It would seem natural to present your writing in a positive manner but it’s often hard to do. Sometimes it can be easier to shrink away, to be shy or introverted, and other times quite difficult not to be self-effacing, apologetic or too polite. Regardless of what you’re offering, present a positive attitude to the world. I don’t mean a pushy pitch or aggressive behaviour, and it’s usually of no benefit to be bold to the point of belligerence, but tell yourself to be positive and you will be met with a greater degree of interest.
Just as my Grandma used to say “Don’t hide your light under a bushel”, and school teachers cajoled us to “smarten that attitude”, the following example of loss-and-gain is what I observed one Saturday morning at my local shopping centre.
It was Fundraising Week for a local youth group and they were selling sweet biscuits. Their traditional biscuits are round, flat and stamped with an insignia. This time they were also offering chocolate chip, shortbread, gluten free, etc, and the stall outside the supermarket was groaning with packets of enticing treats. The girls were in their uniforms, with neat hair and shiny faces. They proudly showed me the products on sale, offered me a sample and told me the pricing. It was such a pleasant encounter that I purchased several packets.
As I walked back to my car, I turned a corner and nearly bumped into more members of the group selling the same biscuits. They had the packets of biscuits on the flagstones and were standing with arms by their sides, eyes down, embarrassed by the shoppers walking past. No display, no smiles, no attempt to present themselves or their product in a good light. I think one shopper took pity and bought a packet, telling the girls to keep the change. The response was mumbled. Too late, a group leader came along as I was leaving.
Naturally I don’t expect everyone to be a salesperson, I understand those girls were daunted by the prospect, finding themselves in a situation outside their comfort zone. Nevertheless, they needed a positive-outlook boost because they represented an organisation, whereas writing is a personal extension of you – but surely it’s the same? You write for a reason, get it out there, let it go!
In my experience, being positive about your work brings confidence along for the ride.
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward