I think about this often and it’s why I don’t trust half of what people tell me.
If I choose to present a certain set of facts about myself I can portray myself as one type of person. But if I choose a different set of facts I can portray myself as someone who is almost the exact opposite of the first person.
Both sets of facts are equally valid.
It’s all in how I choose to spin my personal narrative.
I know, that’s really vague.
Here’s an example:
Story A: I went to a private high school with classmates whose parents were on world’s richest lists.
Story B: I was on food stamps in high school and we almost lost our house because my dad couldn’t pay the mortgage.
Both true. Both, if taken in isolation, presenting a completely different picture of my childhood.
Why am I thinking about this today? Because one of the non-fiction books I published is currently sitting in the top five on a couple of category lists.
Except I know the numbers that put the book there. And I could’ve reached those numbers by simply posting to my Facebook page and getting about a third of my friends to buy the book in one day.
I can walk around for the rest of my life telling someone that one of my books was in the top five in its category on Amazon. Or I can say I sold X very small number of copies of my book.
Both true. Both giving a very different impression of my writing success.
It’s all in how you choose to spin it.