I Suck at Self-Promotion (September 16, 2010)

Self Defeat

I will let you in on a dirty secret. I am a regular columnist for this non-partisan political magazine:

Root Speak

I copy edit and interview Chicago writers for this “Gen Y,” art centered publication:

Jettison Quarterly

I recently won an award from the National Federation of Press Women for a series on the booming phenomenon of urban agriculture for this weekly magazine:

StreetWise

Finally, I review books and Chicago theater productions for this GLBT cultural website, which welcomes 100,000 unique visitors per month:

Edge Publications

Why do I label these facts about my work a “dirty secret?” Because apparently, that’s how I treat sharing my accomplishments, as though they are a source of shame for which I want to limit awareness. Most people who have read my blog work, or hell, even know me personally, are in the dark about my publishing history, which I hustle everyday to maintain when I am not working at my full-time day job.

A very talented and inspirational fellow blogger by the name of Mark Trost has been teaching me a thing or two about learning to get over myself and share my work with a wider audience. But it’s not easy. There is a lot of myself to get over. For example, I often find it difficult to respond to comments I receive out here in the World Wide Web. I have never been able to get over the shock and occasional embarrassment that anyone reads me at all.

So this is my damage.

But I have a close circle of people who believe in me, who tell me, and I know they’re quite logical, that I will never get anywhere this way. In a world of rampant self-promotion, where people re-Tweet, start Face Book fan pages and develop email list servs, it is naïve and counterproductive of me to wait for old-fashioned word of mouth discovery. I know this and yet I do nothing.

It’s ironic that someone who talks and writes as much as I do should suffer from a form of PR autism, yet that’s exactly what I am saying.

Though it is really the only thing I love to do, I have failed to believe in myself enough. I have not had the courage to put Becky out there. I fear rejection or worse – the impression of arrogance. I am my own stumbling block. I can figure out a solution for almost anything else I confront, but apparently not myself.

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