Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm a Writer, Not a Self-Publicist

I've been a writer since I could write. As a child, I loved nothing more than a pen and a new notebook. I had a fetish for notebooks, in fact. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Diaries, stories, songs. Tons of songs. And as I grew and discovered other things I loved, writing never went away, always a constant companion. Music and writing. Acting and writing. Life and writing. I had children, and began writing for them. Well, for me, but inspired by them. First one picture book. Then another. Then five. Finally after all the dabbling and the collecting of words, I began a pursuit that moves writing from the sidelines where I've been pushing it, to the spotlight where it (maybe) belongs: I wrote a novel. And I've decided to try to go professional with it.

But this isn't about the novel I wrote. Or about how long it took me to write it initially (6 weeks) or how many drafts it's gone through (3 complete revisions and countless minor adjustments) or about the query process for getting an agent (maddening!) though all of these things may be mentioned along the way. Actually this is about my inability to self-promote.

 What does that have to do with writing? Apparently a whole freakin' lot. Today's writer's have to market themselves, create a following, promote their material. There may be publicists to help, but mostly, it's up to the writer. It's something I've never been good at, self-promotion. I've wanted to be good at it, but I'm always awkward at praise. Which is odd because I've been an actress and performer and often stood in front of people with my accomplishments. I just somehow cower at the precise moment that I should be standing straight and tall, soaking it in. And then I have a horrible time telling others about whatever it is I did or am doing or am going to do. So how am I supposed to be a successful author with this skill limitation?

Guess what. I don't know the answer. But I have been working in marketing for the last five years (I can promote other people just fine). And I'm almost done with my MBA in marketing. I think, with this experience, I just might be able to pull it off. Anyway, that's what this blog is. It's about whether or not I pull it off. And how. Ok, I don't have anything to promote yet, but marketing campaigns can take a long time. You can never start too early in your promotion strategy. Well, at least that's the way I'm playing it. So now that promotion strategy begins.

Step 1: Start a blog.

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