Friday, February 17, 2012

On Generosity in Self-Promotion

[NOTE: I WILL BE ON A MEDITATION RETREAT FROM SATURDAY, FEB 18--SUNDAY THE 26TH.  NO INTERNET!  I'LL LOOK FORWARD TO READING/RESPONDING TO ANY COMMENTS AFTER THAT.  THANKS!]

On an Internet forum, I ran across a serious discussion by blogger/writers about using search engines and key words to identify HoT! cUrReNT! topics so they can write about them and get lots of readers/sales/recognition/money.   Whatever.

What happened to,um, having something to say?  But I admit I feel the impulse.This modern-post-modern-rationalist-whatever publishing environment can feel like a popularity contest.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/an-art-exhibit-thats-good-to-the-last-drop/ More on artist Gwyneth Leech next time!
I think the key to being noticed has to be generosity.  Generosity and being a savvy marketer.  "The main point," says Pema Chodron, "isn't so much what we give, but that we unlock our habit of clinging."  A poet I know insisted so often that "Editors don't want me. No one's interested in what I have to say," that he talked himself into not writing.  He clung to his pride, but at a cost to himself. 

Generosity means reaching out: Thanking anyone who praises your work, however insincere you might think they are; sending the email; writing the note; evaluating someone else's work; learning to navigate social media if you feel pulled in that direction; being content with small gains. Writing to people whose work you admire...  

Etc.  What have I missed? How does generosity work for you?




5 comments:

Shawne said...

I find myself thinking about generosity and honesty - maybe they come from the same place? I know when I read someone else's work, what I'm drawn to is a sense of honesty, a sense that they took a risk to share something that meant something and it's what I try to do in my own writing. I think many people will be drawn to that over writing that is simply hot or in. After all, whatever is hot today probably started out as someone writing something honest and meaningful that attracted people.

HelenQP said...

This is a great point--you address the question of generosity within the work itself. Honest writing is generous in that the writer doesn't hold back from expressing some inner quality of truth. ...and if work is both genuine and successful, I agree with you, people will imitate the vehicle or style in which it's said. We love attention sometimes more than we love being true!

Catherine Stine said...

Generosity in the blogosphere, and in real time with real people is so VERY important. Even more important than keywords.

Catherine Stine said...

Oh, BTW, I am totally jealous of the fact that you get to go to a weeklong retreat. Have a GREAT time!!!!!!!!!

HelenQP said...

Thanks and many hugs! The retreat was exhausting, challenging, beautiful, and something I will long treasure. I'll write about it when I can.