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Repost: Vulnerability

What do I want to say? Well, here’s a stab at it: vulnerability is hard.

I know I’m not as well-known as I could be. In part, that’s because my talents just aren’t that good. I’m not some world-beating artist, or an author whose name sells books (or generates millions of hits). I think I’m good at what I do, whether it’s clanging around on a guitar, or writing stories, or even describing how things work to readers… but I’m not an earth-shattering talent.

At best, I’m an acquired taste. At worst, I’m pretentious and slightly rude.

I’m not proud, or so I think.

So aaaanyway, one of the things I struggle with is who I’m supposed to be online. In person, I’m fairly unified, I think. I’m a complicated, mercurial know-it-all hosehead with a quirky sense of humor, who’s totally into certain bands (and can bore you to tears with them), who also is a pretty okay guitarist, who writes weird stories and some really depressing poetry.

I’m generally a downer.

But online, impressions are formed quickly and fiercely. You get one shot, as I’ve been known to say to people who are also trying to write online, one chance to hook people and form their opinions forever.

But with a dichotomy like mine, that’s… difficult. Today, you get the cold know-it-all who presumes to try to help you communicate, or program better. Tomorrow, you get the depressed poet who writes about refined frogs in crucibles.

So I don’t know how to manage the expectation of who my two readers expect me to be. It’s crippling, really, and serves to silence me more than anything else. I’d write more, if I was willingness to allow myself to be vulnerable.

I could always use two blogs, I suppose; one for my personal writing (the music, the poetry, etc.) and the other for professional writing (the stuff that is technology focused).

Two blogs… wouldn’t be a bad idea. But then I’d feel slightly false, because neither one would be complete. The professional blog would be cold and aloof (…like I’m not already cold and aloof…); the personal one would be just plain weird and probably too personal.

So there it is: I don’t know how I’m received, although I think I’m generally just considered kind of odd. I’d love to gather some advice on how to make myself look better online, but I don’t know how… and the vulnerability is hard.

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