When I decided to end the use of characters and start creating content under my name a few years ago, it was not a decision I made lightly. There was a lot of anxiety that came along with that decision, to be perfectly honest. I had spent so many years letting the "other" in my head say some of the more outrageous and controversial things as a way of keeping myself separated from it, and somehow above it. As the host of the show who interacted with the character voices I made, it was part of the show. What I never expected was that it became harder for me to be bold on my own without the crutch of one of the funny voices to take the edge off what I was saying. Never mind that in a lot of cases, I believed the position I was making even if I couched it in a joke.
I came to believe that the only way for me to get out of that mindset was to close the door on that show and that dying format and force myself to assign my name to my work. I needed to hold myself accountable. I don't regret that decision, but recent events have made me rethink it to some degree, and I would like to share with you some of that derailed train of logic.
I have become possessed with the idea that I want to create a place where people can learn some information on blogging, podcasting, photography, social media, making videos, and living a better and somewhat simpler life. I want to pretty much give that content to you as well or better than the self-styled 'gurus' do, and I want to do it for free because those people frost my gears that much. That said, it's a site that I'll monetize in some fashion because I do want to make it the full-time gig, but I need to monetize it in a way that lets me sleep at night.
While I'm working on that project, the current state of this country demands I speak some truth to bullshit. If ever there was a time that "Question Everything..." was appropriate, it's right now. I believe we are a country in crisis. I think that there is a fight right now for the soul and the conscience of who we are, and I think we run the risk of losing our unique identity in the world if this crisis is left unresolved.
I believe that we do need to speak truth to bullshit. I think that's not only our moral obligation as not just Americans, but I see it as my duty as a human on this floating rock who wants to recognize the dignity and the rights of other humans. The trouble with all of that is very simple: When I see bullshit, I usually call it bullshit, along with a few hundred more sentence enhancers that quickly defeat any chance of having my professional goals taken very seriously.
There are those among you who may be asking why I don't just choose not to engage; Indeed, I have advocated "opting out" of a society you don't wish to be a part of, and getting all pirate up in this life. I can't lie to you; I would LOVE to continue to preach that lifestyle because it would mean that I can do my thing and chill. However I came by it, the fact of the matter is there is something in me that can't be silent right now, and that presents a problem when you merge professional goals with personal opinions in the online space. Especially those things that have a nasty propensity to get fired, or never hired for stuff in the first place.
So I have decided to make a bargain with myself: I must succeed at the professional to justify the personal. To that end, part of the project I'll be working on will be the divestment of any professional ambition from the Roley site, podcast, and social media accounts. You'll see a new website soon, and some new social media accounts related to that. In fact, those properties already exist. What doesn't exist yet is some fantastic content on there, and that's what I'm doing right now.
One other thought, since it's just popped into my head: I can't be naive or foolish enough to think that in this age of toxic binarism that the ideas and thoughts expressed in the personal space won't be used by the more zealous disciples of the cult right against my professional ambitions at some point, but in the end I don't think that's in my control. The obvious question, then, is why do this at all? My answer is just that I feel that it is the right thing to do at this time and that I don't want a little kid coming to my site looking for how to get started on Instagram, and be subject to my carpet bombing of the English language with all the colorful words I use in the palette.
One is work; the other is play. That's how I'm going to frame it in my head; I invite you to do the same.