What makes you unique? The ultimate question in life. And in marketing. Because it's not enough to be good anymore, no. Now, we either have to the BEST or WORST versions of ourselves 100% of the time.
Live up to those public expectations, amiright?
Blogs offering the perfect advice for a perfect life or career. YouTube videos one-upping each other on challenges of perfect stupidity. Filtered Instagrams to let everyone know we are a perfect, unique snowflake. Just like everyone else.
I literally can’t stand it. The way people act to get attention. The way it seems a person has to act just so they can sell – a book, movie, album, out, their soul. I hate that it’s come to this point in history where writers have to pretend just to make some sales.
Become extroverts. Be all bold and big. Film videos of ourselves doing whatever furthers our message, like we aren’t more comfortable behind the camera.
(Side note: Yes, I know some writers are all about connecting with people, or, by some miracle of chance and luck, the opposite of introverted, it’s just, the majority of my colleagues aren’t those people.)
Thing is, I'm not supposed to sit here on this blog and tell you how much I loathe the market. Because when it comes down to it I don’t expect to write a book then magically become this rich and famous person overnight without trying at all.
I’m not that implanted in my fantasy world.
What I despise is what seems to be the only way to get stuff seen for all the effort.
Or, rather, the way the market forces us to be either shiny, happy, or straight up disaster in order for anyone to pay attention to what we do. Especially considering I’ve decided to insert myself into the machine of the modern world of entertainment production.
It’s like that quote from Practical Magic:
You can’t practice witchcraft while you look down your nose at it.
I know. Really, I do. And, it obviously doesn’t help to lament the long lost days of writing a good book, landing an agent, publisher, and having a career sprout from the effort.
But I want to wax nostalgic about that life. Because I’m seriously struggling to fit into either of the definitions of greatness in this new one.
<Insert whiny inflection of a pouty teenager who coulda/woulda/shoulda, here>
I want to figure out how to get my stuff seen by a wider audience, but I refuse to become what I hate most just to do it. What do I mean? I mean the five minutes of fame bitch who nobody remembers in a year. But, damn, did she sure sell out everything during those five minutes!
I’m more about the slow burn.
Unfortunately, nobody else is these days which leaves me in a slight jam.
People care about people who seemingly have it all. They also care about train wrecks. But what about the rest of us?
The "good enough" people.
If you've been with me for a while over here you know I'm not exactly shiny happy. One of my blog tags is "yeah I guess I am moderately fucked up after all" for God's sake. But I'm not a train wreck of a person either, hence, the 'moderately' in 'moderately fucked up'. My life is somewhat together in many respects.
And I refuse to fake it either way. I refuse to act like I'm totally perfect or totally jacked just to gain an audience. Some days are great, some suck. That's life.
Which, admitting to, makes me the most average of humans. A girl who fits in just enough to get by. And that sucks as a person with a product to sell because, these days, you better be a hot mess or otherworldly (or both) for anyone to talk about you and your shit.
How can we sell if nobody buys because they don't know who we are? And that's when we come back to the hook.
The unique snowflake inside that makes us different. The thing that sells your work by not even selling at all. The mystical alleged thing these gurus of whatever-the-fuck seem to have in droves.
What is it, that thing that makes some people rise to the forefront, makes them an authority? Special.
It's something I've thought about, more than I should have to, over the past few years. Because my real profession is thinking about how to market my work 24/7/365. How to make it stand out as unique in a mountain of others.
And that's how we circle back to disdain for what drives the market. And my lack of a hook. AKA: my inability to stand out enough to sell in the market despite my constant banging on the door, unwavering dedication to doing this fucking job.
Because, I write cute stories about average people.
I'm not a politically, controversially, socially motivated writer. The themes in my books all revolve around family, friends, lovers, and how those relationships help shape the main character's world.
I like stories about everyday people who face obstacles in love and career and, though they deal with challenges to get there, they usually get there in the end. I'm all about writing the metaphorical pretty pink bow.
So, how is that supposed to stand out? When there's an ever rising tide of words out there about Mr. Perfect or Ms. Train Wreck. It's tough not to get discouraged, I can tell you that.
And, yet, I keep doing it. Writing. Releasing books. Publishing words for the world to read. Whether 5 or 5 million read them, those books are forever.
Maybe I'll never find the hook, land the whale so to speak.
Guess I'm just average. And that's good enough for me. Because I’ll never fake it just to get where I want to go.
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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.