Trends In the Collective: Influencers (No Politics)

lantern girlInfluence is defined as some entity having the power or capacity to cause an effect in an indirect or intangible way.  Most everything is marketed via influencers these days, whether the person selling identifies as such or not.

I think about this a lot. I have Venus square Neptune and learned of my own gullibility, long ago.  I also have Libra so if you think it, I would like to think it too, on some level.

Point here is that I’m not immune. But I’m also highly aware of everything in this arena, due entirely to my study of astrology.

I want to use a personal example here, so this can read without triggering anyone’s defenses. It’s about my book.

I wrote this long book. It’s about 600 pages long. I had it published on Amazon for a number of years. I wrote the book which is actually a collection of true stories like the ones you can read on this blog. I was not the one who put the book together, though. I was working with an editor at the time.

My editor was talented. Consider that I had about 40 full length stories written. The stories were connected because I’m in all of them. My personality is strong and consistent at any age.  So there could have just been a book with great stories. But my editor chose which stories to use with great deliberation. He then came up with an innovative way to structure the book. He felt this would elevate the stories even further and I agreed.

I had no doubt about what we were doing. I trusted him but also, he was just right. He was a Virgo, by the way. So we split the book into three acts. Venus in Leo liked this! Drama, right? Theatre!  But that wasn’t the point. He set the structure in order to allow the stories to tell a larger story in three acts. I felt he hit this ball clean out of the park.

Eventually, I published my book and a lot of things happened. But this post is about “influence” so I’ll get to that.

There was a gal who published a detailed review of my book. She broke down each story in the book adding her remarks.

I want to say this – she did nothing wrong. She’s a very good writer and it was a good review but I have to say,  she missed the plot.  She just didn’t catch my editor’s fine hand in this and I’m not blaming her!

Maybe it was hard to catch.
Maybe it was impossible to catch?

A person is going to read what they read and if they miss what you wrote, it’s probably your fault. But here’s what happened next…

People googled the title of my book. Common thing to do! They read her review and then when they read my book, they read it with her eyes. Her review worked like Cliff’s Notes. I had someone tell me they wished my book was available but they’d read this review so they knew what it was about. Um….

This is the power of influence. There are plenty of discriminating readers but this gal is a discriminating reader. That’s why she was one of the first people to buy my book! She’s also an excellent writer with no intent to harm me. In fact, she was probably motivated to help me but look how it turned out.

This happens with movie reviews too. If a good writer takes the time to outline the plot of a movie on IMDb and you read it, chances are you’ll watch the movie they wrote about, regardless of anything else. It’s a phenomena!

I think people are very willing to be influenced.  You can rest your brain and coast along on the other person’s thinking, seeing what they saw as you go. Verifying, basically. I guess you could call it, “confirmation bias”.   Someone you perceive as smart tells you what something means and the prophecy is fulfilled.

I don’t have a conclusion here other than to say, having caught on to this, I guard my mind. Also, there’s is a flip side to this which I’ll go into if there is sufficient interest.

Have you noticed yourself being influenced in this way?

39 thoughts on “Trends In the Collective: Influencers (No Politics)”

  1. I would like to express my sufficient interest 🙂 Please do go on Elsa! Regarding the reviews, I get influenced by them, and because I’m well aware of that, what I do is make sure to always read a lot of reviews to get different points of view. That helps a bit.

  2. I find I fight this, maybe differently presented but, not new phenomenon. I grew up in a religiously conservative family. My parent’s lives centered around the church and their beliefs. I tried to open myself to allow those beliefs to flow into my being. Life would have been so much easier, but I couldn’t be influenced from my own inner belief that as an individual nothing could be believed or lived one way.
    I have four planets in Libra. I respected and related deeply to my parents, my entire family. With Venus conjunct Neptune (in Libra) I knew to play the role but with Saturn also in a conjunction to Neptune I kept the development of my own core beliefs close.

