There is a fine line between narcissism and self-promotion.
The former is when absolutely everything is all about YOU, and in no way beneficial to anyone else. A narcissist practically screams, “Look at me! LOOK AT ME! See the things I am doing? Pay attention to me!”
The latter is somewhat about you, but it is also about sharing. There is some benefit for other people. A self-promoter says, “Hey, I did this thing. Please take a look at it. See what I did? I want to share it with you and please share it with YOUR friends!”
The difficulty here is in working on being a self-promoter while NOT being a narcissist. I want to work to further myself and my writing and get my name out there, but I am not looking necessarily to put myself out there, because my writing is not all about me.
Whether it is the blogs or the fiction, I write and share because I think what I am saying could be beneficial to others. In the case of the blogs, this is about sharing situations and ideas that I am pretty certain I am not alone in having. In the case of the fiction it’s about sharing fun and imaginative worlds, and providing the reader with distraction, entertainment and even some deeper ideas.
While I have my 9-5 day job, I also want to make more of my writing. I have three posts a week going to my blog, plus the first year of Pathwalking and my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better. Additionally, the first two books of my YA Fantasy series The Source Chronicles, the first book of my Steampunk series The Vapor Rogues, and a standalone homage to Paulo Coelho called Vortex Pilgrimage.
Because I am self-published, I am my own sales and marketing department. This means that it’s entirely up to me to promote myself.
Now if you know me personally, you know that I can be loud, talkative, sometimes boisterous and (at least I think) funny. I am also a good listener, and a pretty decent public speaker. Even the Myers-Briggs test calls me an extrovert (ENTP).
The funny thing is, I am actually rather introverted. I spend a lot of time inside my own head. Recently I’ve seen some memes on Facebook about being an Ambivert (both introvert AND extrovert), which is a pretty good description of me. Because you see – deep down, I am almost painfully shy.
If you know me, you are probably laughing at that. I don’t SEEM all that shy, do I? But put me in a room full of strangers and either watch as I gravitate towards ANYONE I know, or a corner I can people-watch but not engage from.
Amidst these feelings I am working on self-promoting. Bad enough I am shyer than most people realize, but I also fear being perceived as a narcissist. I don’t want to cross that line, because, to be completely blunt, narcissists are really annoying.
It’s one thing to occasionally put the link to all my works on Amazon, and to post to Facebook, Twitter and G+ when I publish my blog posts. The next step is to find local places like bookstores, libraries and coffee shops where I can go and do readings, signings and sales to promote myself.
This presents me with two problems. I can research and find suitable options. The challenge is calling them to find out if I can do a reading/signing/sales, and then actually DOING the reading/signing/sales.
Why is calling a challenge? A lovely combination of my shyness, and some fear of rejection. Also I am not always comfortable reaching out to people I do not know (again, see shyness). The actual reading/signing/sales is not so bad, once I get going I will be fine.
I know there are other ways to promote myself out there. Guest blogging, finding podcasts to work with, teaching classes/workshops on Pathwalking, maybe even starting my own podcast. I know that if I want to take my writing to the next level I have to break through my comfort zone, and going beyond social media and physically putting myself out there is the nest step I need to take.
I figured out some time ago that being a best-selling author is my ultimate goal. I have a LOT of novels in my head that aren’t done yet, some in the works, and several that are complete and need to be edited before publishing. I also think my work would make pretty cool film or TV.
I believe that I can take it further. I can further promote myself to do this, and it is not an act of narcissism to do so.
I want to live large. I want to go big. My goal is to be a best-selling author, and to do that I need to promote myself further, put myself and my works out there and ultimately sell more. Since I am my own publisher, it’s all on me to do what I can. Self-promotion is not narcissism. I can do this.
Thank you for reading my ramblings, and thanks for all your support. Stay tuned.
Thank you for crossing the bridges between my worlds with me!