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View Full Version : To toot, or not to toot?



kayleamay
12-25-2009, 05:44 PM
SO.

I just received an e-mail from a friend advising me that I need to become better at tooting my own horn and take more risks regarding my writing. I know this person well enough that, given the hour, she probably wrote it with her beer goggles on. The fact that she told me, "take that conservative stick out of your ass and treat your writing like you do everything else," made me sure of it.

Well, it got me thinking. Just how accomplished do the rest of you feel you need to be before horn tooting is in order? Do you need to have landed an agent? Do you need to have a book deal? Do you need to have won an award or had an article/story/book published? Or, do you feel like even small measures of success (e.g. you wrote something that someone appreciated or you wrote something better than what you were able to write at this time last year) are worthy of the horn? (Or, maybe at least a chest bump?)

In my real life (as opposed to my inner rock star life where I write escapist fiction) I'm a nurse. I'm a good nurse. I hold a position that the majority of working nurses would not be able to handle, and I worked my arse off to get there. However, I can't imagine going onto one of the nursing forums and saying, "Woot! Look at me folks! I'm rockin' the ER! Last night I had two saves and diagnosed three kidney stones just by the dance the patient was doing!". It just doesn't work that way.

So, what does it for the rest of you? What would it take to really make you want to toot that horn? What would it take for a chest bump?

I'm just curious, and it's quite possible that lack of sleep is making me put entirely too much thought into this. For a true TOOT from me, it would take a fairly significant accomplishment, but I chest bump frequently.

Oh, and sorry to disappoint you if you thought this post was going to be about farts.

Seams
12-25-2009, 05:47 PM
lol kay, Merry Christmas, am glad it wasn't about farts :)

i think for me, probably a book, published by a publishing company, that does well...i know a long way, big dreams, but that's what would do it for me in regards to writing. then i'd say. 'hey, look what i've done' all the rest is just steps towards it.

kayleamay
12-25-2009, 06:23 PM
lol kay, Merry Christmas, am glad it wasn't about farts :)

i think for me, probably a book, published by a publishing company, that does well...i know a long way, big dreams, but that's what would do it for me in regards to writing. then i'd say. 'hey, look what i've done' all the rest is just steps towards it.

Yeah, that's just about where I sit too. However, the chest bumps seem to sustain me pretty well for the time being. :D

Ambrosia
12-25-2009, 06:42 PM
Kaylea... what is the difference between a chest bump and a horn toot?



ETA: When I saw your name and the thread title, I just had to know. :D

kayleamay
12-25-2009, 06:46 PM
Kaylea... what is the difference between a chest bump and a horn toot?



ETA: When I saw your name and the thread title, I just had to know. :D


I guess( to me anyway), a horn toot would constitute a nice shout-it-from-the-rooftops-for-all-to-hear type of thing, and a chest bump would be just a little something you're proud of that you might share with a few folks, but keep to yourself for the most part.

Hmmm....you thought the thread was going to be about farts, didn't you? ;)

BradyH1861
12-25-2009, 06:56 PM
I thought this thread was about gas. I have no problem tooting. I do not usually toot my own horn though.

NeuroFizz
12-25-2009, 08:59 PM
The problem with sounding one's own horn is the necessity to stay on key and keep reasonable, if not perfect, pitch. Let your work speak for you, don't speak for it (marketing is something totally different). Being proud of one's accomplishments is important, but in my mind, that is way short of horn-tooting which I see more along the lines of bragging.

Posting in the goals and accomplishments thread is fine because that is showing pride in accomplishment (like a chest bump or a high-five). If the pride goes beyond accomplishment and starts touting quality of accomplishment, that is best judged by others.

And I was pressuring up for a fart thread as well.

Susie
12-26-2009, 01:08 AM
Kaylea... what is the difference between a chest bump and a horn toot?



ETA: When I saw your name and the thread title, I just had to know. :D


*Raises hand!* I know. A week in jail! :D

For me it would be a story in Chicken Soup for the Soul or a best-selling novel. :)

kayleamay
12-26-2009, 03:10 AM
The problem with sounding one's own horn is the necessity to stay on key and keep reasonable, if not perfect, pitch. Let your work speak for you, don't speak for it (marketing is something totally different). Being proud of one's accomplishments is important, but in my mind, that is way short of horn-tooting which I see more along the lines of bragging.

Posting in the goals and accomplishments thread is fine because that is showing pride in accomplishment (like a chest bump or a high-five). If the pride goes beyond accomplishment and starts touting quality of accomplishment, that is best judged by others.

And I was pressuring up for a fart thread as well.


Why do my thoughts always sound so much more intelligent when you post them?


*Raises hand!* I know. A week in jail! :D

For me it would be a story in Chicken Soup for the Soul or a best-selling novel. :)

The voice of experience? ;)

Susie
12-26-2009, 03:19 AM
hehe. Just a guess.

kayleamay
12-26-2009, 03:59 AM
For further clarification:

Chest bump: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Nr9rkhsTMg

Death Wizard
12-26-2009, 04:52 AM
Yeah, that's just about where I sit too. However, the chest bumps seem to sustain me pretty well for the time being. :D

Chest bumps have sustained women since the beginning of human history. :)

Bookewyrme
12-26-2009, 06:44 AM
For further clarification:

Chest bump: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Nr9rkhsTMg

Man I love Scrubs.....

