but I was shocked at that defensive... erm... what? This is my SEXY book! I had thought I was once again a totally trusting animal... apparently it's not so... [is it scary that I felt like I trusted her after reading her book pitch?]

It got me thinking about who I trust... ALL of my writer's group, of course (heck, if I were organize, I'd will them my half done stuff so they could finish, publish, and split proceeds with my family—that is my trust level). With YOU GUYS... the people I check in with a couple times a week? A LOT of trust. The people I email with? Fairly TOTAL trust. Facebook? If it's regular, quite a lot. I have no idea how much interaction it takes for me to trust you... But somehow, I do.

So what about you? What does it take to reach trust?

And if you trust ME, maybe you will consider sending me personal eye-candy photos to replace my Google Image deficit... *shifty*

Seriously though:

[verbal content of this blog was generated by Hart Johnson
Picture 1 from Morguefile, picture 2 created by Joris Ammerlaan for ME
This post was first displayed at Confessions of a Watery Tart 
if you see it elsewhere, that's fine, but PLEASE come by and meet me!]

31 comments:

Kal said...

I think that after you have been online long enough you develop certain instincts about who you can trust. That doesn't mean that all of us have been horribly wrong about someone. With my blog I talk about myself all the time. If people react to that positively and don't run screaming into the night then I am pretty sure they are well on their way to being MY PEOPLE.

Only last year, however, I met someone through my blog who was so good at deceit that she completely fooled me and a few other people as to who she was. It was like my own personal verion of 'Catfish' without the cross country travel. When her lies started to fall apart under our questions she disappeared. I have no doubt she has invented another persona and is putting others through what she put us through (and I suspect many others). It's sad but gives one an appreciation for the friendships we do form through our hobby.

I would rather take a chance and be wrong than miss out on what could be a great connection. You can't over value the people who 'GET' what you are all about.

I have paid upfront for commission art work and had used US addresses to get stuff that is not shipped to Canada (why that is I will never know butf apparently some Americans think Canada is on the other side of the world or something). I have yet to be cheated. I like to think their are more good people out there than bad but after what happened in Arizona last weekend I might have my doubts.

Powdered Toast Man said...

I can't be trusted, I steal other people's lunches and eat them all. Wait, no that was that kid on Kindergarten Cop. I guess you can trust me. Let's test it out. Send me $50 with a return address and I will send it back to you....................maybe.

Ted Cross said...

I tend to trust until someone gives me a reason not to trust them...then I never trust them again.

Hart Johnson said...

Kal-That was really well said--I'd rather nurture and enjoy the relationships than be suspicious of everyone--life just wouldn't have the same sweetness if it was doused in paranoia. Hopefully though, it won't involve any BIG burns...

PTM- *snort* If I HAD $50... maybe you could lend it to me and then we'll give it a try...

Ted-I am possibly overly forgiving too. It is all my social science training, I think... I can always see a REASON and attribute bad stuff to THAT instead of personality... *sigh*

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I don't worry too much about it, somehow. I think it's because my voice is distinctive to me (as yours is to you) and if someone did take my idea, they'd end up with a totally different book than I'd write. There are only so many plots out there. And if someone *did* take my book word by word...well, that would just be bizarre. The publisher would actually pursue that, since it's their property and they know what I'm writing. Soooo...hm. Mine is less a matter of trust than a matter of just thinking there's nothing anyone can really *do* with my unsubmitted work.

Old Kitty said...

Oooh trust over the internet - gosh!! I'm wary about the internet so much - I don't even like having my full name displayed on my blog! LOL!
And I have one facebook account I last used 4 years ago and have all my privacy setting to the max there!!! But I guess when it comes to sharing your creative output on the net I guess you really have to trust your instincts as to whom to share it with and I guess just be really practical and back everything up (e.g. word documents will have dates when it was first saved etc).

Mind you - I have just read someone's wonderful book that I won and she sent it to me via pdf. There are a couple of scenes in it that I thought - WHOA.. they sound disconcertingly like what I have in my wip that I am currently editing. OH. DEAR.! IF (BIG FAT IF) I ever have my wip published one day (HAH!) what would this writer think I wonder?!?! Then again her book is romance and women's litfic and mine is supernatural. But even if I wrote and finished my wip in 2004-5 I'm inclined to change these scenes as I'm paranoid!

Ok I am totally RAMBLING!! I need me some NAKED!! :-)

Take care
x

Jessica Bell said...

Hmm, I think I trust my online friends more that the people I see face to face. What's that say about me? I trust way too easily. And I've been bitten in the butt SO many times. And I still trust everyone! I trust until I'm betrayed basically. Call it good, bad, whatever. That's me.

