Radical transparency. I’ll try

September 5, 2016

To anyone who knows me well, they’ll know I’m not the most emotionally accessible guy.

That’s not to say that I’m closed off. I try to be honest about my feelings, and coming from a father who’s John Wayne levels of stoic, I’ve come far in opening up. Yet I’m also the kind of person who believes that everyone should deal with their shit, and it annoys me when people complain.

Don’t get me wrong. Griping once in a while is fine. Everyone needs to vent. But I believe it should be infrequent, and followed by action. I’m all for empathy, but if you never do anything to fix your problems, I’ll stop listening. Back when I was working a job I hated but wasn’t doing anything to leave it, I complained all the time. It wasn’t a good look on me. I don’t like seeing it on others.

Recently, a friend mentioned that she worries about another of our mutual friends, but she doesn’t worry about me. Good. I don’t want people to worry about me. I got this shit.

(There’s also the fact that I’m generally a joyful person, which is luck as much as anything else. My brain chemistry doesn’t betray me, much.)

Yet I’m also a marketer, and if there’s one trend that has some worth to it, it’s the movement toward radical transparency. YouTube celebrities film everything they do, regular citizens’ innermost thoughts are on social media, and writers like James Altucher make their names by describing the ways their lives have fallen to shreds for the whole world to see.

Not all of those seem like positives. The first two are seen as obnoxious, confusing, or annoying in certain circles. Yet there are real connections being made between creators and fans, and people like Altucher reveal the enormous value that can be created when you’re willing to bare your soul.

Which is hard for me, because I find that kind of transparency uncomfortable. That’s why my author twitter is mainly retweets. I don’t know what to say. I figured it out with my anime twitter; I can talk about stories, but a channel where I’m supposed to talk about myself? Who wants to know about me? I should just shut up and write more books.

Or so my brain tells me. Undoubtedly, some people will agree. But I’m missing that connection with my audience, my peers, and with cool people I’d probably love to talk to. There’s tremendous value in that, but I can’t tap into it if I don’t reach my hand out and offer something of myself.

I feel like that’s a truth of life.

All this is to say I’m going to start talking about my life more. Or I’ll try. It might come across as complaining sometimes. Other times you might just not care. But maybe you will. There are actually some cool things going on in my life, so maybe I should tell you about them. No matter how uncomfortable it is for me.

Funny thing is, I’ve always told myself that if something is uncomfortable, it might be a sign that it’s worth doing. It’s just hard to implement those kinds of beliefs sometimes. I’ll give it a shot.

As always, thank you for using my Amazon Affiliate link (info).

By Stephen W. Gee

Author of Wage Slave Rebellion, Freelance Heroics, and about two good blog posts out of a hundred.

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