“As world-famous air guitar heroes, one of the questions we get asked all the time is, ‘Do you get groupies, playing imaginary guitar?’ And I am ashamed to admit this, but…
“Yes. All the time. Tons of them.
“As it turns out, if you do something with all your heart before a crowd full of people, they will react to that thing, no matter what it is.”
From Be The Air Guitarist, Ferrett Steinmetz
If you don’t want to read the above article (which you should, because it’s interesting; also, check out Ferrett’s book Flex, which is awesome), let me summarize: No matter what you do, even if it’s silly, if you do it with unabashed passion, people will react to it. Even if you’re an air guitarist, you can have groupies.
Which makes me wonder: When I was naught but an anime blogger, should I have been talking about it more?
The kind of shit I’ve gotten up to at RandomC is at least as bizarre to some as flailing on an imaginary guitar. That I even watch anime is odd to many, but to put in 10+ hours a week writing articles about it, for free? Crazy.
Yet I’ve never talked about it much in person. Part of that is for a completely defensible reason: Even when I was blogging 4+ shows a week, and even though I put it on my author profile, my self-concept has never been “anime blogger.” It’s always been “author”—or that was the goal. So even when I introduced myself back then, I would never lead with anime blogger, even when my first book was still a half-finished manuscript I worked on after the day job I hated. Even though blogging anime was the thing I loved the most which I could point to and say yes, I’ve achieved that.
It’s not that I was ashamed. I was never shy about mentioning that I watched anime, and even that I blogged about it. Many of my old co-workers knew I blogged about anime, and if someone asked what I did the night before, and the answer was “blogged two anime episodes,” I wouldn’t hesitate to reveal that. To do anything else would have been a disservice to a hobby I’m in no way ashamed of.
Yet I also didn’t bring it up readily, and when it came up, I didn’t talk about it much. Not like I do now, with my fiction. When I tell someone new that I’m an author, I do try to hold myself back, so as to not bore the only moderately interested. But if someone lets me, I’ll yak on and on about what my book’s about, what it’s like to write a book, other authors I like, etc. After years of no one much caring, I can hardly help myself.
I have to wonder: If I talked about blogging anime back then like I talk about writing fiction now, would people have reacted to it? Because people sure do react to news that I’m an author. Ferrett is right—when I meet someone at a party, and mention that I’m an author, and start nerding out about it, people are a lot more interested in me than they ever were when I led with my old corporate bullshit title. If I had led with anime blogger instead, would they have reacted the same?
My instinct is no. Writing a book, even if it’s a genre the person doesn’t personally like, is seen as a difficult and admirable thing. Blogging in general isn’t seen like that, nor is watching anime. Even switching it to “anime reviewer,” which is still completely accurate, probably wouldn’t bump up the esteem factor much.
But is air guitar any more universally revered?
Maybe I should have gone around introducing myself as an “anime blogger and aspiring author,” back when that was the case. Maybe I should introduce myself as a “fantasy author and anime blogger” now. I feel like those paint a more interesting picture, of someone who loves things, even if others will think I’m weird.
No problem. That’s always been the case. At least then I’ll unabashedly attract the people who resonate with the things I love, as friends, lovers, or fans. It’s working with writing fantasy. No reason it can’t work for blogging anime, as well.
No reason it can’t work for whatever you’re into, as well.As always, thank you for using my Amazon Affiliate link (info).