  3. Was the reviewing an astrologer? If she wasn’t she would not have got the book at all. And the book may have been made of intermediate astrologers, not novices. I am going to check your book out. As a more advanced astrologer I like to read about how to interpret the chart based on real life examples. Really that is what astrology is about…how individuals express their planetary configurations in their life.

    1. Hi, Ursa, it’s not an astrology book. She understood the stories and she clearly read every word of a 600 page book. She liked the book! She just missed the plot, meaning the stories can stand alone and she took then that way. But the structure (Acts I, II & III) was in place for a reason. It was to tell the bigger story, which eluded her. Consequently it eluded many who followed.

      It’s interesting how this can and does happen, as a matter of routine. I don’t know how the plot was missed but I do take responsibility for it. I consider the book a failure because of this.

      The key here is the book was presented in THREE acts. If you ignore this fact, which is made prominent, you’re just reading stories. If you’re just reading stories; you’ll like the stories. This much is universal. But you’ll be irritated at the order of them, which is what happened.

      1. Hello,

        If I may suggest perhaps a slightly different perspective – from your description of the situation, it seems to me that it wasn’t the plot that was missed (even rejected) but rather the… stage directions as it were, the strict packaging “this way up!!” Given that anyway what one reader gets from a text is more to do with the reader than directly with the text or its author, it doesn’t follow though that the text or even its packaging as a book was a failure because of this. Similarly, what and even how one follows something/someone is a reflection of who they are at that precise time (what they got and what eluded them when reading the…influencer), not really all that much to do with the “influence”. To follow your example and use my own example: I read some of your stories published here, I enjoyed them for various different reasons and I got from them all sorts but that may well be more, less or just entirely different than the plot as you see it or intended it in each case. If it turns out that I just missed the plot of a story, why would this mean that your story was a failure? If I re-read it and then get that plot (it happens, too!), does it then mean that the same, unchanged story suddenly is not a failure anymore?

        1. Thanks, Diana. I understand. This is just a weird situation.

          I wrote these stories, live, on a blog. Meaning, every day I woke up and wrote all day, publishing “blog post size” chunks 2-3 times a day. If you go back to the stories on this blog, you can see how they’re broken up. Each part advances the story…

          I had never done anything like this or even thought there was any story in my life worth telling. But as I did this, people got engaged. They had questions. “Whatever happened to the pianist?” The questions spurred other stories and basically wrote stories, non-stop for two years.

          So the stories were presented in an organic fashion. In hindsight, I wish we would have left them this way. Because of the way this unfolded, a person who came in and out of my life would show up… it was a HUGE serial, basically, and I mean HUGE. And people got what they wanted because I was answering their questions. “Hey, Elsa! When did you fall in love?” “Hey, Elsa! Tell us how you wound up tending bar when you were fifteen?” So I had a bunch of stories that told a larger story.

          My editor loved the material. He saw numerous threads and patterns in my life that I was utterly unaware of, though they are laughably obvious once someone points them out. So he had this vision of this story we should tell. As I’ve said, I thought it was valid and a great idea so we went with it. It’s just today, thinking of this, I wish we’d have just cleaned up the stories and presented them as they presented themselves. This is obvious to me right now, under this eclispe!

          1. Nice Elsa 🙂 it’s never too late to admit a “mistake” or maybe better put a decision that was the best you could do at the time.
            Virgos are great at doing “the World According to Me” they give Aires a run for their money IMO. 🙂

  4. Reading between the lines, people are too lazy to read stuff so they depend on a small paragraph to explain it all to them. Sadly, this Virgo, has done this, too.

  5. If I’m reading a non-fiction/non-narrative piece of course I go straight to the table of contents or the index, but for anything else I don’t know why I would unless I was being quizzed. On youtube some users like to add timestamps for videos in the comments and I noticed it’s about 50/50 people who appreciate it vs. people who hate it and think it makes people lazy/not watch their videos in their entirety or not at all. I think it would be interesting to see the actual effect the timestamps have.
    As for the gal breaking down your book, I couldn’t see it influencing me wanting to read the book or not. I will say that describing every story is a little annoying, when they could describe the quality or style instead. Your stories have a pure flow, like I’m there in the room listening to the recollection in real time, that a Cliff Notes would not do justice. There would just be no point.

