December 01, 2015

Market your own work, because no one else will.

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I love writing on Medium for the main reason that I get to connect with a whole new pool of writers/readers/thinkers. I’ve found it to be a really great place so far, allowing an interesting dialogue with people responding to your writing in deeper way. I really like the community vibe and even though I’ll always write more on my blog, I feel like it’s worth re-sharing some articles on there – it’s worth it for the people I end up meeting/chatting with.

When I wrote my piece “Tell People You Exist” late one night about the importance of marketing your work because no one else will – I got some really interesting comments. Often the comments make me think more about the topic I’ve written about, or they’ve added an extra point to the article. I wanted to share these responses. My piece, if you read it, was about an awkward conversation I had with someone who wouldn’t put his work out there because he expected the publishing industry to just come and snap him up. I wrote this because I believe so fully that you get back what you put out. That blogging and sharing your writing can lead the way for your future. That self-publishing can get you out there. But this dilemma of being too scared or procrastinating or unsure of how to get your work out, clearly resonated with many others.

Here are some of the responses I got:

“As someone who has been keeping most of my work in the drawer, I appreciate this! It’s hard to compare your own talent to the talent of published writers. Their vocabulary, style and confidence seems superior, when in fact we all start off with the same icky feelings of doubt and self-deprecation. The more we subject ourselves to criticism the stronger our pieces become.” – Erin Owens

“I think I recognised myself in lots of aspects of the description. Apologising for all weird creatures that hide them works in a drawer, I say that sometimes the peaks we want to reach are not for this world. Most of the times we cannot reach them. But, the instant you get there, even alone, it worths a life, maybe two. But I totally agree with you. Sharing is living, bringing art to the people is the most beautiful of it all.” – Gustavo Lagranha

Mic drop, girl! I could not agree more. There are too many people who have crazy talent — writers, musicians, artists, designers—and fail to see the importance behind the act of hitting “publish.” We live in a world where access is at our fingertips and art has been democratized. No longer is it kept to institutional galleries or traditional ways of publishing. Social media opens the flood gates to collaboration on a global scale, new discoveries and a major increase in the possibility that you’ll be paid for what you love. And still, this reminded me that I get held back by what people might think and I keep some of my work hidden.” – Chelle Morgan

“Oh my god, yes. PREACH, girl. I can’t tell you how many fellow creatives I’ve had this same frustrating conversation. You get what you give, and if you put in big fat zero effort, you get big fat zero results.” – Girl in Glasses

“Definitely. It’s one of those things that simultaneously makes me angry when I hear people saying this, but on the other hand I totally appreciate the pain and vulnerability that goes along with putting yourself out there. I just think, sorry man, you’re just gonna have to do it. The only way to the other side is across the bridge. Find a way. End of.” – Jennifer Francis

For some reason I was doing exactly the same. I’ve been hiding my work in hope that one day it would be published. Then I realized that this is an impossible scenario and started to post it by chapters to the Medium. And it actually felt so good! 11 people have read it. It’s nothing but it made me feel so warm after all.” – Kirill Sopot

“Truth has been spoken/written! I self-published my first book several years ago. It was a simple answering the single most frequently asked question I get as a Buddhist priest. I’ve been writing for several years before that, mostly short articles, personal reflections really. The book was an expansion from that. The book was, truth be told, a selfish venture. It didn’t cost me anything other than my time and writing effort. I figured even if no one buys the thing at least it is out there for me to direct people to when I get asked that question. Surprise, surprise! The book sold, it sold well, and it continues to sell. Every month I expect the last person has finally bought my book and no one else remains who will be interested. Every month I ask myself, “who are these people”, and I’m thankful they exist. Now seven books later, two of which have been translated into French I still have concerns of rejection and disapproval. However along with that I have confidence and excitement which I did not have before. I have a greater sense of self because I have a freedom from fear and a willingness to take a chance. Oh what the heck, publish. What’s the worst that could happen?” – Ryusho


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