In a recent post I mentioned the insanity of the contradictory information that’s out there about what you are and aren’t supposed to do, in regards to just about everything. I was just about to quit writing for the night when one idea about that came back to me. (My wrist hurts, but hey, the ideas need to come out, y’know?)
The one that’s scratching at my brain right now (as it has many times before) is the one that you’re supposed to be real and let the world get to know who you are, and then the warnings that you should only put out what people will like. Basically, from what I’ve read, you’re supposed to sound happy and nice and professional and PC and wealthy, even if you have to lie about it. It doesn’t seem to matter who your target audience is, (though I think they’re all talking about some odd group of mindless masses) you’re always supposed to be one kind of person and nothing else, but you’re supposed to be real. There’s a mind-boggling contradiction if ever there was one.
Okay, so I get that a customer might be a little put off knowing that the person they’re thinking of buying from likes nude sun bathing or just had a mental breakdown after a divorce. On the other hand, they may find a connection in that and like you more. And what if you’re targeting geeks or darklings or some other non-homogenized portion of society? Do you think faking it is really going to fly with those people? Not likely.
For me, I’ll admit that the fear of frightening or disgusting a potential customer gets to me sometimes. I’ve changed my writing or not written because of it. Eventually I always come back to the same place though: My target audience is not really made up of the people who are going to give someone shit for being who they really are, even if that’s an imperfect, sometimes screwed up person. Not to mention the fact that the random passerby customer probably hasn’t read the blog, and probably won’t so it doesn’t make much difference.
What does make a difference is how you feel about what you’re doing. If you’re being a poser, it will show. It’s like a mosquito that you can’t see but you know it’s there; in other words, something annoying that you can’t quite put your finger on. And anyway, why would you want to be anyone but yourself? Because “they” say you should? Because the almighty know-it-alls of the internet have passed down the law that we must all be the same to be successful? Screw that!
I know, sometimes (probably too often) that shroud wraps me up and I forget that being “normal” sucks. Being like everyone else makes you no one at all. When you’re not yourself, when you’re not who you’re meant to be, you’re nothing. So what if some days you’re goofy and others you’re happy and others you’re depressed? That’s being human! Always fitting a certain standard and never deviating from it is called being a robot. You’re not a robot, okay?
*takes a deep breath* I know that there is a chance that breaking all the rules will doom me to a life of misery and poverty. It’s been my experience though, that every time I can shake that crap off and be my glowing, loving, wonderful, snarky, freaky-ass self, success finds me, and I’m a hell of a lot happier. So even if I don’t get famous, at least I’ll be happy being myself and doing what I love. And hey, there’s just as much possibility that if I can hold onto the true me for long enough, I can become more than I ever hoped to be.