    1. Thanks, Kate. You nailed this for me.
      Each of my stories… well, you know. “She went to the Circle K” is not what happened… but this is essentially what was presented.

      What was missed was a lot of magic and nuance, for example my book starts on that little dirt trail through the desert and guess where it ends? That little dirt trail through the desert. What the hell was I doing back on that little dirt trail through the desert? I was getting beat! Beaten to a pulp! But still talking to myself and telling jokes throughout.

      This is the kind of thing that begs to be understood.

    1. Thanks! If I can fix this, I’ll put it out there. But I’m also just thinking about posting the unstructured stories. Let people make of them what they will!

      1. I would still buy the book, but this is a fantastic idea for posts and I personally find your stories and agony aunt posts(a real life situation and you lay out the astrology involved in the situation) to be a good read and a great way to learn astrology. Facts without a story is too dry for me, don’t learn anything if it doesn’t come to life, and your writing is very much alive!

  6. Hi Elsa
    I design products for a living, for the past 40 years; even before the internet (gasp) and influencers… I have seen this phenomenon all this time. Sales, Marketing & Buying teams think they know about a new product, because they have seen a lot of new products before…before they hear the design features explained by my team and me…or even after they hear (but don’t listen) they make a decision and their decision impacts how it sells. They put their spin on it and that’s what sticks in their mind. They miss the boat or they sink the boat. Neither outcome is ideal. I have the opportunity to design many products year after year. Sometimes I will anticipate a miss or sink potential, and head them off in advance, other times, I don’t anticipate it and they miss or sink to my utter shock. Smart people are all the more challenging. They know so much but they don’t know what they don’t know. Blinded by the light.

  7. A couple of hours ago actually. I was watching this behind the scenes show on youtube from a digital magazine. It is somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me to watch it, because it showcases a type of lifestyle I think is too opulent/capitalistic to be ethical.Nonetheless I watch it and really enjoy it. One presenter had a reversible cape. It was expensive..and 10 minutes later I am trying to find a cheaper version, on Etsy…and it takes me about 3 pages in of wool capes, to remember I don’t like capes…and I have 2 I never wear.

  8. Elsa, please, stop torturing us new readers with mentions of this book and re-issue it. Your personal stories are so so good, its such a tease every time the book is mentioned and I can’t get one haha! I beg thee!

    1. I’m sorry, Isis, I can’t. I don’t like the book anymore. I don’t feel good about it and I don’t deny or cross these types of feelings.

      I am trying to figure it out but clearly missing something I need.

      Again, I apologize.

      1. Oh of course I didn’t know you felt that way about it, thank you for telling me.
        I would never want you to publish something you weren’t comfortable or happy with.

        Will continue to enjoy your gems, new and old. I’ve read about 5%, at a push, of the archives, plenty to keep me going 🙂

        1. I really am trying, in between juggling. In fact, I am going to post about this conflict… well, I’m working on the post now and I think it’s short.

          Also, there is a “true stories” tag and there is more content there…

          1. That was fast! You are speedy with the posts, Elsa – inspired then GO!

            Your Libra can be at peace, although drooling at the thought of all the juicy stories in the book, there’s no disappoinment here😊

  9. Also ^^ to Isis – Libra can’t decide anything. I have a million ideas (Mars in Gemini right now). I’m hung up just due general indecision!

    I also have no defined motive. Am I entertaining? Trying to improve my business? Just want to have fun?

    I guess I feel I need the right story at the right time for the right reason? I wrote these stories around 2002-3. People were a lot freer then. You can’t even put a nude painting by one of the masters on your blog with getting an email from bigsearch!

    Also, the stories all tie together. When there was a live audience reading as I wrote, everyone knew what (or who) I was talking about. Like a serial… Now if I post something, it must truly standalone and my stories were not written in that way. They were written, fast and random and connected. 9th house! Broad, rambling storytelling, with meaning and far too much swearing for most people.

