Oh man, two blog posts in one day?? Yeah, that just happened. Or is happening. Hell, something’s going on.
I’ve been thinking about this issue on and off all week, since a silly event that took place in my personal-ish life earlier. In a world where society believes everyone must know your every thought, there’s a question to be asked—Do you believe that how you behave in your personal, but public, life, should reflect your professional life as a writer?
What do I mean? Well, say you’re not a nice person in the least little bit. You are proud of this, you relish this, and your name is not Chuck Wendig. Now, do you just ‘be you’ and be as nasty as you want to be to people in your life? Friends, strangers, anyone, no matter who can see? Or do you try to maintain a level of professionalism. Do you try to act as if the whole world is watching, which if you’re one day famous, it will be?
On a personal level, I try to be a nice guy to people I know, and people who I respect. I have my opinions, and if I feel they need to be shared, I share them. However, I believe in sharing them in a respectful manner, even if the person I’m sharing them with isn’t directly deserving of such niceties. Why? Because I’m just a guy, and my opinion on things really doesn’t matter to anyone but myself. If you believe one way and I believe another, me being an asshole to you isn’t going to change your mind one little bit. That, and if I am an asshole to someone, I usually regret it later. –usually-
And, in this day, especially if you’re famous or hope to be, everything you do will be put under a microscope. I know there are people out there who do not like me, and there are still more who will not like me, but I’d hate for people to dislike me before my book is in their hands. I’m sure they’d probably leave it on the shelf, and walk away muttering how they wouldn’t read my writing if it was a poem on the back of million-dollar check.
Which, if you have a million-dollar check, I’ll gladly write a poem on the back of it.
So it begs to question—how should you conduct yourself, no matter where you are? Do you try and be ‘real,’ even if that alienates everyone around you? Or do you try to compromise a little, and try to restrain yourself?
(By the way, if I keep my mouth shut, it’s not because I am being fake, or not being true to myself. It’s because I respect you enough and probably realize my opinion will do nothing to help either one of us. Sometimes it’s better to walk away, or keep scrolling, than believe the world needs your every thought.) (And you can quote me on that last line!)
Speaking of quotes, one that I enjoy:
“If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.” – Albert Einstein