I’ve been writing for too damn long. I’ve reached the point where, every time I think about doing a storytime because I’m reminded of something, I can’t remember… did I tell that one already?

I can’t just refer to my “Storytime” category. For a long time, I would intentionally segue… well, shit, I want to type “Segway” now because of that damn scooter, I can’t remember how it’s properly spelled. Yay. I could look it up, but I feel stupid enough about forgetting how to spell it in the first place, so screw it, I’ll just leave it for you to feel smugly superior over.

What was I saying, jeez… oh yeah. For a long time, I’d write these humongous bearwalls, and I’d start with one topic, drift into a completely unrelated mini-storytime, and then drift back.

I have now published 1,356 posts as of this writing. I can’t keep track of what I’ve said anymore.

My only saving grace here, is that if I do repeat a story… well, they’re all true, and I don’t lie (although I certainly will change the names of people to protect the guilty… and because I don’t know what statutes of limitations across country and state lines really are for what I may have pulled in the past) so if I tell one over again… I’m just emulating every other jarhead at the local Legion hall, right? It’s a tradition I’d be proud to carry on.

This rambling brings me directly to the point of this post; being yourself.

I don’t know if you read the Pink Pigtail Inn… I assume you do, because Larísa is more awesome than I am.

Anyway, if you’ve read the writings of the Inn’s hostess for any length of time, you know that she’s intelligent, funny, articulate, sweet and above all else, COURTEOUS.

She’s quite the hostess. Someone can be a massive douche in her comments, and yet she’s always remained on the polite side of the border when it comes to dealing with it. An innate ability to turn the other cheek, perhaps? Or is she really just that nice? I’m not saying she takes any shit, she certainly doesn’t, it’s just that she doesn’t descend to the level of mud-slinging or incendiary dropping to boot the little dillwad that I would.

Let me put it this way; I would vote Larísa the blogger most likely to violate the upper limits of Dunbar’s number than Godwin’s Law.

This being the case, you can imagine the moment of shock I felt when I read the PPI post that went up earlier this week, called “Publish and be damned“.

I started reading, and right away, I had to stop. What the heck was this? Where the hell did all this profanity come from?

I went back to the top of the post… ah! That’s not Larísa’s name as the author, it’s Tamarind! Tamarind of Righteous Orbs, of course.

That explains it. :)

I read Tamarind’s guest post, thinking all the while, “So, here is finally the best blog post of 2010. How like Tam to post it in 2011 just so it can’t win any Piggies.”

‘Piggies’, of course, being what I call the awards Larísa was giving out recently for great blogging. :)

There’s a lot o’ fun stuff in the post about big versus little bloggers, and courtesy and behavior and all that jazz. Great post, definitely a must read.

Just… be careful. Appropriately enough for someone with righteous orbs, Tam’s kinda got a thing for dicks. There’re dicks all OVER that post. Dick dick dick dick dick. After a while, you just start feeling violated by that many dicks, you know? I don’t know about you, but I’d never write a post with the word dick in it that many times, I’d be thinking the reader would start feeling a little uncomfortable, especially with having dicks coming at your eyes over and over like that. It’d be fine if there was some tits or ass mixed in there, but no, it was just a lot of dicks. Now, Tam’s undoubtedly got no issues with all the dicks you could imagine being shoved in your face, but you, my readers… you’re more cultured. More sensitive. More civilized.

…. what?

I write something like that, and I always wonder how many readers I just lost. But then I remember the movie “Star Trek: Save the Whales“, and I feel better. If Spock can drop a ‘hell’ or a ‘double dumbass’, so can I. And I do take to heart the single most important fact that Star Trek IV taught me; “Nobody pays any attention to you unless you swear every other word.”

Hey, go watch the movie and check if you don’t believe me. That movie prepared me for life in the Marine Corps very well. Damnit.

Let me, after only 750 words into a post, finally get to a point (besides quoting Star Trek or pointing you to Tams post, both laudable reasons to post in and of themselves).

If you’re going to write a blog, the very first thing you need to do is be honest. With yourself, with anyone who might come reading, with everyone.

Be yourself. I’m not a Shakespeare fanatic, but “To thine own self be true” is awesome advice, and I even know where that one comes from.

