Friday, February 03, 2012

Meet the Guy Telling Your Life Story






What's that in his hand?


Why, it's your life story.

You're a writer and maybe you thought the value of your writing life would be written down by someone who investigated and contexted your personal history, the evolution of your feelings and ideas.  Maybe you were hoping your biographer- and we all like to think someday we'll be successful enough writers to be written about- would have a little empathy and understanding for your life.  That maybe he or she would actually care about your first kiss, your first love, the birth of your children.

Well, sure, but he's a little busy now. And he's a little amused that writers don't understand how their biographies are being created these days.

There are only two sources to look at to compile the meaning of a writer's life, he says.



First, your credit card receipts.  They reveal what you actually do with your money, which, he believes, kind of says who you are.  Every penny you spend reveals a little more of yourself and fortunately for him, it's actually accessible.  Why listen to what a writer says or writes when you can actually see what they did, where they did it and how much they did it just by contacting Equifax or TRW.  They have everybody's real history, including ours.

Ouch!

You're nervous now, aren't you?  Writers create fiction, about themselves and their characters.  But credit receipts don't lie.  According to your biographer, they are you.

But wait, there's more.

You've been telling on you.  Yes, blabbing your life away telling all sorts of things you shouldn't.  Writing down the evidence of your attitudes, who your friends are and what you all are doing.  Ouch again!  You squealed on yourself.

It's all written down- that's what your biographer says.  Why bother reading your fiction when he or she can read the real stuff.  Where do they get it?

The picture's below is a clue.  Yes, now you get it.  Between your credit card receipts and this rendition of the details of your life you've provided to your future biographer, your fiction can pretty much be ignored.  Your online life tells the world your real story.


18 comments:

BernardL said...

Yep. The 'Catch 22' is without name recognition, selling your novels as an author will be extremely difficult. With name recognition, there won't be much about your life that can remain secret... that is, unless you go with a pen-name, which is another can of worms. :)

Rick said...

Hey, now there's an idea, Bernard. Kind of the writer's equivalent of a secret identity.

oceangirl said...

Hello Rick, I would be interested to read what my credit cards and blog indulgence tell a story.

Rick said...

Something about a mysterious stranger...

Christina said...

So if I want to do anything crazy, pay in cash? Good to know.

Great blog post. Very insightful.

Rick said...

Yes, Christina- pay in cash and wear a disguise.

Charles Gramlich said...

I guess biographies are going to be done a lot differently in the future. scary.

Rick said...

Charles, as one writer friend of mine told me, "If we want to have anything left of our lives, it's time start writing our best fiction on Facebook."

Annalisa Crawford said...

Hi Rick, thanks for the follow. I'm following in return. Your blog is great, and I'm looking forward to stopping by again.

Rick said...

Hi Annalisa! We voted here at White Cat and you have the coolest name ever.

Miranda Hardy said...

In the last two days, I've made a few purchases from Bath and Body Works. What does that say? lol

Mary Witzl said...

Uh oh...I almost never use my credit card. Do I even exist?

On the other hand, I leave all sorts of daft comments all over cyber-creation. So I've got plenty to be paranoid about.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Wow, thanks Rick. I'm pretty keen on it too! :-)

Rick said...

Miranda, it says your biography will be very interesting!

Rick said...

You're still in trouble, Mary. Your biography will portray you as a mysterious black marketeer, hiding from mainstream society. Your expenditures were actually recorded on video cameras- the average person's face is videoed over 300 times per week. And with you paying cash... well, it does look kind of suspicious.

Thank goodness at least you comment all over cyberspace, though, because that might prove that you're at least electronically connected to the societal Borg and are therefore an okay person. Maybe.

But to be safe, if there' a knock at your day late in the night and someone shouts "Cyber-police," don't open the door.

Sidney said...

Interesting points.

Rick said...

Hi Sid. I'd write back to you but I'm too busy trying to erase all my Facebook postings and comments.

Travis Cody said...

I knew it! And my friends and family thought I was nuts when I said I don't do FB.

Not much I can do about the credit card receipt trail.