|pic by the beautiful and talented Solange Noir|
We are what we are. We may run away from ourselves; we may try to hide; we may put up a good façade; we may shelter behind an image – but ultimately, is there any point? You look around and there you are.
My dear friend Sarah Dening used to say that we all need the persona, the outward ‘mask’ to function in society and she was right. In as far as our society is the way it is. And today, on the loo, I read a piece about Joan Collins in Red magazine – about how she was in court as her normal self and was getting trodden all over and then someone said to her: ‘Be Alexis’ (if you are young, you won’t know, but this was her ‘mean as a rattler kickass bitch’ character in the TV show Dynasty) and she did and she won.
I can still put on the mask if I need to. I can (I think) still play at ‘professional journalist’ or ‘sensible author’ when I need to; but increasingly, and particularly outside work, I can’t be arsed with the masks. And, above all, I can’t be arsed with masks when it comes to this blog.
I keep reading stuff about ‘positioning your blog’; about ‘becoming a brand’; about ‘owning your niche’. Shit, in the time it’s taken me to write this, I’ve had someone follow me on Twitter offering to help build my status, to make me an authority. Feck off, mate. Not interested.
Because, see, this blog is where I don’t have to worry about editors, about writing to a specific brief, in a certain style, to a demographic. I have struggled for years over this question of Who I Am When I Blog (or when I do anything really). And I have slowly come to the realisation that, actually, it is perfectly okay to be a weird contradiction, that’s it’s fine not to be ‘on message’ all the time, that – truly – one doesn’t have to be ‘niche’…if one doesn’t want to be.
You don’t have to be a brand.
For sure, if you’re courting a particular audience or want to blog for a particular market, then fine, brand yourself to kingdom come, find that niche. It may feel nice and warm and cosy, in which case - great. It may feel a little uncomfortable, you might need to squish yourself into it - in which case, maybe have a ponder. But for me (and, I suspect) a lot of people – it’s just about thinking out loud. And, sorry, I don’t just think in one particular way.
So I can blog about being a mother, about that weird concept that is parenting. And I can blog about ridiculous things like sexualising kitchen implements and trying out ludicrous control garments because, hey, sometimes stupid things amuse me. And I can blog about books and gaming; about fitness and food; about shoes and breakfast cereals and nice aromatherapy oils. I can blog about spirituality and religion and mysticism and weirdy beardy stuff. All of it. Any of it. Cos, hey, it’s my blog. And if you don’t like that, that’s fine – you don’t have to read it. I won’t be offended. And yeah, I know that means I won't get sponsorship deals or get sent on fancy trips (except...hmmm ) but hey, that's not why I do it.
I know I lose people sometimes. Okay, a lot. J Some people like the funny stuff and wander off, twirling a finger around their heads, when I go mystical. Or they love the spiritual stuff and freak out when I swear or talk about sex. But, hey, I happen to feel they’re all mixed up, muddled up, tangled up like cosmic spaghetti and to separate the sex from the spirituality, the humour from the hagiography (okay, struggling with my alliteration there) is to miss something rather important about God/Goddess/Whatever the Fuck you want to call It. If you want a slightly more coherent take on this, you could add a few pennies to the coffers of the Bonkers House and buy my book, The Energy Secret, now available on wondrous Kindle, thanks to the stern goddess who is Kim Jewell.
Anyhow…that’s it really.
Forgive me if I’m not quite coherent. I’ve been off visiting strange places again and am still not quite fully back here in the normal world. Normal service will be resumed, I promise…there will be breakfast cereal, and dog kibble and doubtless more general weirdness and hopefully some more sexy innuendo-laden kitchen appliances (dear gods of PR send me a toaster before I burn another bagel). If you’re very good, there may even be a bed of nails…
Oh, and in the middle of my mad three days, I was sent an email which said: "Watch this…" and I did…and it’s really rather wonderful… and fits in rather delightfully with all this business of who we are and who we’re supposed to be…and what is important, and what isn’t… It's a film, btw...so you'll need some time...