How to Be Yourself Online (Pods, Vids and Blogs)

*I assume I don’t know much, but so far this is what I’ve learned about the world of writing and speaking authentically online.

Shameless Self-Promotion.

You have to believe (or fake it till you make it) that what you are doing is important and useful.

The Point.

You are lying dying on the road and you have one last sentence in you. What is it? That’s your purpose. Don’t let it out of your sight.

Are you an Expert or a Clown?

Are you telling the audience things or are you asking your audience things? Are you promising knowledge or are you looking for answers?

Who are you talking to?

A stay-at-home-mom who hates her life with a crass sense of humour? A mid-20’s entrepreneur who is depressed and single? Get as specific as possible. My audience doesn’t care much about grooming their pubes. I just kinda know that…

Therapy vs Therapeutic.

Are you far enough away from your subject matter so you can talk about it with heart but still be in control of the quality?

It will cost you money.

Assume you will not make any money. This has to be okay with you.

Follow your impulses.

When you have an idea in the middle of the night write it down. I promise you, you won’t remember it tomorrow.

Do it a lot.

You have to produce weekly. If you don’t, don’t bother.

What is your voice?

People will think you are being you, you might not be being you, you might be 20% more. Everything is coloured with a filter these days, what’s yours? Also, people will assume this slightly technicolor person is you and this has to be ok with you.

If you are working with edgy, personal material you will be misunderstood and called names. You will be hurt. You will be un-friended and unsubscribed from. That has to be ok with you.

Joan Rivers said “If 50% of my audience doesn’t hate me, I’m not working hard enough.”

Privacy

When writing about friends and family and neighbors, you have to send them the material first. If you don’t you are breaching their privacy. I’ve made this mistake and it’s really hard to recover from. My father said he doesn’t want anything I write to have his name in it. My husband has said- keep me off your blog and I had to wait till my mom died before I got most of my best material.

Surprising links.

Find a surprising story to take you to the real story you want to tell; this tactic never gets old.

Write like you talk.

I talk out loud when I write my scripts and stories. Also, short sentences work best.

Kill your babies.

I know the sentence sounds soft and languid and beautifully serene but don’t use adjectives (hardly ever use adjectives).

You will fail miserably

…and publically and this is when you learn the most. This feedback is painful and it never gets easier (maybe a little bit easier).

You’ll be surprised…what is popular and what is not. There’s no telling. There is no real pattern. Time of day you post? boosting your post? Pushing the shit out of your post on all platforms? It has resonance or it doesn’t. Usually the more terrified you are to post it, the better it will go down.

Invite the Clown Gods in.

This is art. Leave space for magic. You have a script; be prepared as hell and then be willing to throw it all away.

Know the rules then break them.

This part’s the best. But it takes the most work to get here.

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*me teaching my first University class to a bunch of kids who didn’t understand my brilliance.