An alternative to Shameless Self Promotion is called SHOW, DON’T TELL. Show that you are a great writer, don’t tell it. I know, I know, the usual advice is to hype yourself and your work, as the advertising world does, as the politicians do. And yes, it is necessary at times to mention your successes for a specific purpose, for example to promote a book or to get a job.
A number of years ago I attended a writers’ meeting in the Fraser Valley. A published romance writer looked around the room at the beginning and said, “I’m the only real writer in this room.”
This is what I fear with Shameless Self Promotion, that it sets up divisions among us writers. Published and not-published, etc. Aren’t we a community, trying to help each other? We were all raised in a very competitive way and we have to work very hard to overcome it. What is the need to promote ourselves among our fellow writers? Why?
I believe – or I want to believe – that quality will always win out. I think of writers who are really good, but who are very modest, Diana Gabaldon, Don McQuinn, etc.
Success in the literary world is outside us. Victory is within. What if we promoted the real victories we have? “Today I wrote for three hours.” “I finally understand dramatic purpose.” “I’m not afraid to send my work out.”
The rule for writers is: SHOW, DON’T TELL. It’s not: practice shameless self-promotion.