Fast and furious is how I would describe my life lately. Barely letting my head hit the pillow at night, I’m working working and oh yeah, working. I’m not complaining, because I’m choosing to do all that I am doing. I like it, I’m passionate about it, and I don’t want to be doing anything else.
However, this–all this (picture me waving my hands around gesturing at all the places I write and work, there on your right)–is way more than just a blog. Or just a diary of my thoughts. Yes, it happens to be a blog and yes it does include my thoughts, but it’s also my brand. My product–or, my business. I do this as a career, and like any smart business person–I promote my product. Why wouldn’t I? It would be silly for me to work hard on all these things and then keep them a secret from you all.
Yesterday I received an email saying “all you do anymore is self-promotion, I’m tired of coming to your blog and being told to click somewhere else“. I won’t lie–that sentiment took a little bit of the wind out of my sails. For about 2 seconds I thought, “oh great, tomorrow I’m linking to a post I wrote at BlahBlah’s website, I guess that’s more self-promotion!.”
But then I realized, of COURSE it’s ok to link to my work. Why would I want to keep my writing a secret from all of you? That wouldn’t be fair to you and it would be just plain dumb on my part. I know when I have people whom I enjoy reading, I am GLAD to find more places I can read their writing. I can’t get enough. My secret hope is that you all feel that way about me, too. Or if you don’t, that’s ok (well it’s not ok, tell me how I can win you over), and I will move on. But to tell me that I should not be promoting my product? If an artist completed a collection and was having a showing at a gallery, would he be accused of shameless self-promotion if he told people about it? When bands go on concert tours, is it simply shameless self-promotion, or are they promoting their product and giving their audience what it wants?
I love what I do, and want to be successful, and even though I don’t think I’m “selling out” (another part of that email in question) by working with companies and PR people, I know that there is a fine line. Writers, and any artists for that matter, have a job that is intimately tied to their person. My work is my heart and soul, and I do need to protect it. I only associate myself with companies and brands that I believe in, and whose ethics are in line with me. I would never represent anyone just for exposure or just for a buck. However, dismissing any and all of that less than glamorous part of writing, simply because of a desire for “free and pure” content, is misguided at best.
In the end, I know that part of who I am is a “to each his own” free thinker, so I know that I’m not going to harbor these feelings too long today. There’s mouths to feed, laundry to be folded, writing to be published and sponsors to correspond with. So I leave you with this link, to my new baby that I’m so very proud of, and I hope that you’ll keep coming back for more of this crazy blawg, and ride this wave as long as we can, together.