April 17, 2013

Putting the "Me" in Team

Voting for The Blog Exchange contest is over and thank goodness. While it was a great contest to enter and I hope the judges miraculously choose this hen as a wildcard (I've been called both "wild" and "a card"), I can now get back to business as usual for The Cackling Hen. We'll be back to regular hen promotion instead of daily "vote for me or else" promotion, and that's a big weight off my feathers.

Probably Hen fans.
Since I was close in the running and I have the best following (forget Beliebers!), I knew I had a chance at getting the votes if I spread the word effectively. But although it's free, quick, and not one voter complained (yet), there are only so many creative ways to say "vote for me right now" before it comes across as "EVERYONE NEEDS TO PAY ATTENTION TO ME!" And while clearly everyone should pay attention to The Cackling Hen, I don't want it to come across that way.

Since a young age, I remember my dad throwing around the term, "shameless self-promoter" about one of his coworkers or anyone else he felt put the "me" in "team." (It didn't go over well when he threw the term at mom for saying, "dinner's ready!") But once I learned more about those brazen coworkers and what "shameless" and "self" meant, I've strived not to be one. However, with the prevalence of social media and now being a minor celebrity, the fine line between sharing and shameless self-promoting gets thinner and grayer, just like grandma.

As much as I wanted the votes and wanted to win, I cringed a little with every "vote for me!" post. My friends and followers have been nothing but supportive, and anyone else has just silently rolled their eyes at the screen, but I still never want to come across as self-centered, egotistical, arrogant or smart. I know I'm none of those things, but when social media often accounts for more than personal interaction, it just takes a few too many self portraits and posts about how great out lives are to turn someone we thought we liked into some annoying, vain bitch I never want to talk to again. We all have those hen friends on social media and I don't want to be one of them. I want to be the one silently rolling my eyes at the screen, thankful that I didn't just share my entire private photo shoot on Facebook.

What I'm trying to say is thank you. Thank you for the votes. Thank you reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for thinking of me every time you see a bird. Thank you for the fan mail you'll send me in the future. As writers, we want a voice. But a voice needs an audience, or it's just noise. And I want to keep being a voice and not just some noise, so thank you.

PS - Keep reading and tell/force everyone you know to do the same.

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