A More Tasteful Alternative to Self-promotion: Practice in Public

“How do you promote your work and, at the same time, do good work — without either suffering?”
Not long ago, I was speaking at a blogging conference when a writer in the audience asked this question. And until recently, I didn’t have a great answer.
Today, with an abundance of blogs and social media channels, it can be a bit daunting to even try to promote your work. Everyone has something to sell, and the desperation we all feel from the countless voices vying for our attention can just be a bit too much.
So, how do we do good work and also help our work get the attention it deserves?
It’s tough.
But there’s a little secret great musicians, comedians, and writers know: the best way to promote your work is to just do the work.
Three things happen when you do that …
1. You get better faster
Comedian Chris Rock has a habit of showing up unannounced to small nightclubs. No one in the audience knows he’s coming. They haven’t bought a ticket to see him; they aren’t even aware of his performance until he’s onstage doing it.
Often in front of audiences with fewer than 50 people, he takes the stage and goes through a 45-minute routine.
Surprisingly, he isn’t very good.
With a legal notepad in hand, Rock offers the material in an informal and un-exaggerated voice, seeing which jokes connect and which ones fall flat. This is far from the polished, outlandish version we are used to seeing

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