Aldous Huxley once said (or wrote) he was afraid of losing his obscurity. He’d said “genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery.” To me, that’s just a funny fucking way of looking at things.
A year ago I wrote a post about audiences, about how if you’re writing online, you’re lying if you don’t want one. Otherwise you’d be writing in a journal offline, or doing something else. Same thing goes for people like Huxley. You don’t write something, get it published, and then fret about losing your obscurity. Not if you give two shits about accomplishing anything with your writing.
I don’t think he was exactly lying either, to be fair. He wasn’t exactly saying he was unwilling, and didn’t outright claim that he didn’t want to lose his obscurity, just said the idea of it scared him.
Understandable I guess. I can kind of relate to the feeling, except that it’s mostly other feelings, not fear. Fame or notoriety just doesn’t seem like that big of an impediment to authenticity, to being genuine, unless you get the stupid notion in your head that being famous requires you to put up a facade for your adoring fans. I mean that’s just fucking silly to buy into.
All that kind of thing means is increased exposure for your work, whatever it is, and yes, your personality, your persona I guess. Thing is, a persona isn’t always a distortion or a deception.
You know how reputation works, right? Same fucking thing. It’s what people know about you, it’s the common perception people have of you, and sure, it can be based on a bunch of bullshit it you want it to be. Thing is though, it can also be based on exactly who the fuck you are. Maybe some of you, your shortcomings, inadequacies, or whatever, maybe some of that gets eclipsed.
Maybe the rest gets magnified. So what? That isn’t a misrepresentation. It just means that’s what you look like when you take who you are and magnify yourself and your impact on the world.
Is it disingenuous if you don’t put the rest of yourself out on display? Not the way I see it. To me, it just means there are some things that aren’t the whole worlds business. Know how Twain basically said the world doesn’t owe you shit? Well, that goes both ways. You don’t owe the world a damn thing, so what you choose to share with it or pour into it is entirely up to you. Your choice.
How much of yourself you share is your business. It’s not up to an audience or the general public, no matter how famous you might get, and anyone who claims otherwise is either wrong or lying.
(Alt. Title: “Famous” Doesn’t Equal “Fake”)