    I also think people are a lot more narrow, twenty years later. They just have so much repetition, they look for what they already know. I don’t have anything like that because I am weirdo.

    I guess you can be a weirdo in this day and age, just so long as you’re weirdo of a certain type and I’m not her.

    I was going to post a story, yesterday, about waking up with a man in my bed (naked). Venus Pluto? But when I think of all the bitching emails I’ll get, I just think – why? And reasons other people have don’t work. I have to have my own reasons.

    I’m going to post it eventually. I took the time to load it but I have to figure out “why” because it will cost me… often monetarily. That may seem weird but it’s true. It turns into a sacrifice for me, which I’m not adverse to, obviously. But you get the idea. Lots of ideas in my head, always.

    In fact, I wonder if I should go back and publish stories that have not seen the light of day for 20 years. Another option!

    See, I like cool, unusual, ballsy stuff to read. You probably do as well. But there are a lot of people who just can’t deal with it. There are a lot of people who can’t deal with a typo!

    I look around at everything going on and it also occurs to me, not to cause (further) problems for people, including myself!

  10. “Broad, rambling storytelling, with meaning and far too much swearing for most people”
    Cool, unusual and ballsy, indeed, my favourite kind of stories.

    “It turns into a sacrifice for me, which I’m not adverse to, obviously. But you get the idea. Lots of ideas in my head, always.”
    Been reading this blog long enough, I.e. no time at all, to know you’re clearly no stranger to sacrifice, when it matters. Putting yourself out as a lamb to slaughter for small-minded comments and complaints when you’re just wanting to share and give, and maybe even just have a laugh about it all – nah, no fun, no fun at all. Pointless sacrifice is the most painful.

    People are quite severe nowadays, tight -lipped and joyless. Theres all this talk about people being toxic and narcissistic, which is true, but I think it’s a byproduct of the main disease which is a lack of freedom, in mind, body and soul, and lack of freedom leads to lack of joy. And if there’s no joy you’re going to start projecting that misery “Don’t you show me that person,comfortably naked, when I [believe I] hate my body”! “Don’t you tell me a story about all your freedom and autonomy when I’ve lived repressed and in fear, denying myself”!. I know because I’ve been that person. Maybe we all have, when we’ve been in enough pain. But this is on a societal level. I do see it changing with Gen Z (Pluto in Sagittarius) generations, but many Millenials, and older bittered people, need to get on this train by choice. But people are in their misery ALL. THE. TIME waaaallowing. And they’re surrounded by it, everyone they know is the same. It scares me how they’d rather tare someone down than be inspired, or maybe even uplifted, god forbid! With the apocalypse pot boiling people are getting very crab-like.

    Fran Leibowitz said in an interview(loosely quoted) “People nowadays say ‘I didn’t like it, I didn’t see myself in it’. I’ve never expected that from a book! That’s the whole point of books, that it’s not me!”

    So it’s absolutely a tough time to be a unique individual, and that you are, and your work of is an invaluable balm right now. That being said, it’s not always fun. I’m glad your Capricorn integrity stops you from complete Libra self-sacrifice, keeps you intact.
    But I hear your struggle – all these ideas with nowhere to go,not even your own blog because there may be -will be- backlash, from comments or search engines or monetarily. How do you share, what do you share, so it reaches the people who want to hear it, and so its fun and worth it for you?
    I don’t know, but if it’s on Your mind to figure it out then a solution will come, I have no doubts at all.

    1. That’s so interesting what you said about “voices” (quotes because it’s my own way of summing it up) nowadays. Sometimes it seems like everyone is being the star of their own movie. But there’s not a lot of creativity in the movies being promoted today…🤔

      You make interesting points.

    2. THANK YOU!

      Being a short-timer you may not know the dialogue in my stories is all real and is transcribed, verbatim. Now I am able to recall exact dialogue from more than 30 years ago. I know how I do this and I’ve never explained, but whatever it is, it’s a gift.

      I write the stories because they want to be told or someone wants me to tell them… they like the characters but THEY WANT TO CONTROL them. You can’t control these characters because they are actual people with their own mouths!

