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Do Unto Yourself As You Would Do Unto Others by Mary Jane Walsh

12 Oct 2013 5:34 AM | Anonymous

Social NetworkingThe three books my librarian selected just for me last month are on my desk.

1. The Facebook Guide for People Over 50

2. Facebook for DUMMIES

3. Likeable Social Media

I’ve just renewed all three online for another month. The librarian inserted bookmarks at the sections she thought would help me most. I haven’t opened any of the books yet.

Upon reentry to the playwriting world just a year ago and leaving the corporate world of public relations, client relations, personnel communications, networking and seeking new clients, I was at a loss. The techies on the job always took care of posting, printing, disseminating and distributing all of the material I created.

So, as Kris Bauske just wrote in her “Promotion, Promotion, Promotion” article, I must do for myself what I’ve been doing for the companies I worked for over the years. I must promote myself. And to do so, I must climb what I view as the very steep learning curve of social media. Soon, however, I hope I’ll be able to write a play entitled I Am My Own Techie. (Apologies to Doug Wright.)

Another factor, not at all technical, that inhibits self-promotion is an overdose of modesty. Most women, I find, much more than most men, have trouble “bragging” about their own skills, talents and accomplishments. It’s certainly not bragging. It’s just the facts, mam. But for so many “polite” women, still under the influence of the era when I grew up, it just seems so nervy to go out there, tell everybody about the fine plays we write and, horrors, actually sell our work.

Shout About ItNetworking among corporate prospects and colleagues in my industry was not a favorite tool of mine, but it was part of the job. Now, in the playwriting and theater production industry (that would be show business), I love networking. 

It is the heart-pumping life blood that keeps me going. This wonderful International Centre for Women Playwrights, The Dramatists Guild and the local play reading group I’ve joined provide the human contact that is essential in this business.

I am renewing my mission, not just to write my best play, but to help myself to success, just as I did for others in my former job.

Thank you ICWP. Thank you, Margaret and the other ICWP volunteers for all the work you do. The information on the site has helped me TREMENDOUSLY!



© Mary Jane Walsh 2013. This article may be reproduced only with full attribution to the copyright holder.


  • 12 Oct 2013 7:18 AM | Robin Rice Lichtig
    See you on Facebook, Mary Jane!
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  • 12 Oct 2013 7:33 AM | Emily Cicchini
    I'd hit the "like" button if this site had one! Keep writing!
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  • 12 Oct 2013 11:50 AM | farzana moon
    Dear Mary Jane,
    Such a powerful article, talent oozing out quicksilver from each line. Wishing you great success in writing the greatest American play, you will do it! As to promotion, that's crucial, we can't emphasize enough. Years ago an editor wrote to me, every little achievement that you make, shout it on top of young lungs so anyone who reads your bio can hear it, brag, boast, exaggerate even if it is a small clipping in the Newspaper. Modesty aside, for me I think I shy away from sharing my books with my close friends for they would be obliged to buy even if they don't want to read, but I am getting over that bashfulness and letting them buy the books even if they have to give those to someone else. A kind of support system--
    Love and best wishes,
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  • 12 Oct 2013 12:45 PM | Shirley King
    Good for you, Mary Jane!

    For me, it's not boasting when I post news about a production. It's information. I believe in supporting theater companies. This is my way of letting them know I appreciate what they do.
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  • 12 Oct 2013 8:30 PM | Jeanne Haggard
    "Likeable Social Media" was one of my texts in a Social Media & PR class. It's a good, fairly fast read with lots of practical info. I think you'll find it useful.
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  • 13 Oct 2013 11:18 PM | Debbie Ann Tan
    Thanks for the article, Mary Jane. To each her own comfort zone, I think. I don't FB but I have Twitter to sometimes announce my new production, new book, or a talk, but not extensively. I like Twitter for the few lines it accommodates because you are right, it's so hard to overcome the shyness and keep on promoting the self since writing is often a solitary endeavor. So, a few lines in Twitter is within my comfort zone. I agree with you that writers should start and keep on promoting to succeed.
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  • 15 Oct 2013 2:58 PM | Elana Gartner
    Yay Mary Jane! Renewing a personal mission is so hard! I'm glad we're here to help you with it!
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