Thursday, 30 April 2015

Getting My Brag On

I've been doing some work on the promotion side and I keep running up against a surprising barrier: my own inhibition about drawing attention to my work and saying how good it is.

Perhaps it shouldn't be so surprising.  After all, most women are encouraged from an early age to be modest and unassuming.  I certainly had the message drilled into me: if what you've done is good, it will speak for itself.  I think men also fall into this trap, although to a lesser degree.  The braggart is not an enviable label to assign.  It conjures images of a lying, arrogant, attention-seeker.

But it doesn't have to be.

For those of you who aren't close friends with someone obsessed with Norse culture, let me tell you a little bit about the tradition of "brag".  The Norse god Bragi is the god of poetry.  In a culture where people are trapped together in close spaces for extended periods of time, the ability to tell an entertaining story becomes a highly prized skill.  (I personally believe that if the Norse had invented cable or the Internet, there would be a new primary god, Digitonia.)

Recounting stories of what each person had accomplished, suitably streamlined but not horribly embellished, was the winter's entertainment.  It wasn't considered a personality flaw.  In fact, it was quite the opposite.

Since at least part of my family comes from a long Norse tradition, I'm going to call upon my inner shieldmaiden and tap into my own right to brag.

I've written a book.  And I think it's a pretty good book which people will enjoy reading and is worth paying for.  I've worked hard on it and it shows. 

(Waiting for lightning to strike me down ...  all good)

What do you know.  It wasn't that hard after all.

And now I have 25 hours and 1500 words to go between me and Avengers: Age of Ultron.  My old unassuming self would have said: wish me luck.  My bragging self says: I can do this.

Final thoughts: I can do this, but wish me luck anyway!

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