One of the things people tell you to do in business is to niche down. You want to create art? Pick a style and stick with it. You want to open a restaurant? Come up with a theme and ride it hard. You want to be a writer? Choose one or two genres (in similar or commonly overlapping categories) and write them until your fingertips bleed.
I get it. To be a creator is to be the face of a brand. But how annoying is that? It’s great for business and numbers, views and sales. I’d love to be able to stick to just one thing and become a master of it, and maybe someday I’ll learn how to do that, to hyper-focus on One Thing.
But my interests are vast and I am more than One Thing. I like the coziness of crocheting and baking, but I also like adventure, travel, hiking, working out (when I haven’t thrown out my back or fractured my hand). I can be a total nerd and a saucy minx at the same time. I can be a mother and a… well, something less family friendly.
I want to do too many things to niche down. If I am the face of The Brand That Is Me, I want to be able to share all different facets of this experience, this life. Sure, I want to keep some things private like my children, my home, my potential-someday-forever person. But the things that set my soul on fire, that I’m incredibly proud of, I often wish I could share them. I’ve learned that it’s not always appropriate to do so.
If you’re a frequent reader of my tweets, you already know how good I am at oversharing. I believe that connection and vulnerability go hand in hand. I think it’s also important to share your story because you never know if there’s someone who feels forced into silence that may need to read your story, to feel a little less alone.
I spent so long in this shell that when I finally freed myself, I overextended… well, all of me, I suppose. In that short amount of time I learned to be less reactive, to come from an “I feel” place and less of a “you did this to me” place. I still have a hard time not taking things personally when my heart breaks or I feel betrayed. I’m still learning that not everyone lives life by the same code.
People are complex and there should always be room for nuance when interacting. Even more so when dealing with parasocial relationships. The persona is not the complete story, it’s merely what someone allows the audience to see. That’s something that I’m becoming familiar with. I used to tout myself as an open book, living my life with the assumption that everyone knows my story so there’s no need to fabricate or keep secrets. I stand by the latter half, but it’s time I edit down this open book, and perhaps even take it off the shelves entirely. Not everyone deserves to read my story. Maybe this is what they mean when they say “less is more”.