Get Personal To Connect With Your Audience

Evidence suggests a strong link between the sharing of deeply personal information and readership.  Not just things like a favorite color or food, but real important stuff, like one’s shoe size.  Medium.com is littered with ordinary folks who share intimate details about themselves, accruing more followers than Jesus—Jesus is the hispanic guy who runs the awesome local food truck in my home town.

I’m not sure sharing is right for everyone. 

Writing about myself is wrought with problems, not the least of which is a lack of interesting material—I’m boring.  Seriously boring.  In fact, my entire life is one long, boring non-story.  I’ll never write my memoirs, pen an autobiography, or craft RJR historical fiction.  Remember that guy who claimed to be the most interesting man on earth—I’m the opposite of him.

The question is:  In this age of electronic success or failure, can an introspective, semi-narcissistic, slightly arrogant, self-deprecating procrastinator afford to forgo followers for the sake of emotional anonymity?  I think not.  A writer needs to leverage their private, personal moments for exponential boosts in readership.

So here it is…

10 personal, intimate thoughts to help us connect. 

I’m temporarily living off my wife’s income—not only am I not ashamed to admit it, I’d love to make it permanent.  The details are not important.  What is important is that it afforded me the time to write a book, blog, sell articles, work as an actor and model, volunteer, and meet cool people.  If I could, I’d parlay it into a semi-profitable, go-green goat weeding service and another book.

I have more than a few shortcomings.  I’m a workaholic and missed most of our son’s childhood.  I get burned out, and when I do I go on holiday someplace where there aren’t a lot of people.  I don’t care for self-promotion, which makes interviews, resume’s, and writing about myself difficult.  I have no problem with conflict, but ignorant, close-minded, single-track, wingers are annoying.  I don’t mind letting people get the last word, then laughing at their stupidity.  I am not a great cook.  There are a lot more, but why ruin a future missive.

A lot of people who know me are surprised to learn I’m an introvert.  The best explanation about the difference between introverts and extroverts is this: Extroverts draw energy by interacting with others, introverts just want to kill people after the engagement.  I’m definitely an introvert.

I once channeled Clint Eastwood while pointing an unloaded gun at our neighbor in order to stop him from kicking the crap out of my mom.  We didn’t always live in the best neighborhoods.    

I am A-political.  There is sufficient evidence to support the idea that neither party cares much for the majority of Americans.  Democrats are focused on bankrupting the country, controlling people through social programs, giving men the right to use the women’s bathroom, and hailing the ACA as the greatest gift of our lifetime.  Republicans want to dismantle protections, push everything onto the states, piss all over internet privacy, and create a new healthcare plan no better than the ACA.  Special interests dominate Washington and influence virtually every piece of legislation to come before congress.  The only reason we do not have a system in place that allows every American access to medical care without worrying about going bankrupt is because politicians as a whole are corrupt, stupid, and think every election is a mandate to be even more divisive.

The media are in the entertainment business.  Headlines are crafted to draw in readers, and stories are meant to elicit an emotional response.  It is inaccurate to call them liars, but they definitely frame and omit facts, and count on readers not doing their own research—a model that has proven profitable time and again.

I can be opinionated.  I balance it by avoiding stupid people and being open-minded.

I used to be meaner, cruder, and more sarcastic than I am today.  My wife tempered the first two, but the last one has probably gotten worse.  

I was once asked during a job interview which person inspired me, to which I answered, “My wife.”  That answer is still true.  My wife is a consummate professional, an executive, and a big thinker who is as comfortable leading huge organizations as she is scrubbing floors, hiking Machu Picchu, and trekking through the woods.  She makes me laugh.  My answer was good enough to get me an offer for a job I didn’t want that paid really well.  Thankfully, my wife convinced me not to take it.  I married up in every sense of the phrase.

My favorite color is blue—blue like the ocean or the sky, not like the color that huge tablet makes the toilet water—and my favorite foods are Italian, oysters with a nice stout, virtually any sea-going non-mammal, and Italian. 

Life is not defined by tragedy.  I’ve lost dogs and relatives, been successful and failed, dealt with financial woes, lived on welfare, missed flight connections, had medical problems, hated high school, survived our son’s teenage years, struggled through relationship issues, and gotten food poisoning in Delhi.  Situations are shaped by how one deals with both successes and challenges.  Life is an imperfect place, screws fall out all the time (The Breakfast Club).

Sharing all this deeply personal crap really does feel great.  It’s like opening the door at Christmas and inviting dozens of people in for dinner—then looking at the mess and wondering, “What were we thinking?”  It will all be worth it when the follower count jumps through the roof.


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Unless otherwise noted, I drew or took the photographs in the article—as lame as they may look.  Obviously I didn’t take the cover photo in this article–I was like twelve years old with average length arms and no concept of photography.  Copyright can be found here for my original work.

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