“Egoboogling, or The Best Way For an Author to Ditch Writing/Revision”
I was egoboogling this past Thursday and…
You don’t know what that is? You should, since authors are particularly susceptible to the disease. When hungry for fame currently not generated by my books, I seek “ego boost” elsewhere. And in the 21st century, that ego boost comes from searches for my name or my book titles on Google. (Also Wikipedia, Amazon book reviews, Goodreads, The Library Thing, and various social networks.) Ego boost + Google = Egoboogle.
Tell me you haven’t done this! Not briefly in passing, before or after a legitimate Google search? Not at least been tempted? ...Thought so.
Last Wednesday a writer friend—who had never mentioned succumbing to the disease—was having trouble egoboogling. She asked for ideas. Her search rate efficiency was in the cellar, because her last name tends to bring up false positives regarding a TV show. I gave her a few pointers in the efficient use of Google’s Advanced Search parameters and sent her off as happy as a clam. As misplaced karmic reward for my kind deed, I was immediately bitten by the faunching for new egoboogle. I gave in the following day.
When you egoboogle--unless you were blessed with a distinctive moniker like “Demaris Z. Khalumphek”, author of “Zotz”—your search will bring up lots of false positives just as it did for my friend. Having to wade through ten screens for just one mention of your name or the title of your latest book can be seriously egoflating—the opposite of egoboogling. We don’t need this. Bad reviews, no one showing up at our bookstore signings, or a form letter rejection to a query letter produce more than sufficient egoflating. A carefully refined Google Advanced Search can eliminate at least some of these irrelevant search responses.
But sometimes it’s more fun—and more of a Time Well taking you away from actual writing—if you just put in your name and see what turns up. Since I wasn’t doing anything important anyway—just revising my latest novel*—I opened up two screens at Google Advanced Search and went at it.
(Why two screens? Well, with one I set up my usual egoboogle. I put in my name plus detailed parameters for Google’s software to focus on or to ignore. Since I didn’t have a good idea for this weekend’s YAAYNHO blog entry, with the other open screen, I put in a simple search for just my name, only limiting the search to this past year.)
A name as semi-common as Sherry Thompson brings up all sorts of alternative people—just ripe for becoming fictional characters. (See? I was working!)
Searching on Google using just "Sherry Thompson", I found many familiar alter-egos.
For instance, I'm a:
Librarian at Flower Mound High School. ( I was a librarian, but not there. And who calls a school “Flower Mound”? I pity the members of the football team.)
Communications and Program Manager. In Omaha. (I had a great-uncle who lived there.)
Staff of the FBC Student Ministry…
Owner of the website “Hooked on Stamping”. (I must be very conflicted. I never have seen the point of buying an expensive stamp and a stamp pad, so I can make the same design hundreds of times.)
Wow! Here’s a new one. Bill R. Thompson (born 2 April 1949) is a former Australian rules footballer who played in the Victorian Football League (VFL) during the late 1960s. Nicknamed 'Sherry', Thompson spent three seasons playing with Essendon…
I’ve run into alternate world Sherry Thompsons who are a deputy sheriff in the Midwest who is often giving statements to the press, and a lesser-known prosecutor. These ladies should get to know each other! I once was an executive for a cosmetic company but she disappeared. Hopefully not literally! I assume she retired or changed professions. Evidently, I’m also a champion female body-builder. Looking in the mirror does not confirm this. J Looking at her photos makes me kind of glad.
I used to serve as a designer, and made the clothing for “Blossom”. I’m still memorable. How many years ago was that show on, and that Sherry Thompson still heavily populates Google. Speaking of blossoms, I’m involved with the White Charity Blossom of Nebraska which supports nonprofits. When it comes to artsy Sherry Thompsons, I drew the illustrations for “Our Parade”, “What is Love?” and “Spring”.
(Seriously, Amazon conflates my books with hers, but Goodreads is only fooled by the “Spring” title.)
By the Way, try Google Images, and you’ll find I’m a master of disguise!
Also according to Google, I’ve died at least once, have mourned the death of someone in the family a couple of times—usually with my husband who keeps changing his last name—and on a happier note have been married several times. I, uh, don’t remember any Google references to divorces. Not to worry. I probably have this multi-marital oversight well in hand, since I’m a California divorce lawyer.
As both an animal health technologist and a family practitioner, I hope I practice in separate offices. Appraiser, freelance designer, Texas yoga instructor, and I work for Kahlo Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge. I’m also part of the Firefighter Nation.
A member of Bayou City Women Bikers What kind of bikers are these? Is there any connection between my biker membership and the time I was booked into the Okaloosa county jail?
I’m a realtor, and a mother with a crazy YouTube that you can screen so I can prove it. I resigned from the District Office Staff somewhere in Australia—probably because the commute to all my other jobs were just killing me. Which explains the obituary notice.
*My editor never reads my entries here—except today.
(Oh, yes. My targeted egoboogle search last Thursday turned up not one new mention of the real me. Whoever she is.)