Monday, September 19, 2011

Your Jerry Seinfeld Skin

So an alternate title for this post could be "Fake it Till You Make it" but I'm a huge Seinfeld fan, so yeah.

Today we're going to talk pretend. I'm not sure, and I didn't spend time looking online (I am just that lazy, or maybe I'm drafting a novel...), but I believe it was comedian Jerry Seinfeld who once said that when he steps on stage, he pretends.

He has to. People are expecting him to be funny. Even if he's had a bad day, gotten in a fight, etc.

I sometimes feel like this is what we have to do online. We want to put our best foot forward. We should want to be on our best behavior.

And, we have to fake it until we make it. You want more followers? Think like Jerry Seinfeld. More comments? Jerry Seinfeld.

He puts on his best act every time he steps on stage. Your blog is your stage. Are you putting on your best act? If you do, people will come.

45 comments:

Leigh Ann said...

You know, it's interesting, because I think people forget that our blogging/Facebook/twitter personas aren't *supposed* to be "the real us" - not the WHOLE "real us" anyway. It's easy to want to "be ourselves" in a space that feels so very safe and personal. I don't know about most people, but the "real me" is not professional one hundred percent of the time. I whine and rant and stress in the privacy of my own home (and emails with my critique partners, especially.)

I work on a college campus, so I'm maybe more aware than lots of people that one slip-up online can really break you. Thanks for the reminder. For those of us with publishing pipe-dreams, it's important to always be professional, engaging, enthusiastic, and kind.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Fake it until you make it is definitely one of my mantras. Want to feel enthusiastic? Act it until you feel it.

Jemi Fraser said...

So true. Especially online where nothing ever goes away, it's important to project an image you're comfortable with!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love L. Diane Wolfe's mantra. Fake it until you make it. That's more me in public. I don't think I have to pretend when it comes to social networking. If I don't feel in a great mood, I skip on it and do something that will make me feel better. I have the luxury of being able to do that. Not everyone does.

Laura Pauling said...

We were just watching Seinfeld the other night. He is truly hilarious!

Bish Denham said...

There's a certain truth to the saying. I'm quite comfortable with how I project myself through blogging, but the reality is, I'm rather an introvert.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Yes. Online life is not the same as real life and it's important to find that balance that makes sure you're representing who you are and what you stand for (keeping it real) but doing so in the best light possible. Great post!

Natalie Aguirre said...

So true. Just like at work you sometimes have to fake being nice to people you really might not love. Another way to look at it is that you're putting your nicest, best self forward.

Matthew MacNish said...

I do try, but I'm afraid I'm just a little too nuts to always come across as nice and friendly.

Patty said...

Great words...

Em-Musing said...

Sometimes doubt creeps in...but I can only take my own pity party for so long, and then I HAve to get over it.

Jessie Humphries said...

E for effort. Btw, I am highlighting Possession on my blog today;)

Slamdunk said...

Good post Elana--we should just suck it up and perform.

The Mrs. and I still make Seinfeld references--I think I used Even Steven in talking to the Mrs. this weekend and the kids just looked at me.

Carolyn V said...

I hope so!!! Great advice Elana! ;)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

That's my high school principal's philosophy. He makes a point of being positive and upbeat EVERY day. His favorite saying is, "Every day is a great day at FHS." And we LOVE him for it! :-)

Emily said...

I agree, but there is something to say about real life too. Even when it's hard.

I appreciate your optimism, but also your honesty on this blog. It's a great combination of both.

Angela Brown said...

Well, I can see what you mean. I've taken my blog to be my stage, a chance to do what I love by writing and posting what I like and what's "me" online.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Sound advice... The world is a stage and we the performers.

Abby said...

Brilliant thinking and SO TRUE! I love this advice. I love Jerry Seinfeld too. He is awesome!

Julia Smith said...

Blogworld, Facebook and Twitter are public forums, so I keep that in mind when I'm posting. Private email is for the grumbly-groany days.

J said...

It's so true! I'm far more outgoing in the blogosphere than I am in real life. I think a lot of people need this lovely little reminder, myself included. Great post!

Shannon said...

