Friday, June 10, 2011

24/7 Wit

You guys I'm under pressure right now. Pressure. Pushing down on me (thank you, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury). The pressure isn't anything related to work, though I suppose it is inadvertently linked to that. It's writing- is that work? Not to me. I've never found it to be before. But all of a sudden I'm under some pressure. Hipster-induced pressure from a newfound audience.

I need to be witty 24/7 and so far, I'm failing the hipster community hardcore.

Whatever. Over it. So done. Beyond. It's like- so now? Can't even. If.

Back up now, Heather, what's the deal? Why all of a sudden do you feel the awareness of eyeballs on your every move? What did you do to create this buzz? Seriously, what did you do?

About three days ago, I wrote an article for my boss' Forbes blog on HelloGiggles, that enormously successful website created by actress Zooey Deschanel, producer Sophia Rossi, and blogger Molly McAleer. In the article I made the argument for how the site was changing the online landscape with early word of mouth spouting for the site before it even launched and how as a women-centered site that produced wonderful, original content from bloggers of all walks of life, it was going to be the gateway for change in blogging and flipping the quantity versus quality quest on its head. You know what I mean. Bloggers everywhere are beginning to be conditioned to believe their words only matter when they write every single day- even if they have nothing to contribute but photos of their outfits- and to apologize for being away for too long (myself included here). By blogging irrelevant information, this leaves behind a carbon footprint stamp online of consistency that doesn't matter and won't stand the test of time.

I poured so much of my heart into that piece because I do feel quite passionately Pro-Giggles and everything that they do. A tiny portion of my heart was driven to write it because of a certain event that occurred earlier that week on Monday. The week before, I found myself on Molly's Tumblr where I discovered that the Giggles were looking for interns to work for them. Now, I know what you're thinking. I have a job. I freelance. I blog on the side for two blogs. HOW WILL YOU HAVE THE TIME TO DO IT.

Easy, I just won't sleep much! Though I am hideously awful to deal with when low on sleep and zero caffeine in my body. I applied anyway because I wanted it. I wanted this bad and would not settle for no as an answer. In return, I received a response from a mystery person who never revealed their name that they would like to work with me and if I could meet with them on Monday at the Starbucks in Beverly Hills?

Oh wow, no, I could not.

a) Zero car.

b) Work. I could not and would not leave my job at that hour to meet up for coffee with Mystery Giggle. I'm all about honoring my prior commitments and my job is my biggest commitment. Even if Steve Jobs wanted to meet with me to discuss the creation of the iHeather, a new computer invented just for me, I would decline because that newsletter needed to be created and only I could do it.

c) Did I mention zero car? And jet packs haven't been marketed/invented for the general public yet.

I declined in the email and also sprouted some severely huge balls in asking them to meet me at the Starbucks closest to me (address included in the email). I couldn't have honestly expected them to listen to the random applicant asking them to change their plans to better accommodate my own needs, but I tried. Subsequently did not hear anything in response either.

Expected and all, but didn't change that I felt sad after. My periods of self-pity do not last for long though. There's only so long I can feel bad for myself before thinking "This is stupid. You need to grab life back again and keep on moving."

I was not done and I don't think anything would stop me from continuing on my quest to get on board with HelloGiggles. Now before I segue into discussing Forbes, here comes the bit on my lack of hipsterness. The gene to Tweet out to the world "This broccoli is shaped like a baby Jesus. Eat it? #sacrilegious?" is definitely missing in me. When I Tweet or write, I generally tend to do it from a humorous, self-deprecating slant, or write about work, quotes from movies, and yes, even on inspiring hope and building up confidence. But I'm missing dry wit in the equation. I'm missing the need to listen to Architecture in Helsinki or wear neon yellow skinny jeans or carry an organic handbag that smells like manure and fruit leather mixed together.

I don't have the hipster 24/7 wit gene.

GODDAMNIT DO YOU KNOW WHAT JUST HAPPENED. My coworkers just discussed the phrase "hipster" and buying fold-up bikes. I am not making that up- right as I'm thinking "hipster" the phrase fills the air around me. It was a rare moment of thought and life colliding and it needed that expletive with a quickness.

Here are some things I like right now:
-peanut butter M&M's
-the "take $25 off of your $50 purchase" gift card from Ann Taylor LOFT in my wallet
-the fact that Jack White will soon be single again
-my business cards
-this terrible horror movie called Creep I've been obsessively watching for a week now. Instant watch on Netflix and the chick from Run Lola Run is the lead. It's both scary and awesomely hilarious all at once.
-my badass roommates who bake cookies and let me eat them

It's not hipster I know. But to me it is all fulfilling and dude, I have a job. It's tougher to make the time for observational humor on old episodes of Chappelle's Show when you spend every morning at work and every evening frantically typing, typing, typing as much as possible before going to sleep. Time used to be something I had a nice supply of in stock. I've run dry. Not sure how to replenish either. I think I've made my point though- I just can't do humor in the vein of the TV show The Office. I'm more of an It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia girl. Nothing will make me laugh louder than something that cracks wise at the PC world and still keeps it intelligent.

