I don't like marketing myself very much, but I do it because it's part of the job. Oh, I'm very good at being an enthusiastic cheerleader for other people and can throw together a campaign quickly, but when it comes to myself I really don't like doing it—especially when it comes to talking about work that isn't finished yet.
I told you last time why I wanted to explore darkness through poetry, and how I felt I did a great disservice by not putting effort into rewarding my patrons and, more broadly, my Patreon. But this work isn't done yet. In fact, it's a raw concept that's barely an outline. Oh, I've done some background prep for it by coming up with topics and forms of poetry I want to tackle. But the poems themselves aren't finished. How can I promote an untested collection that isn't written yet?
And that, my friends, is the precise reason I really don't like toot-toot-tooting my own horn.
No matter how many times I tell myself that marketing doesn't have to be about cheerleading, it's also about awareness, I feel dimestore-cheap promoting a project that hasn't happened yet—especially if I haven't started working on it or the form is new. I want to earn your support, you see, and I don’t want to do a shitty job. Am I a good poet? I have no idea. I haven't written or studied poetry in a very, very long time.
At the same time, I made a pledge last year that quarantine has, unfortunately, given me the space to work on what makes me uncomfortable and not just what brings me joy. Because in that space—between what I know for certain and what I don't—are the seeds of artistic growth and, most important to me, the gossamer threads to connect with other people. Sure, I could write these poems for myself and never share them, but I don't want to do that. I feel something important pushing at the edges of my anxiety telling me that the path I haven't taken is what I need to do now.
So yes, I did a little marketing and updates beforehand. I made a shiny infographic. (Pictured at the bottom of this post.) A good friend cheered me on, too, saying; "Hey, you should contact people and ask them to share this." One day I'll get an assistant to help offset all of this labor. One day.
I didn't ask. And, I probably won't. I did ask for new pledges. I feel I've done enough for now. Now, I just want to get back to making art. I might post a link or two in the coming weeks, but I don't want to do anything more than that right now. I just want to write.
I hope you will join me on Patreon for $2. If you don't, that's okay too. There's a lot demanding all of our time and attention, especially now, and with any luck there'll be other opportunities for you to engage with my work and vice versa.
Be well my friends,