There is an article floating around on the internet called Why Crazy People Make Better Bloggers. It is a ridiculous post; however, every person who hates this article seems to say things like, “I’m not crazy. I write interesting content. I am a great blogger.”
Cute. You wish.
Even though I disagree with the premise of article, I like the spirit. Blogging doesn’t benefit from a tentative voice. The best writers out there are brave and deliberate storytellers. They can weave lessons into the most mundane aspects of their existence. They can manipulate an audience.
And they can write.
Sure, these bloggers could be crazy. They might lead unorthodox lives. They might suffer from bouts of depression and anxiety. But who doesn’t? We know that most of America is on Lipitor because we’re chubby, Prozac because we’re depressed, and Xanax because we are edgy.
Fortunately, much of the drama you read on the internet is just for show. Just like JK Rowling created Hogwarts, these bloggers create captivating and magical worlds that will never match the mundane reality of their lives. When it comes to the most compelling content, you know that most of it is fictitious or relies heavily upon the author’s ability to stretch the truth.
You read it anyway. You enjoy reading blogs written by liars.
And I’m cool with that. The culture of micro-celebrity demands a narrative that fits too neatly into the model of creative writing MFA programs across the country. The 21st century professional writer suffers from the delusion that every main character must have a moment of self-reflection and personal realization in order to make the story complete. These bloggers try to shoehorn their lives into a living and breathing example of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
That’s how it’s done in 2011. But you should know that successful bloggers lead boring lives filled with Chips Ahoy, Diet Coke and too much TV. We want to believe otherwise; however, reality is truly disappointing. These writers are soccer moms with flat asses, flawed husbands, and boring dorks. They put on their glasses and mouth guards at night — just like you and me.
I am a mildly successful blogger by day and a very big dork in real life. I have no lessons to teach. I don’t suffer from any major (alleged) illnesses beyond spotty psoriasis and allergies. I will never blog about my awful childhood. Life is pretty normal except that I waste a tremendous time on my computer creating and capturing my very boring life.
Here is me fucking around with an iGlasses for Mac upgrade on a Saturday night.
That’s right. This is about as real as it gets. I am profoundly nearsighted. (-7.75, bitches.) Yes, that’s a white Hanes t-shirt. (I own 16 — mens size small.) I’m wearing Capri pajama pants. (Unlimited supply.) Hair is twisted back into seventeen different ponytails. (I am really Jada Pinkett Smith.)
But I know you don’t care about my real life. It’s boring to read how I accidentally charged my Paypal account twice for a single download of iGlasses. You don’t want to hear how I stepped in cat puke shortly after taking this picture. And you don’t want me to take pictures of myself in my coke bottle glasses. That’s your life.
You come here for a strong voice, a unique perspective, and a backbone. So I will always put in my contact lenses, wear a little lip gloss, and try to write something compelling for you. And I will never lie to you about my ‘crazy’ personal life. I’m cool with that arrangement if you are. I think it’s working out just fine.
Now promise me you’ll remember that the best and most interesting writers in your RSS reader aren’t crazy.
They are entertaining liars.
Some bloggers wear a mask of contact lenses and lip gloss. Some wear a mask of a crazy marriage. All of us are wearing masks, though.
As long as you approach the majority of popular blogs with a hermeneutic of suspicion, nobody ever gets hurt.