I Feel Like a Whole Red Square of People is in My Head and Other Personal Branding Problems
When I started this blog two-some years ago, personal branding was all the rage, and everyone was all like, you have to blog under your own name so your ideas get heard and you build yourself up. What everyone didn’t tell me is that once you blog under your own name, you have to self-censor to the point where all your content becomes bland and boring, especially if you’re employed and have family. Maybe this is why most personal branding and social media blogs are terrible and I have no idea how those people are taken seriously and make money.
At first, I didn’t self-censor, and see how edgy I was back in the day? I wrote about economics. And Yiddish. And all sorts of non-Boykis household related things. Just pretty much whatever I felt like without any fear of repercussion. But then, somewhere along the way, I gained readers and I stupidly decided to publish my blog feed to my Facebook, which meant that now all my real-life friends know about it. Also, somehow their friends know, my family, etc.
So whereas before my blog post thought process went something like this,
“Hm. I think I’ll write a post making fun of Polish juice. As I write, I have an image of an audience in my head. For most writers, they try to write to a generalization and I do as well, but I can’t help but picture my audience reading it:
I’ll show Mr. B my post to see if he thinks it’s funny and Nice! Post done. ”
But now, since I’m very aware of my audience, I feel like I’m writing to this:
which I know is stupid because I only get, like, 60 blog hits every day, but somehow everyone always brings it up at in-life social gatherings. So I’ll start brainstorming a post, and the process will go something like,
“Why don’t I write about my job and my career…ohhhhh terrible idea. Well, why don’t I write about a family member that irritates meohhhhhnooooo. Well, why don’t I write about this restaurant we went to ohhhmannn they might be checking their Google Alerts. Well, why not something that Russians do that annoys me. Nooooo because someone that’s Russian and reading might get offended. I might as well be writing about abortion and prostitutes. If I swear in my post, will that offend my family? If I don’t swear, will it be edgy enough for the Internet? What about The Foreskin Man? No, too racy and too opinionated. Wait! I can write about Polish juice! But ohhhh what if Polish people read my blog. WHAT IF JUICES READ MY BLOG AND ARE OFFENDED? OHMYGOD CRIPPLING INDECISION.”
So then you get posts like this. Which, I mean, is cute in its own way, but it’s boring as hell. No conflict. No new ideas. Humor is not at the level it should be. Etc. The post I was considering writing in its place was about Bangladesh, but that story is now three weeks old and if some upset mommyblogger sees it and starts a comment war, I honestly don’t want to get involved.
So, how can I break out of
and remember that I’m only writing for
Maybe I can write anonymously.
Look for my new anonymous blog, right at this address.