Why Did I Start Real Fake Ads?
Recently, I did something weird: I started a website called Real Fake Ads (http://realfakeads.com). The premise is fairly straightforward — I create fake ads for fake things and post them on the blog. My intent is to make people laugh and maybe make them think or see the world a little differently. Whether or not I accomplish that on a regular basis, I dunno.
Recently, Justin asked me to write this post and explore why I created the site, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m glad he did. Here are the reasons I came up with.
I wanted to be deviant.
I love what Justin says on this siteÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s About page:
- Deviant exists to challenge the status quo.
- Deviant exists because we believe there is more to life than the Ã¢â‚¬Å“American Dream.Ã¢â‚¬Â
- Deviant exists as a graceful reminder that God calls us to Ã¢â‚¬Å“think differently.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I started Real Fake Ads because I want to do those things. I want to challenge ideas and trends at work in our culture, and I think humor and satire are great ways to do that. Humor has always been my thing (which is not to say that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m particularly skilled at it) in that it has always been the most natural way for me to express myself. Some people paint, some write songs, some craft short stories, some come out and say what theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re thinking. I make jokes and/or crack wise.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not a designer.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a writer and an editor, not a designer or a web guy. And yet I started a site that requires me to design several fake ads a week. Yikes.
Being the sole proprietor of RealFakeAds.com is forcing me to get more familiar with Photoshop, lightly dabble in HTML and CSS, and think visually. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have any formal training or professional experience in these areas, so for the most part I really suck at them. At least for the time being. But if thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s anything to the Ã¢â‚¬Å“10,000 Hour RuleÃ¢â‚¬Â (http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/lifestyle/step_up/?p=464) I wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t suck forever. The site is my motivation for putting in my hours, stretching myself, and learning new things. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a win in my book.
I had to.
If you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t read PressfieldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s The War of Art, you should. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an amazing examination of what it takes to create, to do meaningful work. One of the most helpful things Pressfield can teach you is the existence of The Resistance. The Resistance is the force that opposes you, distracts you, frightens you, and demotivates you whenever you attempt to create. Pressfield incites you to overcome The Resistance. Seth Godin also has helpful insight into kicking the crap out of The Resistance in Linchpin, which I also highly recommend you read.
All that to say, I had the idea for Real Fake Ads and it wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go away. I began jotting down dozens of ideas of posts and I was intrigued. Then, when I started exploring the idea of actually launching the thing, I began to sense The Resistance at every turn. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s when I knew I had to do it and see what would happen, if for no other reason that The Resistance didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want me to.
These things — the ads — just happen in my brain, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m doing something with them.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not afraid of failing.
I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have expectations for the site. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not planning on receiving attention or money in return for what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m doing. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m just creating; IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m just working. As a result, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to worry about chasing an outcome thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largely out of my control. I get to focus on having fun doing something I want to do while tomorrow takes care of itself. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so much better than agonizing over whether or not thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
So, those are some of the things that were rolling around in my head when I started Real Fake Ads. If you need to kill some time, come on by and click around. You might get a mild chuckle or two. Or not. Either way, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m having fun.