Video Tip: Build Your Writing Community before You Publish

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Taylor McCleve

10 years ago

Personally, I've been trying to establish a fine line between my personal and professional online persona; I feel it's a trait that too many independent creative types completely mishandle when it comes to self-promotion. We seem to either dump all of our very private, personal baggage on the world at large (coming off crazier than we kinda already are), or we spend too much time pimping ourselves and our work in an attempt to further our professional careers, and, in turn, alienating the very people who we should be embracing - since, you know, they're the ones who are so instrumental in our early successes.

I really admire how you've gone about it, Kelsye. You seem to have hit that perfect equilibrium between being totally relatable as a person (which makes me want to read your work as an admirer of words) and engaging enough as a professional that I don't feel like your only reason for having an online presence is to sell me something (which, again, makes me more likely, as a fan, to spread the word about you and your work).

It's really encouraging when I come across other writers who are as good at this as you are, simply because it makes me realize that this whole self-promotion gambit can be just as fulfilling as it is totally necessary.


10 years ago

Thanks for your compliments Taylor!

I have thought a lot about how and where to establish that fine line between personal and public. Tough. The challenge is to be genuine, even intimate, without revealing too much or exposing things that would be best kept private.

One thing I do is protect my personal relationships. I may have signed up for a moderately public life, but kiddo didn't. My love just has to accept that he married a writer and he's going to appear in my lines somewhere, but I'm careful with what I make public.

As for self-promotion, eh, you've just got to try it out and discover what feels right to you. It pretty much always feels weird to promote your own projects, but promoting helpful tool or resources feels a lot better, even if it comes back around to you. It's easy to swing too far in either direction, too much or too little self promotion. I am building my life s a writer and this is how I prefer to work for my living expenses, therefore, I must promote.

Amanda Palmer (Punk rocker and super hero) presented a Ted Talk that helped me with this a lot: