authorial personality: where I've gone wrong

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Last night, late, a conversation about authorial personalities. A sorting through. A reflection on personae and brands.

Such as:

Decisively (intentionally) bold and brash—open declarations and disdainings, proclamations about one's place in things, quantifications of power—here are my crowds, here are my letters.

The supremacy of clever—over-the-top, wild asides, gee-whizz performances, e-gadgetry of sometimes rousing proportions.

The power of the personal—the autobiographical stories that reveal the truth inside the fictions.

Passionate advocacy—for a cause, for a period in time.

Straight-up, wins you over, can't help but smile with them charm.
 
We were speaking, my husband and I. I was asking him something that I have never asked him, or any other, before.

I try only to be myself, I said. But I often feel that myself is not enough.

The mistake you make, he said, as only my always-honest husband could say, is that you are too accommodating. You get up to talk and spend half your time speaking about everyone who was nice enough to come.

Be yourself, he said. But tell your story.

9 comments:

Serena said...

Agreed! Your husband is wise! You are very accommodating. Something I fear I am as well.

Beth Kephart said...

Serena, it is hard to lean away from one's own instincts. When people come to any of my events I think — she and her husband and baby drove so far, or, It's raining and he still came, or I know he is under deadline pressure and he is here. So that is what I think about, when I stand up. And I know you are the same way.

Michael G-G said...

We are drawn to your kindness and to your integrity. We are drawn to your luminous gift with words.


I look forward to the stories you will tell as you try to put your husband's advice into practice! :)

Beth Kephart said...

Michael, thank you. I don't know how to write differently, or how to be different. But I'm going to put my husband's advice into practice as I move forward. For I do have much to say, in my own quiet way.

Nina said...

If it's the amount of time you're taking to show compassion to those who came, perhaps you can create a ritual--perhaps it can be similar to the hand-to-heart Namaste bow-to the audience and then proceed with your program. I doubt people are there to be acknowledged, just to get to the topic.

Patricia J. Murphy said...

I love your husband. Does he have any brothers?

PS I am going to take his advice, too. xx oo PJM

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

"I try only to be myself, I said. But I often feel that myself is not enough."

It is enough.

reiko rizzuto said...

Kindness is part of who you are. And you have a sense of the importance of community, and the knack of making others know that they are seen. But your husband is right that, while including and acknowledging the worth of others, it is important not to let one's self appear less valuable. You are brilliant, and necessary, and it is your gift to the world to let that shine.

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