Advertising, Promotion, and the Hopeless

There are some things the average reader doesn’t know about me… And for those who’ve stumbled upon this and didn’t even know I’m an author, this could be very enlightening… You see, I’m totally useless at advertising.

Why?

Let’s see if I can explain this…

It’s always been easier for me to cheer others on than to put myself out there.  It’s not that I have a problem sharing who I am with the world.  I just have a problem with “tooting my own horn,” if you forgive the expression. 

A lot of people are surprised when they learn things about me, even though I’ve been doing those things for years (or most of my life, even).  I know it’s because I don’t put myself out there and go “Look at me!”… I just can’t do that.  It’s awkward and feels wrong, and any time I attempt it because I’m told “That’s the only way you’ll ever have any success in life,” I end up making a hash of it and coming across in ways I’m sure other people view as obnoxious or arrogant. 

Truth is, I’m neither of those things.  What I am is complicated to explain, and probably difficult to understand.  I’m hyper-aware of others – their feelings, their needs, their wants.  It makes getting close to people difficult for me. 

 While my personality is very tactile – I’m all about hugs and demonstrative shows of affection – the other aspects of my life make being in close quarters with people I don’t know well very uncomfortable and illness-inducing.  I can’t bear to be touched unless I either know I can trust the other person, or I’m capable of protecting myself on a psychic level (hospital and doctor’s visits when I’m ill are beyond excruciating, as I have neither trust nor defenses).  Physical contact transfers emotions, energy, and sometimes even thoughts, and I fear invading someone else’s privacy more than anything else. 

This is something I’ve lived with all of my life.  It’s made life difficult for me, and made it very difficult indeed for me to get close to anyone.  Some people see me as quiet or stand-offish, when they first meet me.  Some people take my observational style as aloof or a superiority complex.  It’s none of that.

  I don’t make friends quickly, or easily, because I’m too aware of others’ feelings and thoughts, and I have to get the “lay of the land” and understand my place in the situation before I truly decide how I feel about it. 

This, unfortunately, causes me no end of grief when it comes to advertising or putting myself and my work out there for others to see.  Because I’m so quiet and awkward about getting to know people, others sometimes think I have something to hide.  Truth is, I’m an open book… I’m just not great at turning the pages myself. 

 I’ll talk your ear off about my books, but I won’t be the first person to bring them up – you’ll have to actually show interest (and not just surface – I can tell when people truly aren’t interested in hearing about it, regardless of what they say.  Sometimes, I’ll ignore that feeling when I’m in a snippy mood, but most times, I’ll just clam up).  I also enjoy a long, indepth discussion of the paranormal – but I’m not going to be the one to jump in with both feet, first.

I’m better with written discussion – especially when addressing a large audience.  There’s no direct personal interaction, no chance for me to pick up more than cursory impressions.  In this format I can be more candid, more front-and-center.  But it’s still not easy.  I still have the memories of personal reactions to deal with.

I have a surprisingly long and detailed memory when it comes to emotions, thoughts, and actions.  I’m probably the only person in the world who remembers my screw-ups in the past – things I’ve said or done that others had an emotional reaction to at the time, but probably forgot shortly afterward.  I still remember. 

I’m trying to get better at letting people know who I am and what I do.  I just don’t think it’s part of my soul’s core to be the one in the spotlight, screaming “Look at me!”… The Aries and Leo in me crave the attention of knowing I’m not invisible.  The rest of me, though, just wants everyone else to be happy.  *shrugs* It’s not an easy life… But it’s my lesson to learn.  I’m sure I’ll figure it out at some point.

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