Two Things For Friday……
……Number one being that there’s no deliveries today. As you might know we operate in a communal kitchen that was under some construction last night, so cupcakes/brownies/whoopie pies/etc are going to store early Saturday morning. Sorry about that, but there’s nothing we could do about it. We’re currently building a sexy team of investors to build out our own commissary, so if you’ve ever dreamed of owning a part of a company like Robicelli’s, or you were just looking for a way to be closer to us, then shoot us an email and we’ll talk!
…….Number two is that we’re still delivering on a Friday blog, even though there’s no baked goods and Allison is still out for a bit recovering from that whole “being hit by a car” thing. Today’s guest blog comes from the author of How to Fail - the world’s first “self hurt” guide: Aaron Goldfarb.
Being a writer isn’t always financially rewarding, it’s not even necessarily artistically rewarding, and, at the end of the day, you unfortunately can’t even shove any delicious unsold work down your throat (though you’ll sometimes want to shove that manuscript or screenplay down other people’s throats). But, at least if you become a “successful” writer—whatever that means—you’ll get sent a lot of freeshit you don’t deserve and you’ll get invited to plenty of events you have no right to be at.
The panel discussion was titled “Using Social Media to Promote Your Creative Business” and, in promptly accepting the invitation, never once did I think, “Hey Goldfarb…you don’t even own a business.” The other panelists certainly did. There was a fashion designer, a popular visual artist, a branding specialist, and, strolling into the event late, a brassy cupcake maven.
Totally lacking self-awareness, I hadn’t once questioned why a semi-alcoholic novelist who sits home alone all day writing books filled with naughty scenes and naughtier words was invited to a business event UNTIL I found myself on stage in front of the large (paying) audience. Only then did the self-awareness promptly kick in and now all I could think about was what the hell was I doing there. Actually, I very much know what I was doing there. You see, I’ve neglected to mention that being a writer turns you into a shameless self-promoter, the kind of dreadful person who accepts any and all speaking gigs. The kind of pathetic person who’s become so obsessed with selling another book or two that he’ll gladly even write a guest post on, say, a cupcake blog.
Us panelists were asked buzz-wordy “social” questions about “best practices” and “ROI” and “influence” and I just sat there with nothing to say because, well, I don’t own a business—I simply write books and, once in awhile, Tweetperverseobservations. Luckily, though, I had the comfort of Allison in the seat beside me (and a large beer on the table in front of me). And while the other panelists were offering pretty bland and by-the-book non-answers (“Engagement is the most important thing for building a brand”), Allison was steamrolling over them, not even needing the mic to be passed to her, before blurting out truly insightful observations from a truly successful creative businessperson. I was on the panel, yet I was now the one actually learning stuff. Plus, she was making me laugh really hard too.
Eventually, buoyed by her, my beers, and an egotistical desire to control the room as well as she was, I thought I’d offer my own keen insights. I figured, I may not have a business, or really anything to say, but here in America, that doesn’t mean I can’t have an opinion too. I mean, I am on the panel, dammit, which means, ipso facto, I am an: “expert.”
I’m not sure if it was after the fashion design told the audience to “Never put anything on Twitter you wouldn’t want your mother to read” and I promptly told her “Well that’s stupid. I wouldn’t want my mother to read mybooks and I’m still writing them.” Or after I matter-of-factly told the eager listeners that the reason their Twitter accounts are worthless as a business tool is because all they ever seem to Tweet are complaints about bad airlines and slow restaurants. But, even a few sheets to the Brooklyn wind, I began to notice I was not exactly getting any sort of…“engagement” from this audience. Actually, they were staring at me like I was a crazy person ranting about Obama’s birth certificate on a packed subway car.
By the end of the “discussion,” not a single person in the room—audience members, event coordinators, or certainly my other panelists on stage—liked me…except Allison. In fact, during the post-panel networking session, while most people in the room were moving as far away from me as possible, like when that same crazy person then shits himself on that same packed subway car, Allison actually came up to lonesome ol’ me. We had hit it off—two loud, crass, firebrands.
In fact, I must have impressed her enough that a few weeks later, she asked me to blurb her upcoming cookbook. Or, actually, she reported to me after the fact that she had asked her agent if I could blurb her upcoming cookbook.
"robicellis: @aarongoldfarb I asked my agent if I should ask you for a book endorsement and she said you ‘weren’t appropriate’. Thought you’d enjoy that."
I suppose I wasn’t appropriate for that just like I wasn’t appropriate to appear on that panel. But it was perfectly appropriate that a foul-mouthed, smartass, cupcake maker like Allison had become my friend.
And, I still hold out hope that someday—someday!—my blurb will appear on her cookbook. I can see it now…
“I want Robicellis in my belly.”