This fall been one of those wonderful periods when I’ve had plenty of work to keep me busy. I’ve been copyediting/proofreading for alive and blush magazines, writing lots of reviews of restaurants, stores, and everything else on the map for Yelp, plus writing some book reviews for subTerrain and doing odd editing and writing jobs as they come around. Fitting a little self-promotion into that busy schedule, too.
I’ll soon be putting up lots more samples on the Portfolio page, too.
In other words, it’s been great to just be doing the work… and not have to worry too much about, gulp, marketing myself. Promoting myself, calling attention to myself – it’s one of those things I was taught not to do (“Quit showing off, Christine!” said Grandma), and yet you must do it at least a little when you’re in business for yourself. I’m not talking about dancing on tables kind of attention-getting, but just letting people know that I’m here, in a positive way. Hello my name is… and you are?
Because it’s not enough to just get out there and meet people – you have to be a little bold, a little sparkly. My Dad once told me, you know how smart and capable and talented you are, but when it comes down to it, you have to stand up and show it. Now, I naturally gravitate to corners, so I don’t find this easy. But if I want to eat and live indoors, people, I can’t afford to be shy.
However, I do know one thing that many shameless self-promoters seem to forget: it’s not all about me. I crave attention, feedback, and praise, any sign that someone out there can hear me – and so does everyone else. We’ve all been trapped in a room, or worse, in a corner, with that person who needs to put on a show or who just won’t stop blabbering without breath. I can’t deny that this me-me-me approach sometimes works – just look at certain celebrities and their wannabes. Perversely, society DOES reward irritating behaviour and you even have to admire the rhinoceros hides of the people who populate pages of certain magazines. Frankly, there’s something to be said for developing a thick skin, harnessing the power to surprise, and getting enterprising with one’s image – all the while tapping into a network of helpers, friends, and hangers-on.
So when it comes time for the self-marketing, I’m going to try not to dread it. It’s simply a matter of being myself, showing what I’ve been doing, and talking to people about what we could do together. I’m here to work.