I am extremely excited for a lovely little weekend.
Tonight: my boyfriend and I are grabbing dinner and then seeing the movie “Win Win” which looks hilarious and is getting positively rave reviews. I love a good movie. In FACT, there are few things I love MORE than a good movie. Here is the trailer:
Tomorrow, friends and I will probably get brunch and wander/shop/be lazy. But tomorrow EVENING, my boyfriend and I are going to the sold-out COLD WAR KIDS concert!!! Cannot WAIT my friends. And here is one of my all time favorite songs of theirs: Simple and nostalgic
And now for some Friday thoughts: I was thinking today about this blog…what I want to do with it…where I want to go with my little creative platform I’ve got here. I have come to the conclusion that so many of the famous blogs out there have launched to stardom because they are manufactured. The person behind the blog has literally created a public image of themselves…one that people want to see [because it's simple and uninteresting enough that any person can project themselves onto it and escape their reality] and that works and that sells. They know a thing or two about marketing…about business and ‘image’ and publicity. I feel like if I wanted to, I could project an image of myself that sells. In fact I know I could, because anyone could. It’s a skill and you learn it and it works. I could sort of sell myself out and curate a dainty little blog with scheduled posts and contrived captions and shout-outs to sponsors…but I’ve also realized that doing that is so toolish. And unauthentic. And lame. These most well-known of the bloggers post utterly ridiculous picturesof themselves that no one ever questions and have these adoring fans that comment like little palm-waving idolators. They put up a post about them eating a fucking cookie they made and 230 people from across the world are like “omg such a cute cookie! I love it! Amazing! Thanks so much for posting this cookie idea!”
And look, sometimes I GENUINELY like the content and genuinely get good ideas from these more mainstream blogs of girls who don’t really let their thoughts run wild and don’t have interesting or funny commentary but simply do what sells. But 80 percent of the time I’m like “are you serious right now?” They got to that place because they pushed for it, and sold themselves, and aggressively got their name out there, and did things that basically I don’t have in me because I have the sort of cynnical mindset that selling yourself is kind of desperate and awkward. I mean….it obviously works, but also…….where are these blogger’s friends? My friends love what I do but also would not let me get away with being a massive tool. My friends don’t let me get away with anything. And I love them for, and because, of that. If I started posting nothing but pictures of myself posing in wide leg jeans they’d be like “you’re a freak. what are you doing.” If I started writing very very carefully-worded, edited, posts, they’d be like “uh..this is boring.” haha I mean, there is a place for everyone and and all that but.. I’m just not that way. I curse, I am highly sarcastic, highly dry, and highly self-deprecating and realistic. I don’t pretend I’m something I not. I definitely have a voice because I was born–literally born– with a love for the visual, and the written word. I love culture, fashion, interior design, make-up, hair…appearances in general, whether they be the appearance of a human, or a room. I am no prodigy and I am not a creator of things/products as much as words…I cannot design a dress, sew a blanket, or paint a painting. But I know what I am good at. I have a good eye, and a photographic memory, and a critically-thinking brain that enables me to see similarities between Brian Atwood platforms and Picasso paintings. I have a totally overactive brain and never stop thinking and dreaming and imagining. I am smart, and dedicated, and motivated, and have never met a person who hasn’t called me passionate. I am a writer. I have sat for 19 hours at a time and blogged [in fact this happens frequently enough for it to be absurd], and my friends say “it’s embarassing that you actually don’t get paid for this” simply because of the fact that I spend more time blogging than I do like, existing as a human in the real world.
I’m able to spend that much time doing it because love writing, I love spending my OWN time reading 20 magazines and scouring the internet for new things, and then commenting on and picking out images and ideas that are visually pleasing and interesting to me, and sharing them, in case they might be visually interesting and appealing to you too, and if not, maybe you will just learn something new from the content, which is always cool. So I know what I am good at, and I also know what I am not, which is business. I don’t have it in me to pimp out this blog. This blog may never become anything legit in terms of mass appeal and recognition, but at least I’m real about it. I have faith in myself, and my authenticity and know that truly legit people always appreciate and recognize legit-ness. I know there are people out there who read my shit and know that I am not faking anything. Some people won’t like my blog beCAUSE it’s not a product. I have no filter, I curse, I am honest, and I don’t hold back. This. is. me. And ‘me’ is not a money-maker. I am not trying to be cooler or more talented than I am. I am not trying anything. I am literally just being me. Some people like playing golf. Some people like playing the violin. Some people like swimming. Some people like tomatoes. I don’t like any of those things, and the people who like those things may not like what I like to do. But I like writing. And I don’t know how to be ANY other way than to be funny and real and honest. Sorry I curse. And sorry I ramble [part of the overactive brain.] But I am not going to not speak how I normally would and instead say things like “Isn’t this daffodil painting just darling? I am simply smitten with it!” That’s not how I talk. Certain people do GENUINELY talk that way, and I respect those people because I can always tell when that’s who they are, versus someone trying to BE that. But it ain’t me.
