In June of 2011, I ran a post called “Tooting Your Own Horn,” and decided it was time to bring it around again. Yesterday I received an unexpected email, letting me know that an essay I wrote and read on WUWM, Wisconsin public radio, won an award in the Wisconsin Broadcasters’ Association 2012 Awards for Excellence. My essay, “The End of ‘Pinktober’” won first place in Large Market Radio, Essay/Commentary. If you have interest and about 3 1/2 minutes, you can listen to the essay here. I’m especially grateful to Mitch Teich and Stephanie Lecci of Milwaukee Public Radio for all they do to keep that great program, “Lake Effect,” up and running.
Since many authors — oh, let’s face it — since many people are uncomfortable spreading the word about their successes because it feels like “bragging,” I hope you’ll take a few minutes and consider the importance of “tooting your own horn.”
Tooting Your Own Horn
June 14, 2011
Self-promotion is one of those things some people struggle with, but it’s part of the game if you’re a writer. You MUST get comfortable with letting people know where you’ve had writing success – you are part of the process in driving traffic to your work! I’ve written before of my beloved writing community here in Milwaukee, RedBird-RedOak Writing (RB-RO). One of the things I do to give back to this community that means so much to me and my work, is that I prepare entries for the Wisconsin Writer’s Association newsletters about what’s happening in our community. Kim Suhr, the director at RB-RO, has developed a wonderful way of making my job simple. On the homepage for RB-RO, she created a link called “Something to Crow About.” Writers post their acceptances, sometimes they post when they’ve finished a novel that they’ve been workshopping, or when a blog post catches on. It’s a great way to keep each other informed and to read each other’s work. Occasionally, I have to remind some of our writers to post and more often than not, squirmy women reply with something like, “I don’t like ‘crowing,’” or, “I don’t like tooting my own horn.” Announcing your acceptances and/or radio visits or publications or speaking engagements is NOT bragging. It’s informing and it’s part of taking yourself seriously as an author.
Please, be okay with tooting your own horn. Or, in this case for me, tooting my friends’ horns (hmmm…..that sounds strange). If you can think of a time you’ve shied away from announcing a writing success, can you still announce it? If you’ve nothing to announce yet, are you working toward that day? Are you setting plans in place to facilitate your own crowing?