“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently …”
— Steve Jobs
Crazy people make better bloggers.
Heather Armstrong parlayed postpartum depression and a stint in a mental institution into a cash cow blog.
Penelope Trunk grew her blog to over 750,000 page views last month as someone willing to write about stabbing herself in the head, smashing herself in the head with a lamp, and having a miscarriage during a board meeting while dispensing career advice.
James Altucher shares with his blog readers a history of suicidal ideation, depression, and going broke with a manic frenzy that inspires others to buy his books.
In the Forever Recession, we are all entrepreneurs, and everybody knows the best entrepreneurs are crazy.
1. We’ll say what you won’t.
I started blogging in 2002. Over the years, as a blogger and journalist, I’ve written about developing PTSD, the time I wanted to kill myself, and why I loved writing about the adult movie industry. After I got downsized, anyone who Googled me about a job I had applied for could find these stories online. This probably didn’t help my chances of getting a job. It’s probably part of what led me to conclude I’m unemployable.
But that I had been working and living outside of the box for so long — bending the rules or refusing to admit they existed — is what helped me go from unemployed to self-employed in a matter of months.
2. We speak the truth.
Crazy people are constantly in conflict: with themselves, with the world, with the voices in their heads. Want to know why no one reads your blog? You’re boring. You’re not in conflict, or you have no ability to articulate your conflict, or, more likely, you’re unwilling to share your conflict. That makes you boring and cowardly. A blog isn’t something you write when you feel like it. It’s the digital representation of who you really are. No one wants to read a blog by a boring coward. Because no one wants to be a boring coward.
3. We’re more entertaining.
Armstrong danced on her roof for free shingles. Trunk wrote about what it’s like to have sex with someone who has Asperger’s. Altucher threatened to drive a rental car off a cliff.
People like to say the internet makes us stupider. It doesn’t. It makes us all writers. What people chronically fail to understand is that writing is entertainment. We are 21st century entertainers, endlessly tap dancing for an audience we can neither see nor touch, all in hopes of getting something that used to sound like applause.
Only crazy people are willing to play this game, to keep dancing, praying for a fleeting moment they will be seen as they truly are, warped minds and all.
I’m not really insane. That’s just a dirty rumor started by my court-appointed psychiatrist.