Okay, so Amber Skye Forbes loves attention, but The Dancing Writer is my brand, and so I’m trying to build off that. I talked a little bit about the monicker in this post. In any case, I’m going to admit I love attention. When I’m going out to work or anywhere at all, I dress as a pseudo Lolita: either sweet or casual or a little gothic. I love the attention I get from it, I’m not going to lie. As someone whose self-esteem was crushed by depression, it really does help me when I get outside affirmation from others. I mean, my self-esteem is pretty much back now that I am no longer depressed, but the attention, I still love it.
I like the attention because I want to be noticed as a person, and I think we all secretly do but are afraid of the social stigma of being called attention seekers, or, even more unkind, “attention whores,” or narcissists. As long as you’re not walking around thinking you’re the best darn thing on the face of the planet, I see nothing wrong with wanting attention. I’m not running around screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” I’m wearing my favorite style of clothes and enjoying the attention I get because of it.
I think as writers we need to get it into our heads to seek attention. We’ve got books to sell, after all. If we don’t become attention seekers, how can we expect to succeed? Plus, I have a brand I’d like to build, and I’d like people to know both my name and my brand because I’m going to use my brand for more than just books.
I want to be loud, noticed, and remembered. I don’t want to be some afterthought to someone’s day. But I don’t want to be remembered just because I’m a writer. I want to be remembered because of the things I do for people, or the things I will do for people. I’m not doing things for people just for that reason, but it’s a plus if I can go down in history somehow.
Where did this craving to be remembered come from? I think it came from depression. Depression can turn fatal if not treated–don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Not everyone who is depressed is suicidal, and vice-versa, but you can become suicidal if you’re the type to dwell on who you used to be before depression sapped the life from you.
When I was depressed, I felt insignificant. I felt like I’d never leave any mark on this world and that my illness was going to sap all my potential of ever being someone who can make a difference in people’s lives. So I guess this fervent desire for attention is my way of laughing in depression’s face, saying, “Yeah, you tried to get me, to kill me, to drag me down, but I’m going to show you I’m not insignificant, and you’re going to regret ever coming into my brain.”
Wanting to be noticed is my way of fighting. Looking back on how I felt during depression, I realize what a traumatizing illness bipolar disorder can be. Some people, I believe, can develop PTSD from being depressed or suicidal or manic or going through psychosis–it’s that frightening. I don’t think that will happen to me, but I do have my worries of my meds not working anymore because I love the person I am when I’m not depressed. I hate the person I am when depression has me.
So, Stars, go out there, seek attention, be loud, make a difference, and don’t hide.
3 thoughts on “The Dancing Writer is An Attention Seeker”
Hi Amber – thanks for following my blog. Good to meet you.
I understand what you mean about attention. I’m the same way. I like to do things that put me out front – teaching, writing books, cooking demos… You mentioned that depression made you think that you were insignificant, and I can really relate to that. All my life I felt insignificant, partly a result of a lack of attention or appreciation while I was growing up. I have a constant need to be noticed. I’m a lot older than you, and I have a husband who is kind, attentive, and very appreciative of almost everything. All of this has helped me tone it down some, but the need is still there.
Brava that you’ve turned your need into positive and fun pursuits! You’ll find that you get nearly as much enjoyment from your efforts as you do from the attention. Good luck with all of it!
I like it. A lot.
Words from another divine dancer…
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”