Monday, August 12, 2013

almost famous

when i was younger, i wanted nothing more than to be a famous movie star (let's be real here, i still dreamed about it in college). i wanted to be incredible and mesmerizing. i wanted the fortune. i wanted the luxury of everyone liking and adoring me. i wanted to perform. whenever we would visit my sister in chicago (i was in grade school at the time), i hoped some talent agent would "discover me" as we shopped on michigan ave. i dreamed of being instantly swept away into the glamorous life of stardom that i held so close to my heart. i thought fame would make my life instantly and forever better.

an article in the july issue of self magazine prompted me to think about worshiping a famous lifestyle. i got to thinking about my adventure with blogging and how its easy to wish for and dream of fame in the blogging world. i mean, don't those famous bloggers appear to have magical and wonderful lives where they can work from home and have companies send them boxes and boxes of free stuff? i'd be lying if i said i wasn't a little starry eyed by the notion when i first started reading fitness/healthy lifestyle blogs. how many times have i wished to have as many comments as blogger "x" or wondered what i had to do to get company "y" to think i was important enough to work with? wouldn't it be great if everyone loved me and my blog and i rose to be some immaculate blogging legend?

i think at some point the thoughts, or thoughts similar to the ones above, have crossed every blogger's mind.

but this article got me thinking that fame isn't all that it seems in real life or in the blogging world. and i dare say that it won't make my life perfect if fame made its appearance at my front door. 

this reflection is part of the reason i haven't blogged in almost a week (gasp!). i used to chase a certain "cadence" of posts, the regularity of blogging that everyone says is a best practice to grow your blog. i finally decided, after many minutes of reflection and deep thinking, "screw it." i'm going to write when i want and that's it. no need to post just to fit a blogger "mold" or best practice. quality over quantity and pleasure over necessity, i say.

here are a few other things mentioned in the article that have led to introspection about fame:

  • authentic voice: to be successful at being famous you have to market yourself. and to do this, you usually cultivate some version of yourself that you want to sell. think: "the quirky me", "the hilarious me", "the sarcastic me." believe it or not, its a focus on pleasing people - focusing on what would appeal to others - and not a focus on being true to you. i'm trying to figure out who i am and who i am is more complex than one voice i want to perform for others through my writing. its more important to me to be authentic than to be known for being a really talented one dimensional blogger.
  • "always on": the more visible you are, the less privacy you have. you are constantly in focus, constantly in the eye of someone watching. you have to act and look a certain way to keep up with what is expected of you, based on the version of yourself you've sold (see authentic voice above). how exhausting! as cool as it would be to tour the world at a book signing, i want the ability to laze around in my sweatpants when i go out for my post-run latte or to target at 9pm. i don't want to always have to put on my fancy pants, shirt and makeup. plus, if i go mia on my blog, that should be okay. it is okay. there's a belief out there that if you take time off, you lose your relevancy or marketability. i don't want that stress weighing on my shoulders. this girl needs her down time!
  • true friends: part of why i wanted to be famous is because i have always, always wanted everyone and their cousin, brother, uncle and mama to like me. but being famous doesn't mean everyone will like you. and it certainly doesn't mean everyone will be your friend. sure, it would feel badass to have 1,000,000 blog subscribers but does that mean i will have 1,000,000 people interacting with me? will these 1,000,000 people have my back in a brawl? nope. not likely. in the end, as much as it goes against my instinct to be someone that everyone likes, having a bucket of true close friends you can count on is more rewarding and real than 1,000,000 likes on a page. 

you might get the impression from this post that i am anti-fame. that's not the point of this at all. if fame happened to fall upon my life, i don't think i'd shoo it away or hit it with pepper spray. but will i stay at home, wishing, dreaming, hoping and working towards the goal of being famous? absolutely not. my main goal in life is to be happy and the only way to achieve happiness is to chase and find happiness. lusting after the fleeting feeling of happy i might get from being famous will be over faster than you can say "one hit wonder."

fame: what are your thoughts on being famous in real life, or in the blogging world? do you crave it? or will you leave it for someone else to chase?

5 comments:

  1. Well said! I blog for a limited audience, myself, but I can really see the temptation to seek more more more. I'll have to check out that article when I get a chance. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  2. Amy @ Long Drive JourneyAugust 13, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    I love that you are staying true to YOU. I certainly will miss reading your posts every day, but everyone needs to take a step back and make sure they're doing it because they love it. I totally respect that.

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  3. Stephanie KliethermesAugust 16, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Right there with you on this one. I always tell myself I blog for me... and I'll take less traffic on my blog if it means more authentic and honest writing. Cheers to you!

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  4. Its hard. The honest opinion isn't always the easiest but its so liberating to know theres no pressure! :)

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  5. I'm so glad you wrote this! I, too, put a lot of thought into my blog (before I even began) - my mission strategy, my brand, my voice, social strategy, etc, with the intent of setting it up to grow in the future. I read all of the best practices on frequency, etc. Then...in practice...I ran into weeks in which I didn't have a compelling story to share, or I didn't have the time to put into a post with rich content, etc. I, like you, decided that I'd rather have an engaged audience than big numbers. I want to put content out there that represents me and my stories from the heart, with information that is (hopefully) useful and entertaining to readers, rather than hit a number of times per week. I think being authentic is more important than fitting a marketing guru's idea of best practices. Thank you for putting this out here!

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