Friday, February 17, 2012

Introvert Torture, AKA Self-promotion for Writers

So here I was preparing to write a post about the Catch-22 of the introverted writer profile and the current demand that writers excel at self-promotion, when lo and behold I came upon two highly relevant blog posts.

The first is from my friend Jan Bear, a writer who is fearless in the face of the digital realm and who embraces the challenge of marketing with a vigor and determination I can only envy.  She's also acutely aware of how all of us introvert-types fear marketing.  In fact, I'd say Jan understands the introvert quite well.  Anyway, she's got a new ebook coming out soon about marketing for writers in today's age.  I love that her description of its contents includes an acknowledgment of the introvert's dilemma in this sphere.  Check it out at her blog, Market Your Book.

The second post is from Suzy Vitello at Let's Talk About Writing.  She examines the challenge of writing feisty, active characters when so many of us writers may be introverts by nature.  While this post isn't about marketing, I think it gets at another challenge posed to us writers by virtue of our introverted tendencies.

We live in an era where writers are expected to promote themselves and their work like never before, constantly sticking their necks out, tooting their own horns, beating their own drums, you name it.  If you go the traditional publishing route, you better have a great, confident pitch, a tough skin for all the rejection, a kick-ass digital platform, and the capacity to market the hell out of your own stuff, since the amount the publisher will put into marketing is likely to be miniscule.  On the other hand, if you go the increasingly viable self-publishing route, you've got to have marketing savvy to rise above the mass quantities of stuff other folks are publishing and reach your audience.

But the act of writing itself, and the writer's mind, seem so at odds with any of this.  Sure, there are those rare types who are great writers and skilled self-promoters (I know a couple), but I'd be willing to bet that the Meyer's Briggs profile of a writer isn't the same as the profile of a marketer.  Why has this system developed?  Why are we placed in this nearly untenable position?  Perhaps it's a test of our passion and commitment, the new millenium version of suffering for your art.

I'd like to close by begging forgiveness of the blogger who first inspired this post last week.  I've been perusing a lot of blogs lately and I can't for the life of me remember or find the blog post that first tickled this notion in the back of my head.  So, wherever you are out there, if I find you again, I will be sure to make mention and include a link.

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