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
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.