Misadventures in accidentally creating my own brand

Or “If it walks like a self-congratulatory gesture, and talks like a self-congratulatory gesture, it might be one of my blog posts”.

Before I even delve into this post, I need to address the fact that this post started while I was watching So You Think You Can Dance. Needless to say, that time is well past and I have no idea how I got so easily distracted, but this is a very real problem with no probable solutions shy of me deleting all social media apps from my Surface. God damn it.

I recently delved, for personal and public reasons, into why I chose to name this Misadventures In Fiction, and it was a fun little romp around the inside of my brain. I go on those fairly often, but I’ve never called them romps before because that’s actually, as far as I’m concerned, a really stupid word. I could have easily replaced it with another word, but I’ve instead decided to leave my shameful diction on the internet for the world to see and mock. On the plus side, I won’t take the Adam Richman approach to dealing with hecklers, which I assume involves profanity-laden tirades while eating a semi-conscious cow and ninety-five whole, baked potatoes. Look at me being all relevant to current events for a change.

That…personal adventure ignored a certain aspect of the title, however. This is Phil’s Misadventures in Fiction, which is almost always shortened to Misadventures in Fiction. Or Misadventures In Fiction, because I’m about as consistent as the globules in a lava lamp. That one word (being my name, with an apostrophe and an s to show ownership; god only knows why I’d do that) makes a big enough difference though, in that it really shows these are my misadventures in fiction. There are plenty of other people having plenty of their own misadventures, but these are my specific ones.

Last month, I think, because I have no concept of time at all anymore (becoming a responsible, working adult has been a real bitch on my ability to process what day of the week it is without consulting a calendar), I made an Instagram account. I can’t remember why I caved and made such a horrible, narcissistic decision, but I needed a name for it. MisadventuresInPictures was born. There’s an implied Phil’s on the front of that, too, because they’re obviously my misadventures. If I really wanted to, and I already sort of have with the Categories on here, I could make a whole subset of misadventures surrounding my tomfoolery in real life. Misadventures in Nonfiction, if you will.

During my intermittent Twitter addictions, I’ve heard of concepts like building your own brand, and being your own brand, and so on. As someone with all the business knowledge of [pick an inanimate object], I didn’t really pay attention to that sort of thing. Mostly because I’m really good at making monumental lapses in judgment so I can appreciate just how keen my hindsight is (because my eyesight is absolute shit on its best days). Let me take a quick moment and not apologize for how profanity-laden this post is, by the way. Moving along. I didn’t understand the importance of developing who I am as a brand so much as I thought of myself as a guy who wrote stuff, and wanted to write stuff for a living. I’m still not really sure I understand it, as evidenced by my abysmally weak grasp of hashtags and my tendency to go off on weird tangents on Twitter (to really appreciate this point, you should go follow me at @SnarkAndBourbon).

This next bit isn’t exactly a secret. I’ve been toying around with what I consider the worst idea ever, but that’s obviously not doing anything to said idea’s momentum. I’m considering starting my own podcast. That’s when it hit me. Tonight, while watching So You Think You Can Dance and attempting to get at least something accomplished, I realized I’m developing my own brand of sorts. The tentative name for the potentially nonexistent podcast would, of course, be Phil’s Misadventures in Podcasting.

I’ve accepted, and embraced, that my life has been a series of misadventures. I applied to one college on a whim, and hated it, so I applied to transfer to another school for no real reason, and got in there as well. There are enough examples, I would dare say, that I could fill at least a book or two. I’m not proud of all of those things, but they make up so much of who I am and how I developed into the writer I am today (for better or for worse, or somewhere between). If I could, my Twitter handle would probably reflect MisadventuresInTwitter somehow…except I also now really like being SnarkAndBourbon, because it’s just such an appropriate name for me. I mean, come on.

Most importantly, and I may have omitted this detail when talking about making this post, I have Onezumi and Harknell to thank for much of this gradual evolution from “some writer with lots of names involving penguins” to “Phil’s Misadventures”. Onezumi and Harknell, founders of the world’s greatest convention for indie creators (that’d be Interventioncon, by the way), are such wonderful, encouraging people. They’ve helped me push past my laziness and fear of not succeeding with words of wisdom, kind encouragements, and threats of physical and psychological abuse. That last one is only slightly exaggerated. This has been a weird, unexpected journey of self-discovery, and I’m nowhere near its end.

The only difference is I now feel like that guy in the commercial for contact lenses who has a special brand for his special eyes, except instead of a special brand for special eyes I’ve got something that probably ate a lot of lead paint and fell down a shit-ton of stairs.

And I love every last bit of it.

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