Why I hate writing, Part 14: Self Promotion

image courtesy of photobucket.com

image courtesy of photobucket.com

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve not been writing or reading any blog posts lately. There was a time I felt compelled to write and publish something at least twice a week. I still enjoy writing and reading blog posts and the blogging community that goes with it. I’ve just been preoccupied with a few projects which keep me from my own writing–which is completely okay with me. I’m probably one of the few bloggers who have no immediate aspirations of being published in book form. It’s not that I couldn’t write a book, but I know myself well enough to know that I’m too busy (Read: lazy) to write a good one–at least right now.

Even though I haven’t been reading blogs, I have been reading: books and books-to-be mostly. However, I do have a great app called Zite. It searches the interwebs for stories you might be interested in based upon your pre-selected topics of interest. I was skimming through the Writing section when I came across an article written by a blogger/writer who I’m already familiar with. I typically don’t read his stuff because it’s a blog by a writer writing about being a writer written for writers, and as I said in my last Why I hate writing post: katdish, dream crusher, that’s just a little too much navel gazing for me. But the subject matter caught my attention.

This writer is just sick to death of self-promotion.

He’s sick of his own self-promotion and if you’re sick of his self-promotion, well, he’s really sorry about that. He’s ready to turn over a new leaf. He’s going to generously help promote others, not himself.

Oh, and by the way. You should, too.

Because the sub-text of this article (in my sometimes jaded and cynical perspective) is not so much that he’s tired of his own self-promotion.

He’s mostly just tired of yours.

There are so many people shouting about themselves that all that noise drowns out the voices that deserve to be heard and heeded.

You know…like his.

You, wanna-be-desperate-to-catch-a-break-diaper-changing-working-two-jobs-struggling-writer? Stop with all this disdainful self-promotion. It’s annoying. Yes, his blog has over 100,000 readers and yours has 10 (including your immediately family), but really–enough already. Put aside your dream and help someone else achieve theirs. You’ll feel much better about yourself.

Okay, maybe not. You are a writer, after all.

Self-loathing sort of goes with the territory, am I right?

Never mind his advice.

Either he’s never really known the sting of countless rejection letters from agents and publishers because you don’t have a “sufficient platform” or…

in the words of Roland Deschain,

Screen shot 2013-03-26 at 11.10.39 AM

“He’s forgotten the face of his father.”

In a perfect world, writers could spend their time writing and leave the promotion to those who believe in their work and are happy to share it with as many people as possible.

Clearly this is not a perfect world.

So, as I said before, never mind his advice.

Cling to your dreams and do what you feel is necessary to share your work.

He’s not the boss of you.

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12 Responses to “Why I hate writing, Part 14: Self Promotion”

  1. Peter P March 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Self-promotion is something I’m really struggling with right now.

    It’s hard to feel I’m putting enough value IN to relationships to balance out everything I’m taking out of them.

    I was planning on writing on the subject tomorrow. I look forward to you not reading what I write 😉

    • katdish March 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      Wait…is that a challenge?

      • Peter P March 26, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

        To be honest, I have no idea.

  2. SimplyDarlene March 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    So, I reckon you’ll visits to my place will near ’bout explode with frequency when you have pre-selected “off her nut, simple country girl’s ramblings” in your Zite App, huh?

    And that self-promo stuff is a dang hard balance – I don’t wanna find me, my self, & I in the grocery store’s produce department… oh wait, them’s two different kinds of fruit. (naval. navel.)

    Blessings.

  3. Glynn March 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Publishers expect it. No, that’s not quire right. They demand it. And they demand a platform (usually connected to some social media statistics). The fact is that the publishing industry is changing so fast, in an almost direction-less way, so that what’s conventional wisdom this morning isn’t wisdom at all this afternoon. The self-promotion stuff, I predict, is going to drown itself. Shoot, we’re already drowning in endless self-promotion.

    • katdish March 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      Glynn, I still believe that good writing is the best platform. Naive, I know. But I will continue to promote good writers over the trendy ones. Good works last. I imagine my kids will enjoy your books ten years from now.

  4. Beth March 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    Weird, huh? Because I’m just getting back into blog writing and reading and loving it. No books for me either, thanks. At least not this decade. I have had the advantage of watching my Mom go through the highs and lows…she loathes self-promoting…yet, someone must…

  5. Jason Stasyszen March 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    I know it’s a little different, but to me, it’s sort of like the famous worship leader who says, “don’t try to lead people in worship. You just worship and they’ll follow.” I think: sure, you’ve got hundreds to thousands of people who want to come to your concert or service and all they want to do is worship. The rest of us have a different time of it with people who come for all sorts of reasons. I could get lost in my own worship and look up to realize everyone’s become a spectator or bored, or I can attempt to engage and draw something out of people.

    I’m not complaining, but I think some on the “other side” of the spectrum (whatever the avenue or industry) can forget what it’s like for the rest of us. For so many of these authors, it’s not just self-promotion, it IS their promotion. It’s up to them for the most part and that’s the way it is. Moan about it, rail against it, but we all have to live in our respective worlds. You know what I mean (I hope). 🙂

    • katdish March 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

      Don’t try to lead people to worship? Sorry, but as a member of a worship team for the past decade and change, that’s pretty much what I consider our role to be. Moreover, if folks are coming to worship because of who the leader is, how much of that is true worship of the One who should be worshipped? Yeah, I know exactly what you mean, Jason.

  6. Melissa from the Blue House March 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    “Navel gazing.” I love that. I don’t know anything about being a real writer, but I did enjoy reading THIS post!

  7. Jake March 30, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    I don’t even know where the hell I stand on this. I HATE seeing some people’s self-promotion because it succeeds and gets their crappy writing in front of a lot more people and they’re constantly at it. That was mean and I actually don’t care. On the other hand, I wonder how many people have thought that about me when I start pushing vML on the twitter or the internets. There has to be some narrow path to walk where one succeeds at not looking like a tool and they still get readers, right? Oh man. I haven’t been mean like that in a while. All of your “Why I Hate Writing” posts always hit too close to home.

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