Friday, April 27, 2007

Adapting To Change

Tonight is the third out of the last four nights that I have moved out to the living room with my laptop as my husband and his mother headed to bed. Change is hard for me as I've mentioned here often before. But I knew there would be benefits to making the move. Fewer interruptions of my work from my husband and cat for one. Better place to sit. Just about anything that is not the bed is a better place to sit. Once I get used to it, I should see more productivity. I mean just the time saved from having to wake up my snoozing legs or shake out a cramp should pay off in dividends don't you think?

One of the benefits of moving out did not occur to me until this afternoon though when it suddenly flashed into my consciousness that there was no reason I had to let the PC sit idle just because I had my laptop. I could keep the PC busy surfing for credit. Sometimes with the autosurf version where you don't have to watch to earn the credit and other times with the ones you have to click a number to prove you are human and watching. The autosurf could run while i was working on a post or some other type of writing on the laptop, or researching online with multiple windows already open in my browser and thus not wanting my laptop busy opening autosurf pages every ten to thirty seconds. And then when I wanted to take a short break from what I am working on I could swing around to the other computer and earn some credits by browsing the blogs in one of the other type.

This project would be good for me in more than one way. As I have mentioned before, I have as much difficulty with self-promotion as I do with change. I don't mean difficulty grasping concepts of methods of promotion. I mean difficulty grasping the concept that self-promotion is a thing to be desired and not despised. This is partly due to the innate shyness I was born with but more substantially due to the fundamentalist Christian principles of the vamily and Church community I was born into. Calling attention to ones self was considered more than bad taste or improper but outright sinful. This was especially true for women and even more so for children.

We were reminded constantly that 'i' was the middle letter--and thus the center-of sIn, prIde, and crIme. Of course most who purported to live by this principle were much better at spotting the I-centered behavior in others than they were in themselves. But that is neither here nor there. Except that it explains why I get so anxious whenever I am confronted with promotional tasks. This includes asking someone to read my work which makes the idea of mailing out manuscripts or query letters nerve wracking. And it also explains why I tended to shy away from doing those things that were essentially designed to call attention to ones blog.

I would ( it is hard even to begin a paragraph with 'I'. Usually I would sit and stew over how to word what I want to say until I could find a way of starting the sentence with a different word. Instead I am adding this parentheses and moving on.)

I would occasionally implement one of those site promotion techniques but even if I managed to work up some enthusiasm at the beginning, I would soon find myself overwhelmed by doubts and feelings of self-disgust. Events like last week's loss of my laptop's power cord were all too easy to interpret as punishments for hubris.

This type of swinging from one pole to the other is not conducive to making a success of any endeavor but especially one where the element of self-promotion is absolutely crucial. Setting aside the issue that writer's can't get an audience without calling attention to their writing....

Without some kind of reaching out there is also no way to take advantage of how well this Internet and computer technology can accommodate my special needs and turn my special talents and skill-set into something marketable and thus allow me to become a contributing member of my family and not just one of the burdens dragging the rest of them down.

Probably the only reason I can occasionally contemplate the necessary promotional tasks is that the dictum to be productive and to pull your own weight was at least as strong as the one against self-promotion. If my husband and I are ever going to get into our own place again, it is going to take more than the single paycheck from a job with seasonal fluctuations in hours.

So taking baby steps once more I am going to practice self-promotion. As I achieve 21 straight days of posting with this post, I will celebrate with the resolve to add the habit of promotion to my daily checklist. One small thing every day. Maybe by the end of another 21 days the harshest edge of the anxiety associated with self-promotion will be blunted. Don't they call that immersion therapy?

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