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.