Back to Forbes- with the permission of my boss and my endless theories on social media guiding the way, I wrote up a piece on HelloGiggles and dumped my heart into the process. After I was done, I made sure to Tweet it into the right hands and kept my expectations on the low side. Not even 5 minutes of leaving the office later, my phone began to buzz with text messages from my Twitter coming in. BOOM. They saw it and loved the piece. This made me quite happy. I was back on the radar...did they remember me from the countless applicants? Possibly.

Then it got crazy. More text messages began to ding on my phone. I was invited to write with them. YES. YES. YESSSSSSSSS. Dream coming true, right here!!

Butttttt remember my lack of hipster DNA? I needed to write a piece that could impress them and stay in my own voice. Meanwhile, the Giggles had begun to follow my Twitter and Tumblr- under surveillance I was. All the eyes and texts asking and watching me for something incredible to happen.

No pressure.

Under pressure, I was. (Yoda be my guide.)

My roommate and I ran the gamut on topics for me to write about in the living room while I watched First Wives Club. Brainstormed everything. Discussions on acting, working in professional environments. the Olsen twins films, the fashions of Lizzie McGuire. Everything came together for a moment, fell apart, came together, died in front of me.

In the end, she told me that "whatever you write will be great Heather because you'll believe in it."

It was the best kind of advice. It wasn't about impressing anyone. It was about writing for myself and in the effort to write for everyone else, I forgot to do it the way it should be: from the heart. If your heart believes in it, if you can stand your heart and mind behind something you've written and defend it to the death, then you've got something pretty special right there. You've got some life in what you've done and you won't let it get kicked down or laughed at or lose it for any reason.

So I wrote a little letter of appreciation to Emilia Clarke from the HBO show Game of Thrones. If you watch the show, she's the pretty blond girl who is also a kickass warrior queen. She also has a body shape that is almost just my own: a healthy pear shape, probably a size 8. I admire her for having a body on TV that is not the typical stick slender I'm used to seeing but rather fuller figured and beautiful. And she is also the same age as me which I love because women like Christina Hendricks and Kate Winslet, while both lovely, are so much older than me. It gets hard to relate to them, you know? I'd like a representative from my own age group please and Emilia gets it right.

I felt confident with the article once I finished it. A simple one pager. My roommate read it and liked it very much. I carefully emailed it along at almost 11pm on Wednesday night.

Since then I haven't heard anything in response just yet, but I'm good with that. The ability to get such an opportunity and just try, even if nothing comes out of it, even if it is just a first draft and maybe it isn't their cup of tea and doesn't go on the site, still means the world to me. I am proud of that article I did with Forbes and prouder still of the piece on Emilia Clarke and will be proudest of all future pieces I write.

If you want something very much, then work to try to get it as much as you possibly can. And sometimes, you'll get someone who notices and appreciates the work that you do. That recognition even from just one person is better than millions to me.

Huh. Now that I've written this all out, I don't feel under pressure anymore.

Thank you, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. You rock gods must be smiling down on me (well Mercury is anyway. Bowie's in space....Bowie's in spaaa-ce!).

Update: Oh my goodness word travels fast online...well guess who's going to be a contributing Giggle?? This girl right here!!!!!

Love to you all,


Celita said...

I'm so glad you realized that you don't need to alter your style or cater to a specific audience. You're a wonderful writer, and staying true to yourself will provide you with an audience full of readers who appreciate your writing as opposed to an audience that expects something from you that isn't genuinely yours.

Keep up the great work!

Lynn {hearted girl} said...

well i've not heard of this site before but will be checking it out for sure. your articles are so thought provoking and congrats on the piece you did. blogging types of focuses are of special interest, love the tip lades!

MAJOR kudos to you on getting the BIG BIG BIG news, you must be over the moon. huzzah doesn't even begin to describe what this means to someone like you with this much passion for your craft.

i was really honored by your wonderful comment on my mantra post Heather, thank you so much! now kick up your heels and celebrate, it's most deserved. ♥

Cara-Mia said...

Congratulations!! You truly deserve it - you're a great writer. :)

kalie brynn. said...

Wow Heather, CONGRATS! Seriously, that is so exciting, but I don't have to tell you that! I love your writing, and I am not a bit surprised that it is getting loved by others! The best part of this post is you talking about writing what you believe it. I have noticed that about your blog, you don't post just because you should or post meaningless pieces. Every post is full of content that is smart, thought out, and very unique to you. And that's why I follow! Because I enjoy reading your voice and what you have to share.

And also because I appreciate a person who will reference Flight of the Conchords. yesssss.

kalie brynn. said...

p.s. I just clicked on the link to read your article, and it's fantastic. I am definitely a fan! I like where you talk about saving your passions for a post that will count -- love that. So true, and definitely an inspiration! I have been struggling with my own blog, and the direction I want to take it. I don't want it to become meaningless or mundane. So this is a good reminder of why I started it in the first place :] Ok, novel of comments done.

Carrie said...

Oh. My. Goodness. Heather, you are my hero! Congratulations, from the bottom of my being - I am so happy (and of course, mildly jealous) of your new endeavors!! Please keep me updated, I can't wait to read your pieces on Hello Giggles!! =)