Writing and Publishing

The Error in Asking “How Did I Do?”

As I learn more about the business of writing, I am becoming increasingly aware of what I somewhat facetiously call “the dark side of writing,” that is, the imperative need to promote one’s own work.

I am a writer, not a marketer; I enjoy humility while abhorring self-promotion. Yet, I know if many are to ever read what I write, I must embrace the requisite step of personally getting the word out.

One such method is public speaking. Yuck! I write because I prefer it to speak. Yet for the love of my craft, I will pursue and persist in this personal form of torture.

Once after speaking to a local group, I was disappointed and discouraged over how things went. I resorted to a tactic that I knew was unwise and emotionally unhealthy, fishing for a compliment from the person who scheduled me. His sage response put things in perspective.

“Whenever I wonder how I did, I just ask God what he thinks—and that’s all that really matters.”

I have since followed his advice when I speak—and when I write.

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, publishes books about business, customer service, the call center industry, and business and writing.

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