Carolyn Abiad said...

I'm not sure how it works for me. I can usually see a face, read some lines, do a quick google check and make a decision. Still, I prefer to keep my pages free of family pics and personal stories about me and mine. Of course when you're working on branding yourself, you have a parameter for what you'll share and what you won't too...it's just much more open than my personal stuff.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i have a realization that i'm pretty trusting. It never really crosses my mind that someone will steal my ideas. Also, with timestamps on computer documents, it would be really easy to prove who came up with an idea in a copyrigth issue

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I trust people more than I trust my computer! (I'm paranoid when it comes to losing data.) Guess you can call me naive as well.
And your comment about 40 pounds to fill a B - LOL! Yeah, funny - and true. At least for me...
Or is that TMI?

Cold As Heaven said...

I tend to trust people to much some times. Have burnt my fingers a couple of times, but it's more and more rare now. I learn by experience >:)

Cold As Heaven

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I used to trust less. I still don't place total faith in people, as people aren't perfect and will always fail you at some point, but now that I realize that, it's easier to trust others.

Teresa aka JW said...

I am hypervigilant. Therefore, I trust no one. Being an IT oops former IT person, I trust machines more--as long as I'm smart about it.

I don't like being this way and wished I trusted people more. However, this will come in handy as I get older and "people" try to scam me over the phone. :)

Cheeseboy said...

I wouldn't trust Yahoo. They employ chimps over there. Identity stealing chimps!

Colene Murphy said...

I find myself trusting people too easily too. (the guy who sold me my living room furniture is getting a punch in the nose one day...big ol "cat's can't puncture this fabric" liar.) But on the internet I'm more wary.

BUT what I have noticed lately is how easy it is to pick up on the real people, the ones you can trust, and the others.

But I do trust you! I don't really KNOW you but I do!

JL Stratton said...

Unfortunately, I tend to overtrust, then become bitter and vengeful when someone violates that trust. Of course, that being said I'm the guy who writes fantasy and erotica under a pen name. But, I'm pretty open and honest about that too. And, if you sent me $50 dollars with a return address, I would be honest enough to tell you that it would need return postage if you wanted it sent back.

Ciara said...

This is a tough question. I'm not an overly trusting person, yet I sometimes jump in with eyes wide open. As far as crit partners, no issue there. I'd send my first born to them. Yet, some of the groups I tend to post half a book and not the rest. I don't know who is out there. Probably just being ridiculous, but that's how I feel.

Hart Johnson said...

Elizabeth--I think that is the nice thing about being represented and having a contract. I wouldn't worry about the Cozy stuff at all. The OTHER stuff though...

Jenny--I have been there. I think it has to do with amount of interaction and such. I started making online friends well before there were questions about sharing writing...

Jessica-me too! It is largely though, not trusting how normal they would find me after reading my stuff... or something...

Carolyn-HA! Google check! That is a good one to add!

Sarah-I sort of fear somebody who knows more than me could ALTER their time stamp... though I guess the bits and pieces posted online couldn't be altered without leaving a trace... I don't worry too much on ideas--it was more... the overall work... or something...

LDiane--just trying to weed out the dirty old men! And I hear you on the computer... I definitely email myself stuff...

CaH-I think we DO get a feel... and life is better as a trusting soul, I think...

Alex- There is something to that wisdom... yes, people will do rotten stuff, but not all of them are rotten people.

Teresa-HAHA! You'd know better than a lot of us ninnies, too! And I don't trust by phone AT ALL.

Abe- *snort* Identity stealing chimps, eh?

Hart Johnson said...

HA! 3 posts while I was posting? NUTS!

Colene- Oi! Yeah, salesmen are the worst! I seem to always get taken (and not in a good way), but I agree, that online, after a time, you get a feel for the 'realness' of some people (it's why I love blogs so much--you just can't fake this for that long--erm... not that I've tried...)

JL-I try to avoid bitter, but a good public tantrum (and possibly a skewering) would definitely be in order! And I get the pen name thing... Have one, but for erotica, I know mixing THAT with real life can interfere, depending on who you want to take you as... erm... a non-sex god. Wait, what?

Ciara- You have crit partners who'd take my first born? Where do I sign up? (kidding. sort of)--I think it IS the whole book thing... Not that it's READY, but it is ready enough somebody could clean it up, but I want that somebody to be ME!

LTM said...

I trust you! (((big hug))) And was that little disclaimer there at the bottom part of the trust thing? ;p <3

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I’m a pretty trusting person, but when it comes to my writing, maybe not so much. I might start out swapping a chapter or two just to see how it goes and then decide about doing a whole book.

RosieC said...

I trust you, for sure. Your internet persona is too much like my internet persona (well, except that I don't talk about getting naked all the time), which makes me wonder if we wouldn't be similar in real life.

I think I'm trustworthy. I'm too excited about other people's work to steal it. I mean, it's theirs! I'd rather be proud of my own work, anyway. But I'm probably too trusting of other people. Always have been. I'm not the "tit-for-tat" girl, but the idealist who thinks no one will do her wrong. Of course, then I go on epic, almost comicbook-style rampages when they do me wrong (Wham! Pow!), but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt :)

Jayne said...

I am intrigued by the 'verbal content' tag at the bottom of your post - did you speak that and it appeared on your blog? Wow.

As for trust - I tend to think that someone with a blog, with an email or way of contact, who consistently posts on their blog or has posted on mine, that they are pretty much who they say they are, give or take a fake name here or there (I hold my hands up at that!) It is hard to consistently fake a profile, I think, something gives it away sooner or later.

Jan Morrison said...

I'm pretty trusting. And I'm fairly intuitive - I have to be in my work as a psychotherapist. I haven't really been burnt in a creative sense. I do know that ideas hit the zeigeist at the same time - memes - and that means that I need to trust myself to do something different with an idea than anyone else might. I know that's true.
And I completely trust you - quite obviously. Why? Not sure but I'd send you my grandkids to take care of if I had to. yes I would. Sawyer likes quesadillas, Hannah won't eat anything green, white or deep red and Riley needs lots of love and structure.

Arlee Bird said...

I tend to be pretty trusting, but cautious as well. I'm more careful these days with money and investments, but my writing or my belongings I don't worry about quite as much. It's only stuff and there's always more where those came from. I do hate getting ripped off though and I tend not to forget when it happens.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Hart Johnson said...

Leigh, you need to see yesterdays blog! Somebody is FEEDING ME! (and not in a good way) (and I trust you, too--obviously)

Jayne--there is trust as in... won't take it... and there is trust as in 'won't laugh at me' eh? But yes, easing in does help.

Rosie-I think you may be right on that one! Overlap in amusement and perspective, anyway. I am definitely also an idealist.

Jayne-Oi! If only I could just say it! Though... actually I'd rather write it... saying stuff is AWKWARD! But yeah... the feed thing...

Jan-Hannah sounds like ME as a kid and Riley would thrive at our house... I am lots of love and HWMNBMOI is Mr. Structure... It is true, isn't it, that often things sort of hit all at once... our collective conciousness may not be as gone as we think...

Lee-I can see that--we are always short on money, so stuff matters SOME (at least if we'd need to replace it) and investment stuff is big... The creative stuff... It sure seems like it matters what it is... One with a really good shot at selling... my only 'high concept' work, I think... I think that is my main hesitation.

Helena said...

While I generally trust people I've also learned the hard way to trust my gut. If my solar plexus gets tied up in a knot, I wax cautious. Or paranoid. As for the internet -- I'm paranoid about spam, identity theft, the usual, whereas on my blog I tend to be the trusting soul to visitors. Haven't had a bad experience with them yet.

But when it comes to writing, I've always remembered my feeble attempts at freelance article writing. I once sent out a query letter to a few magazines on a subject with a highly unusual title. I didn't get any bites, but a few months later an article on the subject with the exact same title and approach appeared in one of those magazines. So with my books I'm now pretty protective. Then again, I recently sent my latest novel/manuscript to one of my blog readers and he did a great and honest job reviewing it. My book will be better for his input.

So I guess my advice is: Go with your gut.

The Words Crafter said...

Is it possible to trust and be paranoid at the same time? I trust my bloggy buddies. Like Kal, I've put myself out there and no one has been ugly or short or snarky. I'm sure there are some anonymous trolls out there, though....

With my stuff...yeah, I can be paranoid. Copying discs...sounds like me :) Stealing ideas....yeah, I've had that thought, too. Still, I'll trust until I have a reason not to. Then it's over.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Ha! I love your plea for people to send eye candy photos! What a great idea.

Me? I'm just plain paranoid.

kimberlyloomis said...

Interesting question. I would like to say I'm very trusting, but the truth is I don't think like that. Heck, when it comes down to a blatant question like "do you trust x, y, and so and so" my answer would be "well, kind of". Consequences of sharing my story is not something that's entered into my consciousness until the last few months wherein I have rather locked down on the sharing except with a few very select individuals.

Now, if you get some eye candy photos you WILL share them.... right?

sue said...

A project! Eye candy! Just need the sun to emerge, toddle down the beach with camera in paw and snap away. Happy to help.
All the serious stuff has been well covered.