Woody Allen once said that 80% of success is showing up.
(When you don’t know how to say something it helps to begin with a quote.)
I am pretty sure Woody Allen made up that figure, that 4 out of 5 doctors don’t necessarily agree and that there was no testing on animals involved. But it’s true, nonetheless, don’t you think?
When you’re little you think that fame is inevitable. Fortune. I was going to be a Runner! No mention made that I never ran anywhere or that running is not really a job for most. But there it was: a Runner! Or a Writer! I was going to be a Millionaire! The Queen/Ruler/Boss of Something! Big! It was a given, the future capitalized like that; why, it said so right there on the rainbow-lettered poster I taped to my bedroom door.
And then you get to junior high and care more about whether or not your period has leaked through the back of your capris. You master the art of changing into your gym clothes without ever once showing skin. You shrink. Shirk. High school: you fall in love and become two. Then one again, which feels like half of what you once were, less. Smaller still. College is fun and then you graduate and get a job but your business card does not make a very impressive poster for your bedroom door and HR refuses to print exclamation points after your title. (Just a fax number which is communal and never works anyway.)
I hate it when bloggers write about blogging. The meta-me-ness of two mirrors facing inward into infinity. Dude. And yet.
Not to be an asshole, but... this usually means someone is about to be a total fucktard asshole, and me stalling here means I am about to write about my writing, i.e. be an asshole, a fuck, you ready? Here we go.
80% of blogging is about self-promotion. And yes, 4 out of 5 doctors tasered lab rats to prove this statement true.
Blog rolls, awards, rankings, nominations, kudos, Kirtsy, Digg, Babble, Stumble, stats, technorati, and twitter. Followers. Fuck. I was the kid who tried very hard not to care, the studied nonchalance of a girl who held out the hem of her shirt so her boobs wouldn’t cast a shadow. I write because I love words, yet I would be lying if I didn’t also admit to loving an audience, all the www a Slam Book in which, god forbid, I do not merit a mention.
My stats have teetered a bit since I stopped posting so often. Which is, well, duh. Days go by now with no comments. Something about a tree falling in the woods, I am sure. It’s silly, this feeling. The addiction to response. Sick, really. If I write for the sake of writing, then why do I care? (And boom goes that tree, yet another victim of scale.)
What do you think of the girl who says it out loud? I want to be popular. The very word makes me cringe. Popular. (She who says it is usually not.) Popular brings me back to wannabe, to the days when we said face to each other coupled by the gesture of scratching down your, um, face. Did you do that? Face? Squirmy-wormy here in my Keds complete with friendship pins I made for myself? (And yes, I know that comparing the blogosphere to school is hackneyed at best, but it's not enough like my daily commute on the bus to find an analogy there, so-)
I suck at self-promotion, preferring, instead, to pretend that I don’t care. Vote for me. Or don’t. Whatever. As long as I don’t care I cannot fail.
There are bloggers who are great at self-promotion. They are big on blog rolls, they have pages dedicated to badges, they rank. Some write well, some not-so. On small days I think they are lame. On days that I feel big I admire them, their confidence. How do they do it—put themselves out there? Market themselves? Treat their writing as something of worth?
Short of showing off my tits (the shadows now longer like the end of a day), how do I comfortably sell myself? Paste a poster on my 37 year old door? Perhaps in black Sharpie for sophistication’s sake? Petunia Face! Blogger! Writer! Me! What do you think of self-promotion? The awards and links and lalalalala of the www? What would you think if I cared? Do you care?
Incidentally, Woody Allen also said in Annie Hall that he wouldn’t join any club that would have him as a member, although I think he stole that line from Groucho Marx.
(When you don’t know how to stop something it also helps to end with a quote.)