Dealing with bullshit, micro-celebrity, and Offbeat Bride Magazine

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Ummm … how do you deal? As in it all gets to be beyond overwhelming and you just want to stick your head in a bottle of Jaeger. But instead, you … ? -Cristen

Snow hike

My favorite methods for dealing with anxiety include:

  • Very long, very hot shower
  • Dance class
  • Neighborhood walk or hike
  • Mindlessly click around online (like this: INTERNET! FOREVER…)
  • Stare at the rainbow disco ball thing (it's in the book)
  • When the going gets really tough, go for unconscious: NAP TIME.

Next question!

how do you feel about the celebrity you have gained as a result of the book and the sites?

Ah, micro-celebrity. First, I must say something: if you know who I am, it's not because of my book. It's because of the internet (…FOREVER). I know from my reader surveys that like 12 of you found me first via my book. The rest of you found me via the internet (…FOREVER! ok, ok I'll stop).

But yeah, micro-celebrity. Since I started blogging in 2000 and hang out in super geeky circles, I've had a long time to get used to the “Uh, you don't know me, but I read your blog…” phenomenon, so that kind of niche notoriety feels pretty ok. Of course it's always nice to have people who are familiar with your work, but it's just not that big of a deal and there's no need to get all “OH HELLOOOOO MY LITTLE DARLINGS! TAKE MAH PICTURE! I AM A ROCK STAR! LA LA LA.” I'm not. I'm a blogger. A few thousand people are familiar with my corner of the web. I am not a celebrity, nor am I even that well-known of a writer, relatively speaking.

This is all to say, while I'm comfortable with niche notoriety (because I recognize it for what it is: a niche. A very small one.) I DO get uncomfortable when it turns into any sort of idolatry. I totally get having online writers who you admire and adore (I have a ton of them!). But I think it can get weird when you start projecting your admiration on to people and thinking somehow they're better than you.

For the most part, people you admire are just as confused and fucked up as you are. They may have figured out certain areas of their lives (hence the cause of your admiration), but chances are good that other aspects of their lives are in shambles, and you could probably teach them a thing or two.

I guess I'm saying we all need more mentors, and less idols. I don't need the web to create more self-absorbed celebrities. I want it to create a gallery of accessible, intelligent mentors.

would you ever want to get re-weddinged? (party excuse?)

I don't have a real pull to get re-weddinged at this point, but it's only been 6ish years. I could totally see the appeal after 10 or 20.

what's your favorite part of being a wife (rather than a girlfriend, or single)? and what's your favorite part of being a mama?

It's hard for me to answer the first question, because I just don't feel very different as a wife than I did as a longtime girlfriend. I know some folks feel a big shift, but I just didn't. So I guess it would just be something legal like shared health insurance. I know. SO ROMANTIC!

As for my favorite part of being a mama? Considering that I spent five years trying, just being a mother at all feels like a major accomplishment. Specifically, I guess it would be the weight of my son's head resting on my shoulder.

I want an Offbeat Bride MAGAZINE!!! Please oh PLEAZZEEEE consider a magazine! I would love nothing more then to go to my local bookstore, without a laptop, and still get my Offbeat fix….*sigh* Such a beautiful dream!

As far as Offbeat Bride: The Magazine goes, thanks for the sweet vote of confidence … but I don't see it ever happening. My career actually first started with writing and then editing an independent magazine back in the '90s, and lemme tell you: PUBLISHING MAGAZINES IS REALLY FUCKING HARD. Seriously. So hard.

There's a reason why so many magazines are going out of business these days, while online publications like Offbeat Bride are thriving. Printing, distribution, ad sales, subscriber services … it's a huuuuuuuuge pain in the ass. The joy of is that I can skip all those things (and all those costs) and focus on what I like doing most: WRITING.

Plus, why mess with paper and mailing and killing trees and a big ol' delay (most mag articles are written 4-6 months before you read them)? With I have an idea, write it up, and publish it in 10 minutes. No need to pay a printer, distributor, etc, etc, etc, etc.

I know it's not quite as hold-it-in-your-hands tangible as a magazine, but is probably as close as I'll ever get. 🙂 I mean, I'd never say never … but.

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Comments on Dealing with bullshit, micro-celebrity, and Offbeat Bride Magazine

  1. Whooo! Hyperbole and a Half! I LOVE that site! Alison rocks! 🙂 (as does this one, of course). <3!

  2. “For the most part, people you admire are just as confused and fucked up as you are. They may have figured out certain areas of their lives (hence the cause of your admiration), but chances are good that other aspects of their lives are in shambles, and you could probably teach them a thing or two.”

    So, so true.

    Also reminded me that I need to read Duff McKagans Seattle Weekly blog, so thanks for that too. 😀

    • I agree. I love that quote. I was telling a student this past weekend why I think memoirs have been on the rise, and I think it’s for that exact reason– we all have some sort of shambling going on, and we look to others now who have realistic lives (not fictitiously heightened ones) and have written about how they got through so that we can learn from them. It’s interesting now how it’s not just writing skills that get you a “celebrity status,” but your own personal life as well. It really blurs the lines between a writer’s personal and professional identities.

      Really liked reading this post.

  3. That’s why I personally don’t bother with the celeb/whatever worship. Celebs are people just like all of us who happen to be better-known and are usually rich. That’s all. They still burp, farp, wipe their asses, have period leaks (the ones with periods, anyway), get zits, etc..

    If someone wants a print magazine they can print off a bunch of articles and staple them together. 🙂

  4. I think, in fact, that writers we (or is it just I?) love to read, are always a little f*cked up. Not like, “I’M A DISASTER AND A TERMINAL CHILD AND ISN’T IT GREAT I HAVE AN ARTISTIC PERSONALITY” f*cked up (kill me now), but more ‘crazy like me’ and able to write articulately about it. I mean who wants to read someone who has it all figured out all the time? That just makes you cry. So I like to think being a little f*cked up is an asset 😉 Would we like to read you if you were always saying, “Wedding plannign was so EASY for me, what’s the big deal for you guys??” Uhhhhh…. no.

    So. Yes.

    Micro-celebrity is fun in person I think (getting stopped on the street by some bad ass girl to talk about your work is always great). Micro-celebrity via email/ web is less fun. Because people don’t get out of their heads and realize how, well, micro, it is. And how, well, normal said micro-celebrity really is.

  5. Bump 12 up to 14, my fiance and I found the book first and had new clue about OBB and OBT till after we finished reading.

  6. Great post! I think Andy Warhol was almost right… we’re not famous for 15 minutes. We’re famous to 15 people.

  7. I am one of those 12, i remember that survey and I remember picking up the book, THEN finding (and falling in love with) the blog.

    Loved the link Ariel, my mom laughed too… she said, “GET OUTTA MY HEAD!!” so at least in my case I come by it honestly. 🙂

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