Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Return of the Secret Introvert

Today, I did one of my Favorite Things - I sat in a room with several other creative types talking about how to market ourselves and how to make a living doing what we love. That was thanks to Vicki Lind and her Job Club for Creatives. It gives me some accountability, and helps me work out a plan, develop it, and implement it rather than just sitting in my studio coming up with Really Great Ideas which may or may not help me actually Meet My Goals. (Goals, yes - those things that you work towards when you're not being distracted by a world that is full of Shiny Things - and my world is full of a Lot of Very Shiny Things).

And the meeting is small and has some structure, which makes my Secret Introvert very happy, because it is like school. I spoke clearly, was comfortable sharing my story, offered occasional feedback, and - hopefully - listened well and didn't try too hard to overcompensate by being funny (read: obnoxious).

I also did one of my Least Favorite Things. I hung up fliers to promote my upcoming workshops. Yes, there are people that can be hired to do these things, but they don't usually want to hear, "Hey, I'm copying these fliers now and they need to go out yesterday. Can you do that?" Time travel includes a nasty surcharge.

So, today found me posting fliers along Alberta. Which means walking into a coffee shop or an art store or a restaurant or a gallery or a food co-op and looking around to see if they have a community bulletin board and then putting up a flier.

This sounds completely painless. However, for Secret Introvert, this is torture.

What if they have a sign that says, "Please ask before posting"? What if I have to engage in clever small talk with an owner or a clerk who would really rather be selling something to an actual customer instead of dealing with another self-promoting paper-wasting hooligan? What if they look at me funny if I leave without buying anything? What if I decide to be bold and ask a question of someone who owns a gallery that I would really like to be represented by and she says, "What kind of work do you do?"

Well, apparently, if the latter happens, I will stutter and cross my arms and say something really witty like, "Oh, well, ahem, I do a lot of things, really, I . . . ah, work in mixed media, you know, collage and encaustic and fiber. I like mixing up as many media as I can."


And this is why e-mail and blogs are the Secret Introvert's trusty sidekicks. And this is why I'm part of the Job Club for Creatives. So that I can answer that question a little more smoothly next time.


Ann said...

Self-promotion is the bane of all introverts, even when we know how fabulously wonderful we are. Anyway, other people should just know and search out our magnificence without being told.

gl. said...

"Anyway, other people should just know and search out our magnificence without being told."

ooo, ann, how i WISH that were true! they totally should.

glad you enjoyed job club, bridget. yes, the structure was very useful. and BOY do i hate flyering. the small talk: aiieeeee!