So for the past six weeks or so, I’ve been trying to figure out my blog persona.
I know a lot of you will clamour–just be yourself! Sure, I would’ve been myself but it’s just so hard to figure out what that self is. I’ve been looking, I can assure you. No doubt, I’ve been irritating a lot of folks, first, by promising to be a rather lightly heavy handed blogger (you’ll know what I mean if you see an older post), and then an overly easy one, becoming one of those people who are always able to think discretely: 10 ways to do this, 5 ways to do that (sort of like God who just managed to create the world in 7 days).
I’ve tried to be funny too in several posts, rather sad in others, and quite inspiredly emotional in some, the sort of purple prose that went out of fashion with the Victorians (ones you can experiment with only as Mr. or Ms. Bottledworder).
But will the bottle get out of shape with too many of us/ me’s?
As I was trying to find myself (let go! let go! said a friend who has joined a meditation group and recently turned vegetarian), I went back to my old fount of wisdom– dear old Google.
I searched how to write blogs and what do I find? Ahh, not myself yet. My self has to compete with a million other selves to reach up to me within the first few search pages.
I need to form a competitive self first before I can find my self. D**m!
Now, what those other selves told me, the ones who managed to float above the rest, in short, was quite a contrast to my veggie friend’s dictum. They said don’t let go but embrace! Embrace! Embrace yourself not as yourself but as a brand. A brand that is yourself but not too many of your selves in one. A brand that sells, a brand that contains, a brand that does not disappoint. Be one thing, be consistent, don’t change too much, don’t disappoint expectations. If you started off as coke, deliver coke, don’t become Pepsi, start another blog if you feel like Pepsi trapped in Coke.
You see how Bottledworder likes to think in Bottles?
Now, having gotten that part straight, and putting aside any sense of entrapment that Bottledworder may have felt even as a Bottle, I decided to be true to my followers.
Herein is a strange dilemma. What tones or styles do followers want? Some tones are more attractive. Some tones sell more than others. Funny definitely sells more than others.
But how far will a funny tone go? Will anyone take funny seriously if you want to become serious later? Also, can Bottledworder be funny all the time? That’s too much presssure. Nothing fails like a failed funny blog.
Moreover, what’s the “level” of audience I should address? Do I keep it colloquial and simple all the time? What if I can’t shed my past career cloak completely and start sounding pedantic? What if I want to?
How implicit can I be with my little blogules? Do I need to spell out the moral at the end of every story?
Have been trying all of the above for the past several weeks but this is a huge, uncharted territory for me. Looks like all kinds of people stop here. It’s been fascinating to look at the geographical location of the clicks unfold on the stats page against the tiny, colourful little flags.
So who are my readers? Are they really as spread out as they seem from their clicks on stats or are they really all linked closely, very similar people, a direct line from the US to Australia to where have you, all good friends on Facebook or LinkedIn very closely connected somewhere?
Bottledworder is anxious. Bottledworder is anxious because Bottledworder has to peddle and Bottledworder was never much good at peddling. But Bottledworder needs to peddle in order to survive. So far, Bottledworder has been analyzing social discourses and teaching others how to write bad essays on analyzing social discourses the right way and holding talk-show like classes on analyzing said discourses–class structures, beauty myths, literary tropes, stereotypes. . .
Now can/should Bottledworder use that terrible knowledge to partake in the creation of these same discourses? Say a writeup on 10 things to do to become more attractive to your partner? Or 5 ways to seem more feminine in the workplace yet be the boss?
To peddle, you sometimes have to become a stylistic turncoat. You can call that becoming eclectic. But you still remain a turncoat.
Now that’s my moral for today for those who didn’t get it from my confused talking to self.
You, Bottledworder, a turncoat!