Anyway, do you put um...."selling yourself" in with chest bumps or tooting? I'm really bad at this (which makes job hunting soooo much fun lemme assure you) even though I don't really have a low self esteem. I just always feel like it's bragging, which I was always not was 'not nice', and it is so gosh-darned hard to beat that early training! Yet, when I do something I'm proud of, I wanna show all my friends right away!

You'd think it'd be easier to 'brag' to strangers, but somehow it isn't. Wonder why. :P

Silver King
12-26-2009, 08:20 AM
I appreciate Kaylea's chosen profession a thousand times more than any success she may ever achieve as a writer. I'd always respect it more, too.

There's often such a prevailing sense of desperation to be published on this site that we often disregard other, more important aspects of our lives that we contribute either in small doses or as a whole. And that's sad in a way, when there's so much more of us to share than just words on parchment, which will far outlive the initial excitement to see our work in print.

rhymegirl
12-26-2009, 08:45 AM
Back when I was in college I had a friend who worked in The Writing Center with me as a tutor. Now even though she was a friend of mine, she did something that used to bug the hell out of me. She was constantly tooting her own horn. Every single time she accomplished something writing-wise, she would make sure everybody knew about it. To me, this simply amounts to bragging.

So one day I tacked up a sign on one of the bulletin boards. I can't remember the exact wording, but it was something like: A person who constantly toots her own horn will soon wind up with deaf ears.

BradyH1861
12-26-2009, 10:16 AM
Rhymegirl tooted!

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

I don't care much for braggarts either. However, I think there is a difference between being confident in your own abilities and outright bragging.

Mr Flibble
12-26-2009, 03:27 PM
I was gonna post something but it would be tooting so I won't :D Oh, well maybe a bit then.

Even promo feels like bragging. I keep half-expecting my Mum to clip me round the ear for showing off. But I do toot a little about one thing with writing, because it's the one thing I actually set out to do - that is, provoke an emotional reaction in the reader. So when I make a grown man cry (one of my betas. I made another one snivel the other day too ), I do toot a little, because that's sort of me feeling all 'Yo Adrian! I did it!' I don't do it to toot, not to say 'oh look aren't I wonderful' but more to say I'm delighted to have achieved what I set out to do.

I try to do it quietly though

kayleamay
12-26-2009, 08:24 PM
Chest bumps have sustained women since the beginning of human history. :)

A legitimate observation.


Man I love Scrubs.....

Anyway, do you put um...."selling yourself" in with chest bumps or tooting? I'm really bad at this (which makes job hunting soooo much fun lemme assure you) even though I don't really have a low self esteem. I just always feel like it's bragging, which I was always not was 'not nice', and it is so gosh-darned hard to beat that early training! Yet, when I do something I'm proud of, I wanna show all my friends right away!

You'd think it'd be easier to 'brag' to strangers, but somehow it isn't. Wonder why. :P

This is my issue as well. Just telling someone I wrote a book feels like bragging to me. It makes me feel squirmish. I've never had this issue with jobs and such though. Generally, if I get an interview, I'll get the job. I tend to come off as confident, even when I may not be. However, talking about my writing is different. Maybe it's because writing is so subjective and so much more revealing. *shrug* I dunno.




There's often such a prevailing sense of desperation to be published on this site that we often disregard other, more important aspects of our lives that we contribute either in small doses or as a whole. And that's sad in a way, when there's so much more of us to share than just words on parchment, which will far outlive the initial excitement to see our work in print.

Well stated, and I couldn't agree more.


I would like to add though, that I do envy those of you who have the gift of being able to self-promote without sounding like a braggart. I really do think that it's a talent. Proud yet graceful is difficult to achieve.

icerose
12-26-2009, 09:30 PM
I posted in goals and accomplishment about a full request because it was my first one from an agent and that was a really big hurdle for me. I post here about my accomplishments because I don't really have anyone else who understands what it means. I can tell my family but it's more like a smile and nod because they have no idea what I'm talking about.

It doesn't come from a "I'm so great I did this" kind of sentiment but rather. "Oh my gosh, I can't believe this is actually happening to me!" kind of sentiment. And people on this board are the reason I've gotten this far so to me it's more like telling a good friend about the hurdles I've cleared than it is shouting it from the rooftops to make myself look better.

kayleamay
12-26-2009, 09:42 PM
That makes sense too. I have a few friends that if I told about certain writing oriented things would give me the nice "whatever" smile. It's nice to be able to tell someone who understands what you're talking about, and knows that it's more difficult than boiling water.

Silent Rob
12-28-2009, 01:18 PM
I like chest bumps.

What was the question?

kayleamay
12-28-2009, 10:09 PM
I like chest bumps.

What was the question?

Q: Is muppet better fried or broiled?

bettielee
12-28-2009, 10:32 PM
I have it on authority that I am awesome.

bettielee
12-28-2009, 10:33 PM
Was that a toot or a chestbump?

kayleamay
12-28-2009, 11:17 PM
I have it on authority that I am awesome.


Was that a toot or a chestbump?


The chestbump of awesomeness.

Mr Flibble
12-29-2009, 12:26 AM
It doesn't come from a "I'm so great I did this" kind of sentiment but rather. "Oh my gosh, I can't believe this is actually happening to me!" kind of sentiment. Exactly!


I have it on authority that I am awesome.

You are, you''ll have me cured of my Cockandbutitis in no time. Plus who doesn't love a girl who puts NOOOOOO!!!! in a crit? :D


PS: Butt police just sounds rude though