Happy birthday, Gods of Advertising. You’re “1” (Part II)

January 9, 2009


Permit me to share some thoughts regarding my first year in the blogosphere. Lessons learned. Mistakes made. That sort of thing.

Last post, I stated that Gods of Advertising is a “must write” for me, even if it’s not a must read for you. Totally true. As a writer (trying to become a better writer), nothing challenges and teaches me more about the craft than maintaining this blog.

Having an audience makes blogging even more of a Godsend. At first, I had only ten or twenty readers (Thanks Mom!) but that number has since swelled to several hundred a day. Hardly anything in the grand scheme but everything to me.

Not to get smarmy, but I owe each one of you a debt of gratitude. Pale Writer. Andy Webb. Van Gould. Jason Fox. All y’all! I don’t believe writers write regardless of audience. Maybe a diarist but even then I suspect he or she fantasizes about a reader. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it…writers are like those proverbial trees.

But, with exposure, you make yourself vulnerable to hatchets! Week one, I got my first lashing from “Anonymous.” Then another. And another. I quickly learned that one’s audience is not always friendly, especially when they’re shooting arrows from afar, under cover, on another blog for example.

Among other things, I was chastised for writing about my agency, the work we were doing and the way we were doing it. I was accused of pimping my novels.

Harsh lessons in humility but useful nonetheless. Though my blog is mine, it is not a My Space page. Tooting one’s horn is almost always a bad move. It’s not that people don’t give a damn, necessarily. It’s more complicated than that. People do care. They care enough to tell you when you’re being self-serving and a moron. Most bloggers become inured to cyber attacks. Some call them cowards and haters. Yet, there are lessons for the receiver as well.

When I blog I ask myself if I’m being useful. Is what I’m writing worth being read? Will it enlighten as well as entertain? I realize a lot of GOA readers are students of advertising, young writers and art directors. They are not here to hate. I owe them my best effort.

If a post receives a thoughtful comment or question, I reply. When I err, I am contrite. If I make light of another agency or its work I do so cautiously and with an even hand. If writing about something melodramatic (agency upheaval, layoffs and the like), I know there but for the grace of God go I.

This is privilege for me. I intend to keep writing. Please keep coming back. And may your God(s) come with you!


5 Responses to “Happy birthday, Gods of Advertising. You’re “1” (Part II)”

  1. Jason Fox said

    Congrats on making it a year, Steffan. Anyone can start a blog, but keeping one going for any length of time can be quite difficult — even for normally loquacious writers.

    And thanks for the name check. Can I use that as a reference? My personal economy is starting to reflect the global malaise and I’ll take any tangential pimping I can get.


  2. SRP said

    You’re very welcome, Jason.
    And, where appropriate, I’d happily be your advocate.
    Good luck!

  3. Jason Fox said

    Great, now I have to figure out what you mean by “where appropriate.” Frickin’ copywriters. I swear.

  4. SRP said

    Well, as our experience together is mostly “virtual” it would be hard to say anything personal. But I am in your corner as you are in mine.

  5. Jason Fox said

    In that case, if some guy calls you wanting to verify that, when we were Blackwater-before-Blackwater operatives and you lay bleeding in the hills of Nicaragua with a chunk of Sandinista-brand shrapnel in your left buttock, I roused you from a state of semi-consciousness with a few bits of a chalky mint I had purloined earlier in our adventure from a comely British SAS agent during a game of Where’s the Pope?, upon which I commented, “I’m curious how they make them so strong,” well, just ignore him. Thanks.

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