Shout louder

The year is almost over and if you know me, then you know I don’t have a list of resolutions for 2010. I will do my best to go to the gym regularly (what the hell, I am paying for it whether I go or not) and to not bite my nails. I know it is a nasty habit, and I never claimed to not be a nail biter. If the stress ramps up, the nails are the first to go. The nice thing is that I am not endangering anyone’s health and in a week’s time of not biting my nails, you would never know the difference. I don’t even need to shell out for a patch or a special gum. I either bite or don’t bite but I am pretty sure I won’t ever not be a nail biter (have fun counting the number of negatives in that sentence).

I am still working on a project that has been years in the making. I need to do something with it (well, finish first, but I meant after that). This will involve a bit of self- promotion, and I suck at that. I was lamenting to a few friends that it seems that certain bloggers out there have huge followings, they have actual comments posted after their entries and the kicker is, it doesn’t even matter if it’s a good entry. I have seen misspellings, posts about nothing but them, them, them, and over the top rants (sometimes general, sometimes stirring the pot in some ongoing blog war), and people eat it up! I realize that most of it is because these people aren’t particularly extraordinary, fabulous or talented, but because they do a great job of projecting that image to the world and advertising, networking, hounding people to visit their blogs. As much as I would like mine to be more popular, I started it as an outlet for writing first, so it would be stupid to whine that no one is visiting. I know there are people who visit and don’t comment, and maybe the format doesn’t lend itself to comments anyway. It’s not that interactive. I try to keep each post contained as a small story and it doesn’t necessarily link to anything else. I don’t follow a timeline. You won’t hear what I had for breakfast, lunch or dinner unless it’s relevant to what I’m posting that day.

I am not going to brag that I’m so modest (because isn’t that defeating the purpose?), but self-promotion doesn’t come naturally to me. I would rather quietly work at something I enjoy and am good at and show you that way, than talk about how good I am. This is sometimes a problem. In the matter of the project I’m working on now, I have to convince someone else, who doesn’t know me at all, that it’s worthwhile in order to entice them into wanting to see more. I have to make a mighty promise—it won’t be a complete lie because the work is there, but I have to advertise it first, and this is where I’m terrible. I have done really well on job interviews. I’ve been hired on the promise that I would be able to do something well, and that involves self-promotion first, work later. It’s not such a hard concept and it appears that I have it in me to some extent, but I don’t feel at ease with it unless I absolutely have to do it (as in getting a job so I can pay for my food and mortgage) .

Another problem with self-promoting is that you will inevitably annoy someone in the process. I am not going to flat out label this as “haters hating,” because it’s not that simple. Not everyone is jealous or hating on others—sometimes the complaints are legitimate and those who feel hated upon should step back and consider the criticism. Sometimes it’s annoying to be told something is great when your senses and logic are telling you otherwise. Sometimes you see that what’s in front of you is only there because the person presenting it hustled, and got everyone else they know to hustle on his or her behalf. Sometimes you don’t want to be sold. Sometimes it’s better to discover something on your own without the blaring of “SUNDAY,SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!!" in your ear to garner your attention. Let me find the product I need, not the product someone else wants me to buy.

In most cases, you have to be a self-promoter in order to get ahead. It seems that success not just based on merit but on how loudly you shout and how many people you reach.

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