W. P. Johnson

I’m Too Sexy For This Blog

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

     Recently I had the displeasure of looking at fifty or so pictures of myself in various poses wherein I discovered how many bad sides a person can have if they’re willing to look and keep count. Rather than rate each one individually on a sliding scale of one to ten, I quickly voted each picture as either “good”, “bad” or “I fucking look like that?” until the painful process was over. What’s left over after all the blemishes have been photo shopped out and the greasy gleam of my forehead has been darkened to show that I’m not a sweating nervous mess, are, dum dum dum dum…


This one was a “no”.

How mysterious!

Yes dear reader, I, W. P. Johnson, aka Bill, went and put on his big boy pants and got himself some pictures taken by a professional photographer so he has something to send magazines other than the renowned pumpkin head picture used on my twitter, or old pictures my ex-girlfriend took of me off my phone.

Sorry ex, but this too must be cast aside.

Sure, they served a purpose and got the job done, but over the course of the passing months, it struck me how serious I need to start taking this whole business of being a “writer” and start doing some of the things that the pros have been doing all along.

Remember my cynical post on social networking and pimping your shit out? Well this post is the flip side of that coin. Right now I’ve got a lot of decisions to make regarding my image and how I would like my peers to perceive me as a writer separate from his work.

Look how happy!

If you’ve read previous blog entries, you already know that I like to try to keep things humorous, a muscle I don’t flex often in my stories (I just now became comfortable using pop culture). I suppose that’s why I write this in the first place; I’d like to show you a different side to me so you know I’m not all doom and gloom despite all the evidence my work yields on the matter. Secondly, this blog serves as something of a definitive statement on who I am, whereas fiction can be a bit tricky when it comes to figuring someone out.

In looking over previous entries, I’ve decided to resign myself to being perceived as the tattooed hipster from Philadelphia that I am, and like all hipsters, I am loathe to admit to any hipster-like behavior despite constantly engaging in it. I like the way records sound more than CDs, have an ironic love for bad action movies, I wear a scarf when it’s cold, and I still have a pair of chucks lying around somewhere. Also I think the following 90s bands stink: Pearl Jam, Staind, Tool, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, Sublime, The Offspring, Bush, Green Day, No Doubt.

More like “Hurl” Jam. GET IT?!

When it came time to take these pictures there were a lot of questions I asked myself, and for those of you that are creative in some respects and taking those next steps, you’ll ask yourself these same questions. Do I dress up and wear fancy clothes? Business casual? Normal clothes? Do I smoke a cigarette and drink a glass of scotch by an old type writer despite the fact that I don’t smoke, don’t really drink scotch, and loathe the idea of using a machine that goes CLACK CLACK CLACK for every fucking letter I type?

Jesus King, did you even know they were gonna take a picture?

Do I wear a band tee-shirt and try to look rock and roll?

Horror writer Joe Hill

Aging Dork Bill Johnson.









Do I smile? Or maybe look brooding?

Richard Thomas: ex-cop/junkie turned writer who can’t sleep at night because the voices won’t stop. PS- he told me this was chosen out of THREE HUNDRED pictures.

Richard Thomas: official nice guy and hater of all things Monday.













Or maybe I should portray myself as the atypical drunken writer, like Hemingway or Bukowski.

Getting wasted to keep the demons away.

Rebecca Jones-Howe “passed out” on the couch. She told me it was just ice tea in that martini glass.











Or maybe I should act like a crazy person…


If you go to the about page, you’ll see that I just showed up in the same kind of clothes I’d wear if I was going out for a beer (also this was chosen out of like fifty shots or so). Point is, I’m starting to slowly fill in all the gaps in this career I’ve been cultivating for myself, and as I do this I’m also becoming more comfortable exposing myself as a writer as opposed to just shyly shrugging it off as “no big deal” or something I just do “for fun”. Well, it’s not just “for fun” mother fuckers. I’m trying to make a living off of this. See the amazon page bitch? Pretty soon they’ll be a Wikipedia page too.

As soon as I stop feeling like a dork for writing it myself…

When I was in a band I NEVER talked about it. It always seemed lame, like I was bragging, showing off. I always hated it when other guys talked too much about the band they were in so they could get some pussy. Same goes for writing in some weird way (sans pussy). There’s this hyper awareness in promoting myself to other people and whenever I tell someone that I got a story published I feel I just asked a girl out and she said, “let me think about it?” Then I start to wonder if they’ll actually read it, if they care, and if I should bother following up to see if they enjoyed the story after a week has gone by. Or maybe I should wait a month, just to be safe.

So, did you like it?

Another “no”.

But now, fuck it. Buy my book. Here’s my amazon page, my blog, my twitter, my facebook page (actually I don’t have a facebook page because I don’t think they’ll be around that much longer, ala myspace). And pretty soon I’ll be getting business cards made so the next time someone asks me what I do I can tell them I’m a writer and give them something to remember me by besides an awkward conversation.

Of course, I didn’t take these pictures myself. I had to employ a friend of mine, employ being the word of the day here. Couple of blog posts past I mentioned the idea of getting paid for your work and it should be noted that if you want professional pictures taken, you should expect to pay professional rates, or at the very least, token rates if you’re friends with the photographer. Most people probably just assume that when it comes to photography it’s a simple matter of point and click, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Those good looking pictures you see of yours truly took a lot of time and it’s the product of years of study, not something she just “does for fun” (sound familiar?).

This shot was after like twenty minutes of set up time.

You can check out her website here to see her resume and portfolio, as well as her twitter and instagram. In fact, I’m also collaborating with JJo and her husband Sean on my business cards (you can check out his website here). It’s another thing I’m paying to have done because I’m not talented enough to do it myself and it’s something I believe I’ll really benefit from. When the card is finished I’ll be sure to post the results here as well as links for contacting them in case you’re interested in getting any work done by them. Obviously, if you don’t live in Philadelphia you probably don’t want to schedule a photo shoot unless you’re willing to pay for travel expenses, but if you like the job they end up doing with my business cards you can certainly communicate with them through emails to employ them for similar jobs. Just tell them that Bill sent you.

But don’t tell them you want it for free.

Until next time, here’ to being scary.

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