Controversy sells! At least that’s how it seems to me. You know, I look at other authors on facebook/twitter/blogs and I see them go off about the publishing industry, or I see them up in arms over some political thing, or I see them making fun of this religious group or that group without religion, or ranting about any number of hot button topics like gay marriage, abortion, or Republicans. It’s no secret that the Internet is an engine and hate is its fuel. Discontent keeps the engines turning. Controversy sells.
It strikes me that perhaps I’m not controversial enough. I have opinions, sure. Strong ones, even. But I usually keep them to myself or only express them when asked in a setting where we can have polite discourse (a rare creature in the world wide web). I don’t really feel the need to bring out a particular soapbox and shout to my “followers” on a regular basis. Maybe that’s why I don’t have more followers...Hm. It seems people want to follow others who are controversial. Who get out there and stir up the waters and “tell it like it is”--or, at least, “like it is” according to their point of view.
Now that’s not to say I’m wishy-washy. I talk about my Christian faith and I don’t know if you can get much more controversial than walking around saying you’re one of those quacks that really believe the Bible is true and that Jesus is the only--yes, the only--way to get to Heaven. That’s pretty controversial, but not in a good way, I suppose. At least, not as far as sales are concerned.
Perhaps in a rant-filled world where, thanks to the Internet, every Tom, Dick, and Harry has a bullhorn to shout out their opinions that we need controversy to stand apart? Is that true? I certainly hope not, or I'm seriously outgunned.
In an effort to keep up with the masses, however, I shall lay out a helping of my own controversial opinions. I am ready now, followers. Flock to me, all ye who are discontent, and rally under my loud voice. Buy my books!
Here we go!
1. I hate cheese. Seriously. I like it on pizza, but not on my sandwich. Every restaurant I go, I order plain hamburgers. No cheese, no ketchup, no mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Plain.
2. I find the color orange to be physically repulsive. I mean, I don’t go fleeing in terror at the sight of it or start smashing things whenever someone brings it up, I just don’t like orange. Not really much for yellow, either come to think of it. Yellow is the ugly cousin of orange, and that’s saying something.
3. I prefer dark chocolate. I used to be all about the milk chocolate, but as I get older, I’ve grown quite fond of dark chocolate. My wife thinks I’m developing a more mature palette. White chocolate is not that great, but it’ll do in a pinch.
4. I bite my nails and I don’t see a thing in the world wrong with it. You’ll never convince me otherwise.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel liberated. Exposed, in fact. I should really do this more often. I hope I didn’t offend anyone by declaring my hatred of cheese... No, wait, I hope you are offended! Yes, I’ve come--not to play nice--but to rock this boat of a cheese-loving world. I’m here to start a revolution. I hate cheese and I’m proud! Who’s with me!!
Ah, well, it was worth a shot. Buy my books, anyway, will ya? That dark chocolate doesn’t pay for itself :p
Is controversy necessary to stand apart? Is it a necessary “weapon” in the arsenal of a young writer looking to make a name for himself?