My boyfriend and I were laying in bed one night talking about this blog, and we were joking that it pretty much won’t ever become some blog that like, Lucky magazine recommends to its readers, because in my boyfriend’s words, I dont have it in me to ‘play the game.’ If I set that as a goal, I could absolutely accomplish it. But in order to get my blog mentioned in some fashion or lifestyle magazine, I would 100% have to do things differently than how I’ve been doing them. And I don’t want to do that. I would have to tone down my rambling posts, probably say ‘fuck’ a little less and delete anything that has ever alienated anyone or anything Lucky magazine is affiliated with. I would have to be less me, and probably ’s' Lucky’s ‘d’ a little more than would be a true representation of how much I actually like the magazine. What’s the point? I don’t have it in me to play the bullshit. In order for a blog to get mainstream recognition, you have to play the game that my boyfriend knows I would refuse to play because I just don’t play by anyone’s rules. Even the famous blogs that are personality-driven, stick to a pretty basic formula, because it’s the only box to fit into if you want advertisers and money to come from what you’re doing. And unless you ‘know’ people, your only way to make a real name for yourself is to play the fucking game in a way that to me, seems desperate.
And that’s always been my take on marketing yourself. I CLEARLY get that you have to do it if you want a business…at least initially, you can’t sell shampoo or furniture or a skill like hair-cutting, or a blog, without aggressively promoting yourself and getting your name out there so that people KNOW about your product and buy it or use it, so that you can continue doing it, or else you wouldn’t exist, all the while, making it seem like you aren’t doing just that. And you have to keep yourself relevant and widely marketed or you disappear, continuing to maintain the guise that any recognition you or your product has gotten has been chance/luck/effortless with a little dose of hard work, because that’s how this stuff works. You don’t ACT like you’ve been pimping your shit out, you act like “well I’m a hard worker but, Vogue just picked my blog out of obscurity and sung its praises, lucky me.” No, you either knew someone who worked at Vogue, used to work at Vogue, or alternately, you played the fucking business game and and set up meetings and sent your blog link all over and tried, and got rejected, and tried and tried and tried again, and then finally pushed your foot in the door and sold your shit, and made some deals, and made some sacrifices, and got your blog mentioned in exchange for mentioning Vogue nonchalantly somewhere on your blog. I mean Vogue is probably a bad example because they are the queen of the empire in terms of magazines and don’t exactly need a blog to mention them, even if the blog gets a million hits a week…but on some level, everything is always tit for tat. And obviously you have to be somewhat good at what you do in order for your blog to be called out in a well-known publication, because it’s not like you can totally suck and have horrible style and uninteresting things to say and be a bad writer and still get a shout-out just because you put a ton of effort into it and walked the marketable line, BUT, what I am saying is that you can be pretty darn mediocre but if you are willing to play the game, the game will reward you. You have to subscribe to at least a few rules and and eventually you can get to a place where you don’t HAVE to alter your style or mention or name-drop someone if you don’t actually want to, but initially, you do have to do a certain extent of selling yourself out in order to get that first push to the mainstream. Everyone is always playing the game, but acting like they’re not because that’s part of the image.
Butt I’ve just always felt deeply anti-marketing. I see commercials and I think the whole nature of advertising/marketing is kind of embarassing and like….pathetic. Even if the ad is trying to be super anti-advertising and cool and un-desperate. I’m always like- SHUT UP no one cares. If you were so cool and great, you wouldn’t need to buy ad space on tv or in a magazine. If I see an ad for a lawyer being like “Mike Johnson will fight for you and your family because Mike Johnson cares about the law.” I’m like “note to self: never hire Mike Johnson.” If the voice-over on an ad is like “9 out of 10 women prefer Almay supersmooth lipwear in forever,” the voice in my head is like “DO THEY, ALMAY? SHUT THE FUCK UP.” If I want to buy a brand of lipstick, I’ll fucking go to the store and pick which one I like based on what I see and what appeals to me, or based on word of mouth, or based on seeing it on another person and liking it and asking them what it is they’re using, or based on the recommendations of people I respect. I feel like it’s the same with writing/blogging. If you are looking for a blog to read, and you find me somehow, or a friend recommends it to you, and you like reading it, wonderful. That is how I would rather have this whole process go, rather than literally, for lack of a better word, pimping it out to the world. I am too cool for that shit. I do not have it in me to sell myself because it inherently feels desperate and lame to do so. I don’t have the time to craft some image of myself— to make connections and schmooze and woo readers and promote myself just so people what….know about my blog? I don’t care for business politics. I would rather just write for me and whoever genuinely wants to read my blog. I basically am playing hard to get with my blog because that’s my nature. If you stumble upon my blog and think it’s cool, I will be thrilled. And that is how I’d prefer for it to happen. I am not going to beg you to read it or ask you to please subscribe to it because the reason I do it isn’t for mass appeal. I just do it because it’s fun and it’s a platform for my likes and opinions and rambles. And I like that it’s interactive, so if I write a post, my friends or family members of strangers can comment and start a whole new dialogue about said topic. For all of these reasons, I would be the WORST commercial band or author because if anyone told me to tone anything down or play anything up because ‘it’s what people want’, I’d be like, ‘fuck people then.’ Like, I would never be that band that is totally itself, and then gets a record deal and their manager is like “okay you have to cut your hair and do this and this and that, because that’s what’s going to sell and what’s going to get your music placed on movie ads and on TRL, and that’s what people want.” I’d be like “you’re fired, see ya.” I am stubbornly myself and literally refuse to change or do anything differently and I don’t care. I will be authentic and in my little dreaming brain, the authenticity is what will one day get me the only kind of notoriety I’d ever want– notoriety that’s legit, and not bought, or forced. I’d rather be read by three people (mom, boyfriend, bestfriend), than sell out and desperately hawk myself to anyone or anything that will increase my ‘readership’ or how many hits I get a day. Eff that. Authenticity4life.