“You can’t be a wallflower if you want to have a lasting career.“ Jack Clemens
It’s been five years that I started blogging. From having zero followers to 2936 is quite an accomplishment for me, or so I think. I know, it’s not a big number, as I know that there are millions of other writers and bloggers more successful than I am. They are the ones who have built successful careers as writers and bloggers.
Sometimes when I read others’ blogs I go, “Damn, I wish I could be as good as them.” Then I realize that whatever my focus was when I started my blog, I have faced so many disappointments and hardships along the way only to come out stronger, and a more capable writer.
But I’ve got one big problem. When it comes to self-promotion, when it comes to making my writing and myself as a writer more visible to the world, I feel like a shy teenager blurting out words on her first date.
And I wonder, isn’t my writing self-promotion enough? Do I really have to do this? Can’t someone else help me and do it for me? But where can I find that someone? What can I say or tell him/her?
Last summer I was out shopping with my daughter. I had gone looking specifically for J. Herbin fountain pen ink. I found some at a store in the Eaton centre. When I first explained what I was looking for, the saleslady, who was about my age, was extremely helpful. She mentioned all the different brands and types of ink they had in the shop, and which ones were her favorites. Then she asked me what I use, and so on. We spent about half an hour talking about our love of fountain pens and all.
The minute I was out of the shop my daughter exclaimed, “I don’t believe you mom! Why didn’t you say anything about your writing, your blog, or your book, or anything?”
I know I didn’t. But the moment I think about saying something, anything, I get so shy that I feel paralyzed. The same way I couldn’t ask Robert Fisk if he had read my book and I probably never will.
In my imagination I am this self confident person who knows how to approach people. In my mind’s eye I do not worry about what people will think about me as a writer. In my imagination I am this outgoing personality who can speak her mind and her heart. But the sad reality is:
“You just can’t escape from yourself.” Jane Guill