You’ve got to be in it to win it
Have you heard this recently? Or what about another commonly used phrase: You only get out what you put in. The problem is, for people who are a little more introspective than most, promoting themselves is quite scary. They have no issue with putting in the ‘hard-yards’, but entering competitions, attempting to be published and being their own PR machine is downright terrifying!
In addition, if you were born in Australia, ‘tall poppy syndrome’ may have also presented some barriers to your success. However, if you like to ‘go deep’, chances are, you’re going to build-up expertise which is problematic if certain types of people start to notice. You know, the types with an ‘inferiority-superiority’ complex, which is code for narcissists, bulldozers and posers. And while it’s comical to watch this swinging pendulum from the sidelines, it’s pretty painful if you get in its way.
At school, I was a quiet achiever, daydreamed constantly and was highly observant. I’m actually an ambivert (a person with both introverted and extroverted traits), but if I had to choose, I’d probably pick the former. I’m one of those people who needs time alone to recharge, doesn’t require a whole lot of stimulation and likes to spend long periods perfecting one task rather than juggling ten.
So, as you can imagine, I have no trouble ‘coming up the goods’, but selling them is a tad more challenging. I’ve been lucky enough to have been published in a couple of magazines, including Woman’s Day (‘Kookaburra’) and Gardening Australia (‘The bottlebrush’) but there are plenty of publications which have not accepted my poems! I’ve also entered some creative writing competitions, including micro-fiction, furious fiction and short stories, which has been an exciting and a disquieting experience.
The thing is, it’s a mixed-bag and it still feels horrible when my offerings are rejected but the joy of writing remains strong, as does the hope of being published again. And when certain people (the swinging pendulum types) belittle what I do, I simply brush it off. Seriously, it gets easier! So, no matter whether it’s blogging or journaling or sketching birds, keep doing it if it makes you feel happy, empowered and ‘in the zone’.
And just remember: if you’ve been denigrated for having a particular skill you spent hours cultivating while others were out partying, oversharing on social media or applying five layers of makeup, don’t let it get to you. Of course, feel the anger or the sadness or the disappointment, but let it flow and keep nurturing your garden. Because you know what? You’ve got something beautiful to contribute and there are people out there who will truly value what you do.
Lots of love, Sophie xxx
P.S. If you would like to find out more about introverts vs extroverts and the cultural biases that discriminate against more sensitive people, check out Susan Cain on YouTube: