In her BSC Design Blog, my friend Lindsay asserts that “In order to be a good blogger, you have to be a narcissist.”
Her exact words are:
In order to be a good blogger…
You have to be a narcissist.Not only do you have to be a narcissist, but you need to have someone around you all of the time to feed into your narcissistic tendencies and help that little monster inside of your grow and flourish and eventually become a full blown unstoppable being of self importance. Ok, so I might be a little bit overly dramatic, but I have not seen, read, or met one successful blogger that didn’t have that little monster inside of them telling them how great all of their thoughts and ideas are.
This little monster called narcissism is not a bad thing so long as it stays small and manageable. Having a voice inside of you day in and day out telling you how great you are is a really uplifting and empowering feeling. It gives you that inspiration and urge to do things like start a blog and position yourself somewhere in the wide world of the web as an authority on whatever it is you write about.
The problem. Well, in my opinion there is more that one problem. The first is obviously the very real possibility that your little pet monster becomes unruly and your narcissism starts to stunt your intellectual growth and before you know it you start feeling like you can not learn anything from your constituents and the people around you just “aren’t on your level”. I have seen this happen in a lot of industries, but I have seen it happen more so in the fashion and design blogging worlds than anywhere else. People learn to love themselves and their work so much that they can not take criticism, suggestions, or even inspiration from those who are not on their level.
The other problem is, how do you feed your narcissism and urge to blog about yourself and your life without effecting those around you. I have done lots of really cool things and met some really awesome people over the last few months, yet I have almost nothing to show for it. Aside from the fact that my husband is an amazing photographer I have very few pictures of me doing these interesting things because I feel like a self important fool asking him to take pictures of me.
Have you ever been some where public and seen someone talking into a video camera? Well, I have, and if you haven’t, just watch some of those life vloggers on youtube and you will quickly start to wonder what in the world do you people around them think! There are times that I envy that level of self importance paired with lack of public humility because I know it feeds into the online community’s urge to peek into each others lives. On the other hand I question what makes them feel so important that they have to walk around making a documentary of themselves. Isn’t that the same thing they made fun of on various sketch comedy shows?
I am going to be exploring this whole thing with a friend of mine. We both really want to get back into blogging and documenting our “great exciting adventures” [insert sarcasm here]. So the plan we have hatched includes the following.
- Meet for lunch at least once a week
- Plan at least one really interesting outing each month (either to NYC or some random event)
- Take lots of pictures
- Do not feel insecure about indulging that little monster inside
How is it going to turn out? I have no idea. I would love to hear from some of you bloggers out there about how you have managed this balancing act between real life, online life, and publicity.
Do you agree with Lindsay? Do you think the best bloggers have truly mastered the art of self-love to the point of narcissism?
I’m the friend who was going to explore the balance between real life, online life, and publicity with Lindsay through weekly lunch meetings and monthly adventures. While we had plenty of adventures, our realities didn’t exactly align themselves to working on this project too much. I asked Lindsay if I could use her post on my blog so I could bring the question to my blogging network.
Unfortunately, the little monster inside of you runs much deeper than only posting the most flattering pictures of yourself online. In my dating column, I’ve found a lot of critics. Most of my readers chase them away with comments like, “your negativity is not appreciated or welcome here.” Still, I think a chorus of people blindly re-affirming our thoughts and feeding the narcissism monster does little to actually help us grow.
I humbly invite you to disagree.
PS. I’m ending this post with a pretty picture of myself to show that I can be a narcissist too and with an unflattering picture of myself to show that I know how to keep it real.