Self-Promo Full Disclosure

So here’s the thing about self-promotion: I hate it! And a few weeks ago I finally realized why. It was early in the morning and I was outside in flannel PJ bottoms, an oversized sweatshirt, Danny’s slippers, my hair was sticking out in all directions and I was trying to hide from the neighbors as I yelled at the dog to “GET BACK HOME THIS MINUTE!” Suddenly I contrasted this crazy woman image with the promo flyer I was working on that morning and realized the thing I dislike most about self-promotion is that it feels so fake. When I send out update emails detailing all the cool and wonderful stuff that’s going on in my life or post facebook updates about how great a gig was I feel like I need to include a disclaimer, something along the lines of, “But this isn’t the whole story!”

Of course, all 6 people who read my updates know me well enough to know this, but it still totally goes against my grain. I think it has to do with the Midwest ethics I was raised with. Bragging does not go over well in a small farm community. Everyone knows everyone (personally, not as facebook friends) and everyone knows someone who has just suffered a real tragedy or loss. There is a lot less isolation, a lot less just reading about tragedy in the headlines and a lot more taking food to the neighbor whose family member just died. In that context, it feels disrespectful and thoughtless to brag about how wonderful one’s life is. Not to mention stupid – when you’re connected to real life, you see just how easily things can turn on a dime. And who wants to jinx themselves by bragging when everyone knows “pride goeth before a fall”?

On the other hand, I really don’t want to bore you all with my day-to-day trials and tribulations (like how I spilled coffee on the way out the door, the dog peed on the carpet – again, the construction in the kitchen is going on forever, and I didn’t get the gig I really wanted) and I’m too private to talk about the really big trials and tribulations with more than a handful of people (unless, of course, I’m singing about them in front of a bunch of total strangers).

So maybe I’ll just go with a full disclosure here, and you can mentally refer to this every time you read one of my updates or other forms of shameless self-promotion: In addition to the wonderful gigs and opportunities and fun stuff going on in my life, please be aware that for every gig I got there were probably at least 10 I didn’t get; I’m struggling just like everyone else to find the balance between my musical endeavors, my day job, my family, my friends, and my own rejuvenation time; I probably need to go to the grocery store; I looked nothing like the picture at the top of my email at the time I was actually writing the email; I’m feeling guilty for not supporting my musician friends more but also recognizing there just isn’t enough time to attend every gig out there; and the dog probably just peed on the carpet – again.

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