Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Do Masked Authors Need To Smile?


We have heard “live like no one is watching.” The idea is that we should feel carefree. Just sing and dance and tap into your youthful innocence. Be playful. But we also hear, “assume everything you say or write can be seen by everyone.” This reminds us of the limits of privacy and forces us to behave at a higher standard, and to err on the side of caution.

Can both approaches exist simultaneously?

We all live double lives. This doesn’t have to mean that in private we are evil or mean people, and when in public we are angelic, but no doubt we behave differently with our circle of friends and family behind closed doors than in public.

But all of it is still us. Our ledger of actions and thoughts and intentions is never closed. The meter runs with every heartbeat and throughout every one of the estimated 23,000 breaths that we take each and every day (that was an unverified Snapple fact).

So, are you good? Sometimes. Bad? Sometimes. We would like to think the good outweighs the bad. Most often we are probably neither.

We are often on the sidelines, immersed in one of our common states of being: in contemplation mode (internal decision-making, meditate), observation mode (people watch), quiet mode (sleep), escape mode (feed drug/food/booze/shop addictions, sex, watch TV; read a book, hobby), exercise mode, talk mode (therapy, gossip, friends), social media mode (mindless tweet posts and shares), chore mode… not really doing anything but maintaining our existence or seeking fast bursts of joy in trivial activities.

So, as a writer, are we good or bad? Is writing a higher form of existence than reading? Of doing something else? Of doing nothing?

Are all writers equal, regardless of what they write about or how well they right? Is an introspective poet meditating on love any better than a therapist’s self-help book, or a scholarly history book, or an erotic thriller, or the memoir of a corrupt politician, or a celebrity cookbook?

Are books any better than any other content vehicle or medium?

Are writers any better than any other story teller or artist?

Who or what is good or bad? On what scale do we judge? And what would our conclusions matter?

Lastly, do masked authors need to smile?

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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.

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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: 

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