Over the weekend, I finished reading Some Thoughts On Writing by Patrick Rhone. He is a writer B recommended to me, and I’m now grateful to be reading his work too. His writing inspires me to communicate complex ideas in clearer ways and to just keep writing. I repeat those last three words to myself at least once a day.
Aside from thinking about what to write next, I’ve been thinking (too much) about self-promotion for my writing. In the past, it was easier for me to promote on social media because most of what I was creating was visual. I had clear examples of how other calligraphers promote their work, so I could default to doing the same. I had a decent understanding of how well, or not well, my promotions were working because I could see the data attached to what I was creating. Before my message was mostly contained in an image and a caption. Now, I’m hoping people will use their personal time to read what I share, which is a lot more to ask. It requires more than a second to glance at Instagram to consume. The same methods I used before to promote don’t work because I’m creating something very different. I feel lost on how to promote my writing because there are no clear examples, other than to just keep sharing. This is where I’ve been struggling.
Even though writing has always been a thing I do, this daily writing project is still in its baby phase. I’m still getting into a new daily creating routine (which some days doesn’t happen until 11:30 pm, but I’m working on making this more consistent). I’m gaining inspiration from new writers and their several years of consistent work. I’m growing into my writing voice as I practice more. I think I’m getting a tiny bit better at self-editing (this is a probably a lie I’m telling myself to boost morale to keep editing). It’s all new and unknown to me. I know the best thing I can do for myself is to just keep going, but my inner ego is fighting to find a way to see more growth even though I just started.
My ego is conditioned by social media, my peers, and my past work to want more views, more followers and more likes, but that’s not why I started doing this. I’m writing for myself. I realized I’m not idolizing people I’m following on social media; my ‘why’ and end goals are extremely different. This thought forces me to ask myself why I am still trying to promote my work to be like theirs? I’m creating something different, so my promotion (or lack of) can look different too. Quieting my ego that seeks external validation is tough, but the more I focus on showing up to write every day for myself the happier I am. For the first time, I’m relying on myself to create and keep moving forward instead of following the path of others. Being myself and finding success my own way is the only option I’m giving myself.
This path is weird and lonely. I often have no clue what I’m doing. Through all this searching, I have no strategy for how I will, or will not, promote my work. Thankfully, I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels this way with creative work.
Writing is thrilling for me, so I’m sure my excitement will occasionally spill over to my social media pages but I don’t want to overload people with links. Yelling isn’t the best way to be heard. For now, I want to be quiet and keep working. I’m trying to get comfortable with my process of showing up, being myself, writing, editing, sharing, and repeating.
“So, I keep showing up in a never ending quest to keep being me.” – Patrick Rhone, Some Thoughts On Writing