Mrs. Blue and I have had a number of conversations lately during which we’ve talked about the “authenticity” of blogs these days. Particularly in the part of the blogosphere she frequents, she’s seen some bloggers really take off, getting book deals, ads galore and/or sponsorships that have allowed them a pretty decent income. In some cases, the bloggers have been able to make blogging their actual main source of income.
In the process, though, she’s noticed that some of them have pulled back and changed. They’ve become less open and less authentic. Instead of sharing the bits of themselves that first drew people in to read their posts, they are now in some cases just posting bland, short posts and shilling for products provided to them by sponsors. They have, it seems, in many cases quite literally sold out.
I understand that often we make compromises to make a living. But at the same time, it distresses me that we are sometimes willing to give up who we are and what we stand for to get ahead in life.
I have to say that I’m not down with that. For example (and this may seem petty or vain), if I were told that I could get a job I’d interviewed for, but to do so I’d have to be clean-shaven, I’d say “no, thanks” unless my family’s survival depending on that job. Why? Because facial hair is a part of who I am. It’s important to me, and I won’t have someone dictate that I have to change for them when it has no bearing on my performance or ability to do the tasks I’d be assigned.
Now, I’m not in much danger of exploding onto the larger blog scene with this blog. I don’t think sponsorships, book deals or big-time companies buying ads here is something I’ll have to deal with (though, please, by all means, come forward and make some offers if you’re reading this). But I do think about myself in relation to this blog and where I might take it. Also, how it might affect my life.
Those who’ve been with me a while may remember there was a time my real name wasn’t attached to this blog at all. Those who follow me elsewhere online would have no problem figuring out who my wife is and what her blog is, even though I continue to call her Mrs. Blue here. (As for “why” I still do that, and call my daughter and stepson Little Girl Blue and Son of Blue…well, it’s part of the theme and the vibe here, so I keep it.)
Mrs. Blue, I should mention, has taken her own blog to self-hosting, and is looking for ways to modestly monetize it. I’ve taken one of my anonymous erotic blogs to self-hosting and the others may follow soon, for much the same reason. At some point, I’m sure this blog will become a self-hosted one, too.
And so I think about who I am, and who I should be here.
In the end, I think I should be me. Continue to be myself, and perhaps even loosen up a little more at times and let more of myself show.
That’s not as easy as it might sound. This blog has evolved and will continue to do so. It started as a place to talks about my spiritual journey, my thoughts on the Bible and how those relate to things in general life, like relationships, politics and sex. Then I found myself getting silly at times or sharing recommendations related to media and pop culture. I started commenting on politics without any spirituality involved. I started sometimes to simply talk about my life. I don’t know exactly what shape it will take in the end, but it’s a moving target.
At one point, I made the decision to sort of tone down my language and such. This blog used to be called “Holy Shit from Deacon Blue” as opposed to “Holy Sh!+ from Deacon Blue.” That change happened when I decided to not be so “blue'” in my language.
Well, fuck it!
I swear. It’s part of who I am, and I can’t think of a single reason God or Jesus would give two shits whether I pepper my wisdom and/or ramblings with some swear words. I won’t use profanity as a crutch, but I will express myself as the situation dictates and according to what feels right personally or necessary to convey a point properly.
Will I change the name back? Probably not. The “Sh!+” thing is kind of cool, I think, and it evokes a little the #&@!* kind of thing you see in cartoons sometimes to stand in for profanity.
But I will be who I am. This is scary at times, mind you. Remember, my resume is up on this site. My name. I am followed on Twitter by people who have given me work in the past and might (or might not) recommend me to other people who might have work for me. It’s also not much of a jump from here to my LinkedIn account (or vice-versa). Will being who I am affect my ability to get work? Has it already?
I can’t know for certain, but I also can’t let that be my guiding light for this blog. If I do that, I might as well just stop blogging.
Sharing my views can be unnerving. My post yesterday was visceral and expressed a view that many of my left-leaning friends might not appreciate. But you know what, if they are my friends, whether of the electronic/virtual or the real-life/real-time variety, they will value my differences and quirks as I do theirs.
At times, this blog suffers from serious droughts, and I don’t know ultimately what shape it will take. But spirituality, politics, social issues and snark will always be part of the mix. I hope I can keep you along for the entire ride, and if I should become famous, I hope I never sell out my authentic self for the one that attracts easier money and fame.