Imposter Syndrome and the Pretense of Creativity
What on earth is "Kayfabe"? Wait... how did I get here? WHERE AM- wait, is that blood?!! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
Given that that tends to be how conversations about this website go, let's talk about image and persona.
I've always struggled with the idea that, even though I'm a published author and full-time writer, that I'm a real storyteller. That I'm not just putting on a show for people. The bard character in an elaborate performance.
Which, when I decided to take promoting myself and my writing a little more seriously, made things a little complicated.
I've had websites in the past, but for one reason or another they haven't meshed with me as an author, and my interest and engagement have waned quickly.
So I tried to define myself in order to get some ideas for a website name. Which, in hindsight, seems like a poorly thought out approach, but dammit I will make stupid decisions until it works.
Anyway, the answer was pretty simple. A storyteller. A bard. Someone who waxes lyrical about-
You get the point. For obvious reasons, that's what I am. And given that I predominately write Speculative Fiction (hmm... maybe Theoretical Fiction...), the logical endpoint for my thought process was the place you tend to find a bard in those sorts of worlds: at the bottom of a whiskey bottl- a tavern. I mean a tavern.
Right? It's basically the same thing... or am I doing taverns wrong (probably just doing whiskey right. LIVING THE DREAM RIGHT HERE).
After some time though, I realised that while a tavern may represent where I go to tell stories, it doesn't represent who I am. Or, for that matter, give me the freedom to write in places other than a tavern.
Surprisingly, the answer came from professional wrestling.
For the last few months, I've been working on the most complex, challenging writing project I've ever taken on: The Road to Wrestlemania Rewritten 2016. I wanted to test my storytelling abilities, and rewriting three months of professional wrestling television seemed like the place to start.
Which brings us back to where we started. In professional wrestling, kayfabe (pronounced Kay-Fay-Beh), is the pretence that what you are seeing, the stories and fights and characters, are real, rather than a scripted performance.
Breaking kayfabe is breaking the fourth wall. It's pulling back the veil to reveal the actors behind the characters. It's Deadpool knowing that he is a character in a story, and engaging with the people watching that story unfold.
It's what I am. A fictional creative, suspending my own disbelief for a little while longer.