More of that quote, Paul Harvey’s ‘The rest of the story”, would be:

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

A lot of Tam’s post concerned drama. I don’t really care too much about drama, myself. If you say what you really think on your own blog, then you’ve done what I expect from a good writer. You can use tact or not, whatever your personality is about, but first and foremost be honest and true to your own thoughts and beliefs.

What I care about is knowing that when I read the writings of someone, that they are being true to themselves, and telling me what they really think. I don’t have to agree with them, I don’t even have to like them. What I’m going to do is try and see things from your point of view, and take that with everything else I know about you from your writings, and see if there is much to be learned from you. To see, in fact, if I should toss out some preconception I had and replace it with your keener insight and understanding on that subject.

If you’re not being honest, it’s going to be difficult to get to know the real you, and learn from your point of view.

I may not be Shakespeare, but I too can play the part of an overblown windbag giving advice to a short-attention-span youngster out to conquer the world;

It is said that for everyone in the world, there is that special someone waiting to be found. Well, for every blogger personality, there are like minded people reading blogs. Be yourself, whatever that may be, and you will attract readers who are of like mind. Wouldn’t you love to meet people who are of like mind, who appreciate what you say and how you say it? How better to find friends whose company you will enjoy?

Do not try to be what you are not, for the readers you attract won’t be coming to spend time with you, they’ll be coming to spend time with some fictional stranger you are pretending to be.

I’m very serious. Don’t let concerns of politeness or courtesy or skill in writing or any of that bog you down. Be yourself, whatever that may be, and trust in the fact that there ARE people who will be attracted to your writing. It may take exposure to alert them you’re out there… but if WoW Insider links to you, there is a good reason that 1500 people will read your post that day, but only 15 will stay on as regular readers. Those 15 people were the ones that enjoyed the way you think, and decided to stick around. They felt comfortable.

Those are the ONLY folks you want to stick around. And get to know them!

Do you really want all the rest of those people to stay? Is it sheer force of numbers you’re seeking? Or is it a place to have a conversation with friends or like-minded spirits?

I’m truly being serious, this is the most important lesson in my opinion to give anyone writing publicly. Be yourself. Don’t try and get everyone to read you, write for yourself and attract YOUR kind of people to come read you.

Whether you’re goofy and exuberant or quiet and thoughtful, smart and analytical or profane and aggressively asshattish, there are readers for every writer.

Even Gevlon. :)

Gevlon’s a great example that you don’t have to be a kissass to be read and enjoyed by people. So don’t try to be one!

You don’t have to be bare assed naked up on stage with your real name and all that hanging out, trying to dig into the deeper meaning of being you, either. If you want to write from an ‘in character’ RP point of view, that’s fine. Or use an alter ego or persona to provide yourself a filter to protect your true identity, you super hero you.

It’s fun to be the Big Bear Butt… but BBB sounds an awful lot like John Patricelli because, oh wow, it’s the same dude. Talk through the persona of Tamarind or whoever you’d like, but let the thoughts and feelings behind the words be your own, and not what you think someone else wants to hear to make you more popular. 

If you say what you think and people don’t like it… as long as it is exactly what you really think, then so what? There will also be people that DO like it.

Don’t worry about the people that hate on you, did you really get along with everyone in High School? Really? I don’t know about you, but I took it as a point of pride that I didn’t get along with some of those idiots… they were freaking morons. I don’t want morons nodding their heads and loving everything I say, I want morons confused, or, in a perfect world, whipped into a white hot incandescant rage, spittle flying from their lips.

There are so many distinctive voices out there, and I would love to see yours out there too. If you start your own blog… please. Be yourself. The friends you make will be drawn to you, and not to some mistaken idea of what they think you are.

You’ll be a LOT happier in the long run.

/endsoapbox

18 Responses to “Bearwall: Be yourself. Wait, didn’t I post this before?”
  1. Issy says:

    Just *hugs*.
    Couldn’t agree more.

  2. Solitudeone says:

    :) Always enjoy your Bearwall’s.

