Tuesday, 17 April 2012

28. Hold On, I'm Coming


I reached my deadline on time. I should be happy, right? Well, I am and I'm not. Let me explain... (I have a similar post about it on my tumblr A Letter To Khimi, yes; I'm into everything these days.)

This post is about promotion and the lack of it among up and coming artists, or shall I just get to the point and say me? I have a huge problem with promoting myself and not in a snooty sense either. I don't think promotion is beneath me at all; in fact everywhere you look people are promoting their brand. You go on Youtube and you're not only bombarded by cover songs artists wanting a sub, but professionals too, using the channels to share their music and tour updates. Writers are producing shows and each week they're releasing promos to intrigue and excite their viewers.

It's simple enough, right? Hey, I just updated my blog, check it out and tell me what you think. Check out my new book on amazon and in selected stores. So, why do I struggle with this?

Not so simple. I'm sure a lot of people have lived a similar life to mine, I'm 100% sure some people have lived lives 10 times more horrific and difficult than mine but the simple truth is, when you grow up struggling, you learn to do without and you learn to not to complain about it. You don't ask people for their things, you say please and thank you, you smile, you be strong, you look after the ones younger than you and keep moving forward.

I don't claim to know the right way of dealing with things; I only know how I dealt with things growing up. You don't ask for help, and to me, promotion is asking for help. This isn't something I was directly taught, it was a behaviour I learned through watching the people around me. My mother worked two jobs when I was a child, single-handedly raising 5 kids with the youngest (twins) being 2 years old until my stepdad was able to move here, but by then she'd learned to soldier on without complaining or asking for help. It's a very hard behavioral pattern to break.

I wrote fan fiction religiously as a teenager and even now sometimes I'll jump back in. I'd spend weeks on a story, updating a chapter each week or month, sometimes it'd take me a year to finish but I never asked for help, I never asked for reviews. I don't think I'm better than anyone, I seriously don't. But, I feel like I'm asking people to be nice to me, to please review because I need them or I won't like my own story or I won't be able to finish it. But I do need readers because otherwise what is the point of publishing them when I could just leave them on my computer?

The truth is a review validates the writer's effort, it tells us we have done something right and people actually like what we have written. There's no feeling that can beat it except maybe becoming a mother or father, not even the lottery could compare to knowing that someone else out there gets what you're saying and relates to someone you created.

But I struggle to even accept compliments, which I'm sure is a universal thing. Also simple, right? "Thank you."

Yet, my automatic response would be. "Really?" Don't get me wrong, I'm working on this attitude. Everyone around me believes in me from family to friends and I believe in me too, but there's this voice that always says 'stop asking for favours, don't ask someone else to believe in you," so I don't.

Yes, I discuss my stories and achievements because I'm proud of myself. I like to keep everyone updated on what I'm doing but you wouldn't hear me asking anyone to read it for me. If someone offers to or genuinely is interested in my work and ask to read, I'm more than happy to oblige because I know they *want* to read it.

The problem with my Promo is that it doesn't exist and if I want to be a successful writer, I have to have some kind of promo. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and all the fan fiction sites I've visited, they should come to better use than telling the world what I'm eating.

I can't leave it all up to the publishers, editors, agents and whoever else is involved in the marketing, surely, I have to be leading the party because after all I'm the one who calls themself a writer. I'm the one who wants a relationship with readers, I want to connect, I want to reach out and share my stories with the world. Publishers? Well, their job is to get paid but my job is to reach an audience for the characters I've spent so much time on.

So, here's to self-promotion. Do not be embarrassed to shout out your own work, you sweated, bled and ignored your body's plea for sleep to get it done.

Do not be afraid of rejection because the world is too big for everyone to like you, but the good thing is that it's also too big for everyone to dislike you.

We don't know how the world will react to us until they react and If you don't start now, you'll never start so here's to shameless promotion. I'm a writer, so follow me, read my blog posts and say hi if you see me.


  1. I've always been really bad at asking for help, not sure why. And self-promoting... never been all too good at that. But you are so right. As writers, part of our job is to make people want to read our stories, and that also means making them available and pointing people toward them.

    The advice you give in this post is so true. I really should write it out on a post-it note and stick it to my wall. In fact, if I can find my post-it notes, I'll do just that.

    To self-promotion and putting ourselves out there!!! (I feel like I should have a glass in my hand to toast with :P )

  2. Thanks! I'm so glad my rambles are relatable to you. :P

    Haha, yes, I think we should toast to that in a few weeks when we meet up!