Hi there, folks. My name is Garrett Dennert. Welcome to my website, and to my blog.
As it is with many things, aside from the introduction above, I’m struggling to figure out how to begin this first blog post. Maybe here: I’m a person that deeply values privacy. Which makes running something like a blog a challenge on occasion, it being something that carries audience expectations of mining into that which is personal, whether those scrapes be deep or shallow. I grew up in a place and within a family where humility was drilled -- “don’t ask for much”; “no matter the size of the stage, you always act like you’ve been there”; “never showboat”.
The notes blogs tend to hit, for me, are just that: they’re shrines to, and by, their creators. They’re masturbatory. Constructs to feed narcissism.
Not all, of course. I’ve read plenty that are truly informative, inspiring, or groundbreaking. But come on, you’ve read bits and pieces of those I’m talking about. You’ve read the tire-pumping social media posts pumping the tires of said blog posts. You’ve witnessed that loop.
I know I sound like a grump. I know I do. And maybe I am -- I don’t get to be the judge of that. But where I’m trying to go with this is: despite my feelings, here I am, typing away. Why? Why would I do that?
The easy answer is that I have to.
I’m a writer, editor, and book publisher. I have opted out of all social media platforms. In many ways, doing so is very stupid of me, considering the way that consumerism has changed in the 21st century. The 21st century consumer, shaped by their experiences with the recession and by a deep, deep well of fingertip research, is not keen on taking risks. By that, I mean specifically brand recognition and loyalty, how more and more a low risk personal connection must be struck and maintained in order for consumers to spend their hard-earned dollars on a new brand.
In other words, double-tapping an Instagram post is not the same as buying a new lip balm, or a new bed, or a new book by a new author.
Sometimes, in order for someone to go from a cold prospect to a purchasing customer involves interaction on Facebook (product #1), on Instagram (product #2), and Twitter (product #3), as well as signing up for an email list (product #4), or entering a giveaway (product #5). Product #6, then, in this scenario, is the actual product the maker ever intended on selling.
So, again, without social media platforms, without the time or money for a physical office or storefront, I have to do this. I have to type this. I have to blog -- you who have no idea who I am won’t spend time with me or my work unless I offer something to you for free. This is the exchange of today. It just is.
From the perspective of the maker, it’s a bit of a bummer. You spend a lot of time, money, and energy on creating things that you may or may not want to create. But, I promise you: I am not speaking from a place of superiority here; I too am a consumer of the 21st century and this is precisely how I operate. Depending on the size of the purchase/investment, I’ll do weeks and months of research on and interaction with something before committing to actually paying.
I get it.
I also get why my “easy answer” -- that I have to do this -- wouldn’t do a whole lot in convincing you why I and my work are worthy of your time and energy. So I find it important for you to know that my easy answer is not the entire answer.
I’m happy to be writing this. Truly. Blogging is a medium that I have what I feel to be more control over than other mediums for interacting with fans and/or customers. I get to say what I want to say, reveal what I want to reveal, and do what I want to do with a whole lot of fun tools at my disposal, all while owning the property of garrettdennert.com. Sure, I value my privacy, but blogging makes it so I don’t feel forced to jam key elements of myself into an image, or into 140 characters. I can write something to you that I don’t consider to be meaningless, and you can interact with it in a meaningful way -- visiting this website and reading 1,000 words of mine is a much more meaningful act to me than clicking “Like” on a picture of my dog. Reading 1,000 words of mine feels like I’m creating something for you, and that you’re telling me the time and energy I spent creating was worth it. It feels like an exchange in this way, regardless of whether or not you purchase a book of mine.
Blogging doesn’t leave me feeling empty, as other ways to digitally connect with you do. It might actually make me feel a bit more fulfilled.
Hopefully if you stick around maybe you’ll be able to say the same.