This is not about $
The consensus so far today is that I’m a bitter blogger. Eh, if the shoe fits. My girlfriend, parents, and friends have said something similar. Then again, before I began blogging I was told that I was negative. The opinions of internet commenters and bloggers is no skin. The problem is that negativity is too often conflated with unhappiness.
Mike, the proprietor of the blog Danger and Play has some advice for me. He prefaces his advice by stating that I’m an “outstanding writer” but that I focus on racial issues too often.
I’ll talk about myself for a second and then proceed to the advice: The misconception is that I’m fundamentally unhappy. I can’t convince anyone through this medium that I’m not an unhappy person. You’d have to take my word for it that I’m of above average happiness. My job is very low status, but I make good enough money to be able to pay my bills and do other things that I like to do. My blogging which is generally reactionary has little to do with the current facts of my life. I believe it is possible to hold two views of the world – there can be an incongruency between your view of the external or distant and the internal or proximal. I consider myself a negative optimist. Or maybe a positive pessimist. My recent writings on being frustrated with our education system and the empty degrees it churns out is not a complaint about how my current life sucks; it’s a complaint about a system through which I’ve traveled. A system through which a lot of people have traveled. These complaints would still exist despite how much money I had in my bank account. Perhaps if I just made money off of my criticisms then everything would be copacetic? Yes, that is my ideal, and I’ve worked at making that happen.
There is nothing wrong with Mike’s advice, per se. It has worked for many people. He thinks I should perhaps start a personal finance blog, perhaps one specifically geared towards men. “Promote your blog to your manosphere buddies.” “Write an ebook”. And then he suggests that I start promoting the “iHerb coupon code.”
My responses to those suggestions, in order: I didn’t start writing and blogging just to write about anything; I can’t just switch gears to start writing about a topic that I have no desire to write about; I’m not calling myself Hemingway, but imagine telling him to write about stocks and bonds and how to get out of debt (if he had any). I could also start selling insurance. I’ve met some cool people and some good men in the years I’ve been blogging, but there is a lot of fluff in the manosphere. The manosphere, in general, is overconfident. Only a few writers in the community have had any noticeable impact. Most of the rest is just a “hustle” – a word Mike uses. That dovetails into ebook writing. There are way too many ebooks coming from the internet in general and the manosphere in particular. Not everyone should write a book, and I’m not content to create a book and then pass it like a soppy joint among members of the manosphere who are obligated to read it and tell me how awesome it is just because I scratched their back with the same veracity. And I don’t know what iHerbs are, and I won’t be promoting them just to earn cash.
See, blogging and writing is my side gig. For me, it is its own end. I came to blogging and writing from a deep personal need to express myself, not to make money or to be a positive influence on anyone or to enact change in the world. While I do sincerely appreciate all advice and feedback and readily admit that what Mike has written and what others have noted about me may enter some hidden vault somewhere in the back of my mind and express itself at some point in the future, I have to say that at this point I’m going to do it my own way.