I came to Open Salon a little over a year ago hoping to find readers. I found more. Good writers to enjoy, some of whose styles have influenced me. And I’ve made some friends, something I really treasure at my age.
OS is also helping to serve as a platform for promoting me as a writer.
Just a year ago I published the introduction to my memoir, Escaping the Giant, here at OS. It is the peculiar story of how my father requesting that his children build his coffin when he died. The piece was cross-posted to Salon.com.
Someone at Radio Netherlands International read it and asked if I would be interviewed by their show “The State We’re In,” their version of “This American Life.”
I gave them their interview then waited for it to air. And waited. Finally I forgot about it.
Last Saturday it was broadcast. It's here in segment b, 9:09 minutes in:
I didn’t give ace the interview: it was my first. Something about sitting alone in a little room at the local public radio station WFCR answering a disembodied voice in headphones from across the ocean, from a guy I’d never met disconcerted me. I forgot many of the things I wanted to say and said a few I wished I hadn’t.
Ah well. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
Now as to my feelings about platforms, self-promotion, being in the public eye…I’m deeply conflicted. I find shameless self-promotion quite shameful. I would prefer to stay here at OS writing and reading and commenting, out of the public eye.
But I am greedy for readers, MORE READERS! And fool that I am I would like to get paid to write. Therein lies the conflict: if I want lots of readers, and people to buy my books, I’m going to have to get out there and do stuff I don’t want to.
In music they call it paying your dues.