Just the Facts, Man!

If you are anything like me, when you find something cool, something that makes you laugh ’til tears fall or something really interesting, EVERYONE you know hears about it. Yet some of you make really cool stuff and don’t have the same enthusiasm when you talk about it. You tell a friend or two, post a blurb on facespace and twitter, then go on about your day wondering why no one is looking at your really cool thing.

FACT #1: No one will hear about your cool thing until you MAKE them hear about it.

If you don’t shout it from the rooftops that you made a new whizzbang, your muffled cries from your basement will be quickly drowned by all the others shouting from the rooftops about THEIR new whizzbang.

FACT #2: Assuming the internet is on your side is a fatal mistake.

Simply posting on myface or twitting, “I made a fancy geegaw!” will not get your creation out there. The internet actively hates you unless you are a pornsite (I am convinced of this) and will quickly shuffle you off into the depths of the abyss if you don’t poke it a couple of times a day. For me, that means tweeting about my webcomic several times each day that it is updated. That doesn’t mean spamming the twitterverse with a link over and again, it means that during the course of an update day I post the link as a part of my normal interaction with twitlandia. NEVER include someone’s name unless they are a part of the creation, EVER. That is exactly SPAM, and will make you look like an asshole. Or a robot.

FACT #3: Being a dick only works for everyone else.

Trolling about being an ass to people is no way to promote yourself, unless you are promoting an internet trolling service, in which case it will do just fine. One of the greatest lessons I learned over the course of my life is that I am not selling/promoting anything but myself. If I am a dick to everyone I meet, everything I promote is the product of a dick. I cannot reasonably expect others to read my comic or look at my art or read my blog if my introduction to them is essentially “Fuck you, look at this.” There are those for whom this is an agreeable tactic, and for them it is an artform. For those few, I cannot imagine them being “nice, sweet, fluffy bunnies.” They are also usually already successful in their fields. Assuming I am not so successful that every word that oozes from my lips is a diamond-coated polished turd, it is best to avoid such behavior.

FACT #4: Pride cometh before the Rise, also.

Abject vanity is notably a bad idea (see Fact #3), but being proud of your work is a necessity. Being able to say “I did something!” and not wince when others look at it is a handy trick. If something you make is not “up to snuff,” that means only that you can improve. Without room to improve, there is no reason to make anything: perfection is boring (Ever seen a perfect circle? Not very exciting, is it?).

FACT #5: Nothing is ever set in stone except for names on tombstones.

As the returning Roman Generals were told as they marched in Triumph, “Remember you are mortal.” A smelly, drippy, ugly, mortal. Every damned one of us (except for that uninteresting circle) is an imperfect thing. That means that we are, like Data’s father, Often Wrong. Being wrong a lot means we can change, but it also means that FACTs can change; Even these five facts.

To recap: Go out there and make your great things. Tell the world about it; Be proud, but don’t be a dick. And remember, you are mortal.


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