I have been listening to the Writing Excuses podcast, and although it focusses on fantasy/science fiction, there are valuable insights that I have found entertaining and thought provoking. One that I listened to recently was about choosing/balancing your opinions versus your authorial image.
This one was particularly interesting for me.
I’m not especially controversial nor opinionated, I used to be and I’ve been vocal and active on issues of gender, sexuality and masculinity. I’ve refined my position and been more inclusive, with a development of equanimity towards other beliefs and viewpoints than my own.
I’m not on other social media because it would bite into my writing time. Here is where I come to talk about the things that I am passionate about and positive about. I tend to write, let it settle then read it back with a view to whether it advances things or is just moaning. I’ve wri
Which I try not to do because it’s easy and there’s too much of it out there. I look to be positive, despite my potent doubts about any number of things but mainly because I come here to talk with you, share rather than sell or rant at you about anything. Anger is everywhere, and it’s in everyone, it’s overused as currency. Outrage too, but that casts aspersions on the motives of others which I don’t want to do.
I look to be kind and inclusive, gentle and earthy as a man because I’m not so hung up on proving myself. I know who I am and what I want. You come to me and if you don’t listen, that’s cool. I will be talking regardless of whether anyone is listening.
Being controversial is a double edged sword, sure there’s attention and acclaim but seldom anything sustainable beyond it. I used to be angry, now I’m not sure if I am wise or tired, but mainly I am too busy walking my path, developing my purpose in this world to concern myself too much with the ephemeral details.
I tend to not comment to correct either. Being right on the internet hasn’t changed anyone’s minds so I focus on being the best version of myself I can be, and see that everyone is fighting their own battle. I’m no better than anyone else, just focussed on a different set of things than other people.
tl:dr don’t be a dick in pursuit of an audience or an image.