  3. Adanos says:

    [quote] I have now published 1,356 posts as of this writing. I can’t keep track of what I’ve said anymore.[/quote] (if this doesnt work out, I just had to try it)

    Actually, to be fair 3B, your getting old on us, thats how you cant remember anymore… your not a young cub anymore man, you gotta roll with the times, we love you either way, but dont try to distract us from the fact that your an old bear, be true with yourself like you say on the post :P

    ps: Sorry, but when I read that I just had to say it xD

  4. Elfindale says:

    Great post, as usual. And it’s really such an excellent point you make. Everyone should totally be true to themselves and just lay it out there the way they want to, not the way they think someone else wants it.

  5. Larísa says:

    There’s so much blogging wisdom in this post. Be yourself. It’s such an easy thing to say, but actually yet not entirely easy for everyone to achieve. Not everyone knows themselves all that well, not everone dares to listen inwards, not everyone has the gut to lower the shield. For being yourself, showing not just a polished surface, but also what would be considered imperfections, can be quite scary business. You’re on the soapbox, and if you’re just yourself, thereäs nowhere to hide.

    Also: I was touched to tears by all the kind words and affection you showed me in this post. I honestly had no idea. You never make much noise in the inn, so you must hav slipped under the raidar. But all the time you were there – sipping your pint and listening to the banter. I’m humbled and grateful that you’re one of the regulars. I’ve had a rough week and I guess it makes me even more emotional about it.

    Oh, and I loved “piggies” as a name for the awards. Now all I need is some kind of symbol for it. I wonder how a pink pigtail will make as a logo? I’m afraid it maight look more as a worm than anything else.

    • Tesh says:

      I’ll sketch up a few just for fun. ;) That’s the sort of art challenge I can take up in the few minutes here and there that I get.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Nothing but the truth… you’re teh awesome.

      And I did read that you were stressed and down over stuff you had going on, so if I was able to bring you cheer, even if only for a moment, that’s cool.

  6. Tim says:

    Great post. This makes me want to start blogging.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Then do it, Tim! Hardest thing is to think of what you’re interested in deeply enough that you want to talk about it so bad you’re bursting.

  7. logtar says:

    In a very weird way, the latest post on my non WoW blog (http://blog.logtar.com) is all about this. I think I might have to write more about the subject.

    In a weird way, digital worlds are allowing us to explore who we really are more than the real world sometimes. It is very interesting to me that more and more it seems that people that live in the digital world can have more meaningful relationships than those in the real world.

    I have been doing this blogging thing since 2004, met my wife through it, met my best friend on the world through it… and even though someone might think that I don’t have RL friends, I do… plenty of them, from work and my childhood… however, blogging and gaming opened the world to many relationships. I am glad I always was who I wanted to be, and never tried to be something I was not, or attempted to bring in the masses. Blogging is a great medium and it has made my life better.

    Great post!

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Yep, I met my wife on the internet as well… and I dare not tell THAT story. But I can’t imagine ever meeting someone in a bar that is as perfect a soulmate as Cassie.

  8. bigbearbutt says:

    In other news, the reason you didn;’t get todays PBeM Terin update was that, in interviewing Redwulf… the bastard rolled a crit. So, I had to fall back and re-examine and expand on things I wasn’t prepared for. I’m shooting for having it up tomorrow.

  9. Changrey says:

    Very good advice, and not nearly as easy to follow as one might think. Haven’t been blogging for all that long, but after the first few posts it gets easier to spot where you are following along with others and when you are actually sticking with what you really feel. If you can’t be comfortable with what you are writing yourself, how will others ever be?

  10. Syl says:

    Hah, I almost missed this post – great points I endorse very much. I guess Kleps would say “swearing is fun” now. ;)
    you probably have a point that swearing might affect your readership, it just never occurred to me to actually care. I guess I don’t just want ‘a’ readership, but a readership that fits myself. nobody is forced to stay.
    sometimes a swearword put in the right place says more than 1000 words – we all think it, we all do it. but only a few have the guts to say it. I will miss RO so much. :(

  11. Gnomeaggedon says:

    Dicks…

    I was at a street festival earlier today…

    There was a T-Shirt vendor there…

    Dick Tees

    I must have looked at their sign 1/2 dozen times before it truly sank in…

    What that has to do with the price of fish is anyone’s guess… but felt good to check in and comment.

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