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

January 9, 2009

me-before-god-image

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.

    Fox

  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.
    -Steffan

  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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