Guest Post by Lynsey Patterson
While writing is a private act, at some point most writers want to make it public. But some writers struggle with the act of sharing their work with the world.
Many writers have no idea of where to start when it comes to self-promotion. Writers do what they do best which is write but many writers struggle with the act of self-promoting their work and themselves. Here’s five reasons why writers might find this difficult.
1. Solitary Practice
Writing is a solitary practice. Unlike any other creative pursuit writing lends itself to images of writers, writing from morning until dusk in a castle turret pondering the essence of life.
In some ways this is not that far from the truth minus the castle turret and the fact we have to work for a living. Most creative types collaborate with other people.
- Choirs and Orchestras work closely with other people to create artwork.
- Television writers usually work as a team.
- Movie-making requires a huge number of people
On the other hand, writers usually write by themselves and work with an editor who is never seen. The mere practice of writing as a solitary practice means it is even harder to have the confidence to share your writing with others.
The inherent personality of a writer is usually that of someone who is inward thinking and retrospective.
Writers tend to be observant and analytical people. Writers spend so much time alone with their thoughts that to finally share them with other people can be more intimidating than walking into a party when you don’t know a single person.
So, when you ask that friend of yours to show you what they are working on, remember that by showing you their writing they are trusting you with their thoughts and ideas.
3. Writing as Therapy
Writing is a form of therapy. With such depth of intensity and outpouring of emotions imprinted upon a page, writing is often for our own benefit. Writing is often used as a way to help us work through some issue.
In recent years, writing has helped me through times of depression or times of pain. It has helped me move past difficult times.
Because writing is so therapeutic, this can make it difficult to share such private information with the public.
4. Social Media
The inability to manage social media to promote your book or writing can be problematic for writers. The fear of looking like a narcissistic fool can prevent writers from promoting their latest article or journal.
Social media can be a writer’s best friend, but many writers find this a tough nut to crack. What writer likes blowing their own trumpet? Writers write but often fall short when it comes to promoting their own work on Instagram, Facebook, Tik-Tok or Twitter. Even creating a website about yourself can become a bigger opponent than Ben-Hur. Do you create a web site when you have not published anything? Or do you live in hope that your writing alone will be enough?
It can be over whelming knowing where to start and to have the momentum to keep posting daily, when really you think that all that time self-promoting could be used for improving your writing practice.
5. Fear of Rejection
Do you struggle with fear of rejection? I know I do.
So many writers don’t release their work to the public because they are frightened about what people will say. What critiques they will offer, or what bad reviews they will leave.
To overcome this, think of what good your writing will do in the world. Your writing can help someone else, whether it be from an article you have written or a poem depicting your own struggle where you hope that someone can identify with your emotional experience.
Not all writers struggle with self-promoting but I know many writers do. In most instances it feels like it boils down to fear and being uncomfortable with promoting ourselves without feeling like an egotistical narcissist.
As writers we need to push ourselves if we want our writing to reach a wider audience and if we want to impact others. We might just inspire someone.