Okay, so that’s a lie. But I was just thinking about something a buddy told me a few days ago. Project confidence, and people will respond to it. If you lack confidence, people will sense it. Nothing mind-blowing, I admit. It’s a lesson I’ve heard over and over, but these days I think of it in a different way.
I’ve always thought that self-promotion was a dirty word. Conceited people self-promote. Hacks self-promote. People without talent or… or shame do that. And maybe those sorts of people do. But they’re not the only ones. Genuine, talented, good people also self-promote.
How will anyone ever know what I do as a writer? Or care about as a writer, if I never mention it? I have always wrestled with telling people about something I achieved or was striving toward. I wrote a story that my friend turned into a feature film. I helped him edit it and produce it. I finished a second novel. These are achievements. But I never talk about them. People don’t know. Or those that do have experienced me communicate that to them via reluctant whispers, a dirty little secret I’m afraid of being judged for.
I’m extremely proud of A Shallow Grave (yes, please check it out on IMDB or at the official page–if it’s still up http://ashallowgrave.com). I think the story is pretty damn good, and I’m blown away by my friend’s single-handed efforts to turn it into a reality. Of course it has its flaws. So what? It was made. It was screened at a theater! It received a standing ovation.
I’ve written a book, and I’m in the process of querying it with different agents. I don’t talk about that, either, and that’s… just… unacceptable. It’s a fantasy book. It’s a great read. Someone will pick it up, I’m sure. But only if I talk about it. Only if I can speak of it with confidence. Which brings me back to my original point.
Speak with confidence, all you creative types. It’s the best calling card you can ever have. Better than anything you can fit in your wallet. Speak with confidence and with passion. With enthusiasm. Like you really want to share it, because you really want to share it. Right? This is me talking to myself, too. I’ve always relied on the enthusiasm of others to get the word out about what I’ve done. Doing it with my own voice is a new exercise, but an essential one. I’m gonna start self-promoting, and that’s not a bad thing at all.