One of the downsides to having to promote my songs or blogs is the need to do exactly that – promote.
I’m not a promote type person. My moniker is not Promotion Paul. At school my fellow pupils would never have voted me as Pupil Most Likely to Promote.
However, since I somewhat accidentally started song-writing again I have needed to stand up and shout; just a little, to get my songs heard. And believe me, there are a lot of artists out there doing a lot of shouting, on a multitude of platforms, be it streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Soundcloud, or video channels like YouTube and Tik Tok. So much shouting and of course, so much singing. And so many, many songs.
DRESSING UP FOR A PARTY OF ONE
I spend a great deal of time developing a song, making it as strong as I can, and spend hours and expense in a studio getting it as close as possible to how I’ve heard it in my head. I’ll spend considerable time on a video, an essential element for any new song to attract people to it. I’ll put the video on You Tube, and the song released on all major streaming platforms.
Yet when I announce the song on my song-writing Facebook page I’m tentative, almost apologetic. I limit the number of posts about a new song, worried in case the people who have liked or followed my Facebook page get sick of hearing about it. There is actually some sense to that, even though I’m trying to reach new audiences.
But it’s also counter intuitive; if people have signed up for my Facebook page it’s because they are happy to hear about my songs, right? Nope, not in my head. In my head they are simply being polite – even though most people who now follow me don’t actually know me and therefore have made the decision to follow me for the simple reason they like my music. But try telling that to my mixed-up sense of logic.
THE WHISPERING BLOGGER
Similarly with blogging there is also the need to get your blog read among all the others saying ‘read me, read me!’ – though usually a lot more politely than that. Blogs don’t tend to shout; they suggest, which suits me better.
But still there is a need to let people know you have published a new blog and for the likes of myself there is the constant voice in my head asking; are people going to be interested in what I have to say? Indeed, what do I have to say? And who do I think I am, thinking people would spend several minutes throughout the noise of a day reading my words, considering my opinion, reading about my life?
But if I’m sure about one thing, it’s that I’m not the only one who has misgivings every time they publish a blog, post a song into the world or give out a part of themselves out for praise, criticism or indifference.
THE POWER OF THE ALTER EGO
It’s almost a prerequisite of anybody who writes to be somewhat introverted, living life from the outside looking in. And so stepping into the limelight and actually saying ‘hey, look what I’ve done, look what I have to say’ is sometimes a strain. A big strain. And if this is met by disinterest then it is even more keenly felt, it just underlines the voice of doubt.
In Susan Cains book Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, she refers to a college lecturer who lives an out-going, constantly conversational life but who is, by nature, introverted. His gregarious persona is actually that – a persona. He finds his required way of engaging with the world exhausting, yet to do his job successfully he knows he needs to engage, not withdraw. In fact, he does it so well most people who knew his true nature would, he says, be shocked.
Maybe there is something to be said for developing an online identity that’s more about confidence with just a hint of brashness. There is certainly enough advice out there about how to target song audiences and get more streams and You Tube views, should anyone choose to get strategic about it.
But for me, authenticity and a nice dose of doubt feel more comfortable. Certainly, in the blogging community my experience so far is of a lot of people just helping each other out and there is a virtue in developing a following organically and in smaller degrees. This can work for music as well as blogs.
It would appear then that I have talked myself into continued reservation and tortured hesitancy. Maybe I’m just addicted to it.
Or maybe I should write a blog about it, and wonder whether or not to tell anyone…