It’s really hard for one to truly know their own reputation. This is because people are more inclined to speak lightly to your face and heavily behind your back. Fortunately for me, I have a knack for seeing the complicated truths behind the simple lies that people tell on a day-to-day basis. This is how I came to understand the makings of my own reputation.
Like all people, my reputation differs slightly between the groups of people who know me. However, it settles around one basic fact: “Ashley Willis is…different“. Different is one of those words that can be a double edged sword. Some people who know me delight in my difference and see the freshness in it. Some people say it with distaste in their mouths and wish I would learn to conform. Whether they love me or hate me, people who know me cannot deny my “weirdness”.
It’s true, too. I’m admittedly weird and sometimes awkward. I’ve just never been good at fitting in a mold. My thoughts tend to stray from the norm and so my actions surely follow. Where I come from, tradition reigns supreme and anybody who strays from the norm is sure to draw gazes. I don’t see this as a bad thing, myself because I understand that my weirdness stems from being able to think for myself. I will never ebb along in consensus because I don’t have the ability or energy to make up my own mind about something.
The only biteback from my reputation is that people who know me don’t really understand me. When weirdness becomes a novelty, people tend to discount the individual. I am idealistic so people tend to call me naive…I am caring and loving so people tend to call me a pacifist…I am a dreamer to a point of fault and so people wrongfully label me as ‘ditzy’.
Here in the blogosphere, it’s a little different. We are all opinionated…we are all intelligent…maybe we’re all a little weird. While I’m still different, in small ways, from the vast majority of other bloggers, it’s easier to find commonalities. With this, I feel the people who read my blog have a more complete understanding of who I really am than people who might have known me for longer but because of their misunderstandings, don’t really know me at all.
While I might seem ‘scattered’ or ‘all over the place’ in real life, within the confounds of my blog, my focus is stronger. My blogging reputation isn’t as far-reaching as I want it to be, yet but it is clear:
I am an independent author
I am a free thinker
I am a nurturing mother (both to my kids and the independent authors I fall in love with as I spotlight them)
I see both the light and darkness in the world…I choose to focus on the light…
With that being said, many of you who are reading this might disagree. That’s okay. In fact, that’s the beauty of reputation. It starts with perceptions of ourselves and grows to include outside perceptions as well.
As you finish reading this, I urge you to do two things. First, stop by my Indie Spotlight page and check out today’s Friday Feature on Aray Brown. She’s a poet who also makes beautiful spoken word videos on YouTube. She’s a delightful person and has a beautiful story to share.
Second, think about your own reputation…what is your reputation by the people who know you and how does this compare to your blogging reputation?