The fine line between self-promotion and being a skite

I have no idea why this subject dropped into my head this morning, but it did so I’ve decided to make it my first blog post for 2013 – and yes I did miss last week’s post on Boxing Day – totally forgot about it to be honest. Obviously too much Christmas cheer!

I constantly grapple (and I know other authors and illustrators do too) with self-promotion, where it ends and where it becomes bragging, boastful, showing off and yes, being a skite. I actually had to get my dictionary out to look up the spelling and meaning of skite and found it to be an Australian/NZ word – verb ‘to boast’ and noun ‘a boast’. So, going to the word ‘boast’ in my dictionary I found – verb ‘to speak in excessively proud terms of one’s possessions, talents etc’. and of course the dictionary goes on.

I remember on one occasion when my son was little, hunting for a book which would be useful for me to explain to him the art of humility and I also recall my joy when I found such a treasure as ‘The Boastful Chicken’ which proved extremely useful at the time.

Children’s writers and illustrators (and probably all writers and illustrators) tend to be shy, often introverted types who are most comfortable alone with their words and art and in the past I think many could almost get away with that as there wasn’t the same need or means as there is now to let the world know that your latest book is actually out on the shelves, that you’ll be launching or signing at a specific place and time or that you’ll be at a festival or on a school visit.

One of the qualities I most respect in others is the ‘quiet achiever’ the person you have perhaps known for years and then discover he/she holds an OAM, is famous or is a millionaire!

I don’t have any answers on this but I do know that it’s becoming increasingly difficult as we move into a brand new year of new technology and advances in tools which help our writing, but also in a way, hinder it. The term ‘blowing your own trumpet’ is one of those old expressions that I plan to keep in mind this year.

 

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Comments

  1. Pat Simmons Hi Corrine, As someone who has started to take herself seriously as a writer rather late in life I find self promotion really uncomfortable and I wonder if it's something to do with my upbringing. When I was a child showing off, boasting etc. was always met with a certain amount of parental disapproval, whereas when I had children we encouraged them to be confident and proud of their achievements. It's an interesting topic.
    January 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm · Reply
    • Corinne Fenton
      corinne Hi Pat, Yes it is an interesting topic and one I know many are struggling with. It's finding the spot in the middle of the fine line I suspect. Thanks for your input. Best wishes, Corinne
      January 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm · Reply
  2. Sharon Corrine I couldn't for the life of me imagine you to be a skite... From the little I know of you - you seem an unassuming soul... Our mutual friend Amanda described you as thoughtful,generous and considerate... You have hit the nail on the head with your comment that most artists prefer the company of their words or art then pushing their own barrow - however these days unless you are magically 'discovered' you and you alone are responsible for getting your craft out into the public domain...I do however agree with your response to the first comment - it is all to do with balance and you tread a very fine line... Hope to see more of you in 2013 Sharon -bDymocks Doncaster
    January 2, 2013 at 6:14 pm · Reply
    • Corinne Fenton
      corinne Thanks Sharon, but as I said, I imagine many are feeling as I do but I also agree we do have to get out there. Yes, balance. See you soon.
      January 2, 2013 at 8:11 pm · Reply
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    Kayleen West - Author/Illustrator I think like all new things it can stretch us and help us to grow. We might imagine it would be the perfect dream to be able to spend all our time in our creative space but we would be pretty unsociable creatures at times I would think. I look to the positives and think of promotion as a chance to meet some truly great people, help each other, and celebrated our love of books together. This was it hardly feels like marketing and is really enjoyable. I mean you were pretty nice to meet and get know more *grins*
    January 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm · Reply

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