This Week in Freelancing: Am I a Brand?
Money earned this week: $1,069.99 or $519.99, depending on where you want to count the end of the week as “Friday” or “before Monday morning”
Pieces written this week: 14 or 12, depending on whether you’re going to count the two pieces I’m going to finish before Monday morning
Transparency is everything.
I was not half as snarky about Professor Dumpster as I wanted to be. The first draft of that piece actually contained song lyrics that I wrote about him. But I read over that initial draft and thought “Okay, it’s clever, but it’s mean. I also speculate a lot on the facts.”
So I edited it, because I don’t want the Nicole Dieker brand to be mean. (I also don’t want to be mean in real life, but I really don’t want the print version of Nicole to be mean.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about personal branding and how it makes it a bit more difficult to say what you actually think.
For example, I think it’s weird and inappropriate that Professor Dumpster and his students are theoretically taking turns sleeping in the same dumpster bed, but I don’t have proof that they’re actually sleeping in the same bed (all I know is that they’re taking turns sleeping in the same dumpster) and there is no way I can call a man out for being inappropriate just because I read a few pieces about him online and then crafted them into another piece for The Billfold. That’s not right.
Another example: I totally want to write about Tinder and my experiences on Tinder, and snap judgments and the eyes being a window to the soul and why I am so unexplainably turned off by dudes playing golf because what’s wrong with golf, Nicole? WHAT’S WRONG WITH GOLF? but… I can’t write about Tinder in an official context, and I don’t even really want to write about it here on Tumblr, because I am at least a partially Public Person and thousands of people read my stuff every week, and I have to be aware of that.
I am at least partially a brand. A demibrand.
I feel like I need a third space where I can share undiluted thoughts, because it’s important to remind myself of what I actually think, even if it is speculative or mean. (This is probably where a good journal would come in handy.)
On the other hand, being a demibrand has made me much more aware of my own prejudices and assumptions about the world, and maybe being an edited Nicole is better than being an undiluted one. If I can identify that something I’m writing isn’t true, it’s just my speculation, and I can refine that speculation into something closer to truth, then I have another tool at which to look at the world. It makes me a better person, maybe.
I don’t know. It’s just what I’m thinking about this week.
And no, I don’t know what’s wrong with golf. My grandpa plays golf. A lot of cool people play golf. And yet I swipe left every time.