Serious Talk about Being Serious

I’m making a list of all the Random Internet Life Experts whose advice is based on the bitter chestnut, “no one will take you seriously unless you take yourself seriously first,” so I can fictionally murder them in my next book.

I may have to engineer some kind of mass extinction event.

First, it’s a violation of simple logic. I can take myself seriously. Others can take me seriously. To connect the one with the other requires a fallacy of composition. There is no conjunction. Second, seriousness as an internal attitude does not show.  Third, the whole idea of seriousness is a moving target to which Xeno’s postulate applies in spades. It’s an unwinnable race with ridiculous rules.

Seriousness depends on who’s doing the measuring and what metrics they’re using. I can be as “serious” about my craft as any artist in history, but how do I prove that to others? Only by actions others can measure.  So to take my art seriously myself, I must meet a given observer’s standards? Wait. That means taking myself seriously means I am trying to affect other people’s opinions of my seriousness? What? Circular logic is circular.

A certain accent, a particular hair style, even presence or absence of body art can lead to immediate dismissal as Not A Serious__________________ <fill the blank with profession.>  The next circle of serious: subject matter. Am I taking my art seriously if I choose to write humor?  What about romance? Answer that one, and the question become how much time is spent on The Discipline. What’s enough? Jump that hoop, and the subject of finances comes up.

Soooooo…yeah. Not a single damned one of those things has anything to do with how serious my dedication to creating art actually is.

Appearances show. I can aim for a conservative, middle-of-the-road, and “business-like” behavior and clothing to impress those who have those cultural blinkers. As for the rest?  I can work my fingers to the bone and stress myself to a standstill so I can demonstrate to others I am taking myself seriously according to someone else’s measure of discipline.

Or you know, I can “take myself seriously” in ways (possibly) no one else would accept as “serious enough.”

Wearing certain clothes, earning a certain amount, acting in specific ways, or conforming to certain expectations will not make me more or less serious. They only make me more or less sub-culturally acceptable. On a sliding scale. One that varies person to person, place to place.

Nope.  Ain’t got the time for that nonsense. I don’t to prove I have to take myself seriously to anyone but myself.

No matter what it looks like from the outside.

Not tired of my words yet? My published works are available on Amazon and all the other usual online retailers. Handy link:

One response to “Serious Talk about Being Serious”

  1. SylviaMcivers Avatar

    But seriously, tell us what you REALLY think.

    Some of my silliest ideas brought home a paycheck while some of my carefully thought out and well-researched words (with wikiCommons pix! for going that extra mile!) are still looking for a home.