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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Narcissistic Confessions

It's long overdue for me to explain to whomever might be reading this why I created and continue to maintain a website about myself (which includes this blog, wherein I also blog about myself).  I admit I've gotten a little carried away with the whole thing - there's a lot of information here.  I'm on a fence about being ashamed/embarrassed to the point of deleting it all, and being really proud of it.  Although it could easily be interpreted as a sad thing for someone to do, I have to confess that working on it makes me happy.  Here are a few insights into my motivation to do such a thing:

Write what you know:  "They" say write what you know, and everyone's favorite subject is themselves, there's no denying it.  Get someone talking about themselves in conversation and they'll like you even when you yourself hardly speak.  I'm a writer for my day job anyway, and often enjoy different types of creative writing in my free time.  Having my own website is an extension of what I'd be doing anyway.  Perhaps bits and pieces of what I've written in these pages will become part of a more formal book someday, you never know.

Fake it 'till you make it:  As a songwriter, I'm like most others in that I'd like my songs to reach a wider audience.  When you love writing songs but you're not a great performer, you call yourself a songwriter - meaning you think it would be cool if a famous artist recorded one of your songs.  When you haven't had a famous artist record one of your songs yet, "they" consider you "aspiring" or "emerging" or some similar word.  And when you're aspiring, they advise you to present yourself like a pro until you become a pro.  This site is a step in that direction.

Vocational practice:  As a career professional writer, you've got to keep up with changes in technology.  All forms of writing are online and electronic now, and gone are the days when a writer could turn in a hand-written, pen-on-paper work and a publishing company did the rest.  I started by writing instructional manuals meant for printing, and now what I write is rarely printed by its readers - people not only buy written works online, but they also read them online now.  As a way to improve my skills with various online writing technologies, I started creating websites with "practice" subject matter, and happened to use my interest in songwriting as a topic.  This evolved into the scottcooley.com you're visiting today.  It has also led me to indeed become skilled with webmastering to the point where at my current employer I regularly maintain websites, as well as moonlighting as a website designer/maintainer for personal clients in my free time for extra money.

Online presence trend:  In recent years, our social world has changed drastically due to advances in technology.  Everyone has a computer, and everyone is online now.  The internet isn't just for celebrities and people who are trying to sell something.  Instead of the limitations of free social network profiles where you write about yourself, why not have the freedom of your own domain and website so you can really go to town?  If like most people I'm going to post some online information about myself on Facebook anyway, I can now experiment with layout, formatting, presentation, graphic art, multimedia, etc. in addition to writing and paint a more interesting, detailed and complete picture of myself this way.

The mad scientist thing:  Although I suspect most people I know would describe me as reasonably outgoing and social, there is a side to me that is a loner.  Writers are by nature lone wolves to a certain extent, and I've always gravitated to individual as opposed to team sports.  Similarly, songwriting is a solitary pursuit, and the introverted side of me craves quiet time alone for this.  Rather than being a performer as a solo act or as a member of a band, which I've enjoyed in the past, my involvement in music has evolved to the point where I lean toward recording in my home studio lab as yet another way to express myself - mad scientist-style.  Tinkering with my website is an extension of this same kind of madness.