      You can’t make them swear less or not say certain words.. or make them ADD words they never said in order to be more palatable. I can’t do this either – why?

      Well, Jupiter + Saturn. Very strong for me. My stories are REAL. The people are real. I CANNOT write some fake stuff and try to pass it off. It’s called integrity! So if I am going to tell a story, you get the whole thing. Warts. Farts. I have to pee. Bad language. Bad decisions. Choices I make that you don’t approve of… attitudes and judgements, same thing.

      My sister says all kinds of things in my California story but come on. How many people are as insightful as she is/was on the night we told that story? People are always curious about me – well, she’s laying it out there, with no desire to do anything but tell a story. A good story. A story you’ve never heard before and a story, if you hear it again, you’ll know who the person stole it from!

      We turned on this show to watch the other night – “Fringe”.
      I can’t watch it. “Isn’t this the same show as “Homeland”? I asked my husband? Chick with long blond hair and sidekick?
      It’s also Bones…

      Templates. It’s so boring!

      So you introduce people to something new and I don’t know. Some people love it but a lot of them will unconsciously complain because it’s not a template they’re familiar with.

      My biggest gift and my biggest curse is one in the same. I was not influenced, normally. I mean I grew up isolated, with no TV, so I don’t have all these things that come from that, embedded in my psyche. It makes me a class A weirdo but truly, there is nothing I can do! I’m already formed!

      I think my 8th house plays as well… attracting and repelling. And then there is all this abuse. Some people want to read about it. Others do not.

      So I’m asked a question about something; I answer it, honestly, per my nature. At least half the time, the person does not like the answer and they tell me about it. “I wish you’d have said…”

      They wish I was not me! But I can’t help with that.
      Do you want me beaten less or more?
      Ha ha ha!

      This is funny… people in my real life tell me all the time, “You should write a book.” I don’t even tell them, I already have.

      Thanks for posting. It’s been funny chatting with you.

  11. It’s heartbreaking to me to be misunderstood. So when I read this, I’m upset for you, Elsa.

    (I will cop to being unduly influenced as well, even though I don’t want to be.)

    I think of how a book allows you to bare your soul in a way, and then someone, however intentioned, twists it into something it’s not. Then, add the filter of everyone’s (mis)perceptions of what things are and are not, basically a lack of reality, and someone like you has to take her creativity out of the world. It’s such a shame. I read your book; I loved it. I loved reading about an experience that wasn’t my own, but that I could still feel the humanity of.

    I think you’ve said this here a number of times, but people are starving for something real. There’s just too many people perceiving through their filters/programming, and too much AI prohibiting the authentic. I can’t describe the feeling this gives me in my chest, it’s like I become short of breath sometimes. I don’t want to live in robot world but here we are.

    I hope there is a way for you to share your stories again.

    1. We’re almost to a point where everything you can access on the internet is controlled, on all platforms. It’s way beyond 80%.

      I don’t think most people can discern this though… like less than 2%. Seriously. That is my honest opinion.

      Further, I don’t think the VAST majority will ever figure it out for this simple reason – they don’t want to.

      Personally, I saw a documentary on N. Korea some years ago on Netflix… like 8 years ago, maybe. There was a radio speaker in the ceiling of the home, non-stop playing propaganda from 6 am – 6 pm or similar hours. You could not turn it off. You could not control the volume. Insane! I thought it was insane! But now we are the same…

      And we do it to ourselves. We CONSENT.

      Consent is a key here… I am trying to tip people. There is a huge difference between giving your consent and withholding it. All the difference in the world, I’d say.

      1. Oh my goodness, at least we can turn our propaganda speakers off while we’re at home. Mostly we don’t, though.

        I truly believe it’s beyond 80% like you said. Those of us old enough to remember the beginning of the internet can feel the difference now. The people are different too, in all age brackets.

        Without the ability to discern, I don’t see us finally withdrawing our consent. It seems we’re more likely to be absorbed, except for the outliers. I think I know what it might take to develop discernment, but it’s not very popular. And it’s hard.

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