Great point, Elana. It's so easy to use our virtual space as a complaint log, but really - who wants to be around negativity all day? Keep it positive and pay it forward. <3

Gretchen said...

Oh fake it till you make it....so true and yet sometimes so hard. It's easy to get bogged down in all of the negativity going through creative worlds, but yeah you're right just Jerry Seinfeld it!

Elle Strauss said...

True, we can't really say everything we'd like to while building platform, but wouldn't it be nice if we could? I don't mean being mean spirited or trashy, just fully honest with the journey.

salarsenッ said...

People will come...take notice. So true. I also think it's about being genuine and true to yourself. Thanks for the reminder, E. :)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I think there's a lot of truth to this. We have to be brave, we have to strong - but we also have to be honest. Sometimes those posts about how much things hurt can help other people who go through the same thing. So I think there's probably a balance. Be honest, but don't whine - be brave. :)

Steph Sinkhorn said...

It also helps to routinely tell yourself that you're freakin' awesome ;)

E.R. King said...

Oh, I'm faking it, baby... how am I doing? : )

Jessie Oliveros said...

Definitely my best side. I'm much more obnoxious in real life.

Heather said...

I never thought of it that way but that's a great way to put it. If we're building a platform we must always have our best foot forward!

Angie said...

I agree. We definitely have to be our best selves online be it blogs or other sites. Sometimes I just stay away if I don't think I can fake it well enough.

Donna K. Weaver said...

But what if even our faking is stale? *sigh* I'm feeling really inferior today, I guess.

Charlotte said...

I think I'd find it easier to 'fake it' if I knew in what general direction to go in. At the moment I just write posts about the things that I think would interest me if I came across them in someone else's blog, and I try to keep everything relevant to writing. The truth is though, that as a new bloggist (is that a word??) I have no idea what people want to read. Sometimes I worry that I come across as too opinionated or pedantic in my blog, but that's always been my style of writing I guess. What advice would you suggest about how to make a blog more accessible??

Cortney said...

I love the Fake it till you Make it mantra. Definitely helpful in any situation!

J.R. Johansson said...

I've tried to live my life by this mantra. The entire idea of faking it until you make it is some of the best advice I was given as a teenager. Among other things, it helped me act confident, even when I wasn't. And that confidence made all the difference.

Christine Fonseca said...

I agree with Jenn....and, um...you get to see the other side every now and then ;)

tahlianewland.com said...

As an extension of this, I think that if act nice/happy/positive we become nice/happy/positve.

CherylAnne Ham said...

So true. I say this all the time. My sales job pays the bills and I always tell people starting in sales that you've got to fake it till you make it, whether it be confidence that comes with time, or not letting stress creep into conversations.

Leslie Rose said...

We gotta make our blogs gold, Jerry, gold. "If we build it, they will come." Oops slipped in a little "Field of Dreams" by accident.

Amy Richardson said...

I'm not totally sure if I agree with this mantra... yet... Then again, I'm not a huge Jerry Seinfeld fan. (I know. I know. Most of you who read this will probably have a coronary but yeah there it is...)
I will have to let it sit in my head and I will eventually come to my own conclusion but I appreciate the fact that this got me thinking. Thanks!

Melanie Hooyenga said...

I love this, and it's how I approach my online persona. Few people know when I'm actually suffering because I don't want the world to know until I've processed things and moved past them. THEN I share. :)

Ghenet Myrthil said...

Great advice. Seinfeld's great! It's true that you always have to show your best side online. We've all seen those writers make themselves look bad by refuting a bad review or complain about an aspect of the publishing industry. We're allowed to feel negative about things but it's best not to talk about it online.

Nichole Giles said...

I totally agree with this. You have to be what you want to become. Love it!

John Waverly said...

This post reminded me of a video: "Sir Ian McKellen, On Acting".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyoWmkhRyp8

Julie Hedlund said...

I once saw the most awesome T-shirt. On the front, it said, "My Facebook Life" and the guy was chiseled and rocking out on a guitar while surrounded by screaming fans.

The back said read, "My Real Life," and showed the same guy sitting on the couch watching T.V. with a beer in his hand and a gut to match.

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