Tuesday, September 28, 2010


“Art has never been a popularity contest.”
- James Levine

I find it difficult to promote myself. Blabbing about my life on a blog is different. But when I have a guest post or enter a contest, and have to ask people to read or participate in some way… shudder.

Today, I entered Anthony Bourdain’s essay contest. Alesa Warcan saw it and thought of me. I needed to write what it means to cook well in under 500 words. In my typical writing style, I married history, my life growing up, and my philosophy about cooking.

The chances of me getting many votes are probably slim since the contest has been open since July and ends in two days, but I might as well try. I don’t think number of votes changes my chances, but I may have read the rules wrong. At least if I have a few votes, I won’t look like a complete loser.

Here are the rules, in case you want to enter before 09/30:

And just to warn you, I’m doing a post on another blog on 10/06 and I’m being interviewed on Nicole Zoltack’s blog on 10/09. I apologize in advance for next week’s promotions!


  1. I hate promoting myself too. But I think it's great that you entered the contest!! :) Good luck!

  2. Self promotion can be tough. Since we're not used to singing our own praises very often. Good luck with the contest! :)
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  3. Don't apologize for your promotions. I think it's great that you decided to enter the contest and I will be looking forward to your guest posts and interviews. It's exciting! Good luck with your essay. I'll try to pop over and have a look.

  4. Good luck! I'll be sure to visit the site and check out your entry. :)

  5. Theresa - I totally understand and have a hard time with self promotion as well for a myriad of reasons. Don't apologize for promoting yourself! These are great baby steps that will lead to who knows what. Good luck with the contest!

  6. I read your entry, and completely agree. I am not too much of a cook, but I have a few recipes that I've mastered, and when I prepare them, it's true ... I want to share them. It's all about something more than just the food.

    And I think self-promotion is necessary to writing. It gives your audience a feel for your work as a whole, announcing things they might have otherwise missed.

  7. I so voted!! Your essay made beautiful sense and made me want to get my cookbooks out and create my own cooking history!! :-)

    Come on out of that shy closet and let the world see you! :-)

    Take care

  8. Hey I tweeted your entry, I facebook LIKE'd it and I Stumble Upon'd it... just doing my part to get your words out there...
    Oh and right now you are 660 out of 1810 so WooHoo!!!

    Oh- and it's not a bad entry either! LOL

  9. @ Amy, thank you.

    @ Lisa, it's true. I'm more used to admitting to what I screw up!

    @ Angie, thanks. I appreciate the effort.

    @ The Golden Eagle, I hope you like it.

    @ Kathleen, we'll see where it leads. Thanks.

    @ Joanne, food is so much more!

    I just don't want to be too in your face with my promoting!

    @ Old Kitty, thank for voting.

    Yeah, I gotta come out of the shy closet!

    @ Dawn, thank you so very much for spreading the word like that. I agree - WooHoo!!!

  10. Ya have to sell yourself in this biz. Promotion is a part of it. Good luck with the contest, going to check out your entry now. And can't wait for your interview to go live!

  11. Good luck on the contest! Yeah, self-promotion is really hard. It's definitely my least favorite part of the "job".

  12. I approach promotion like this - I've nothing to lose and everything to gain. People talk about luck and timing, but if you're not trying luck won't magically appear. Good luck with this.

  13. @ Nicole, thanks. I can't wait for my interview to go live either. It will be interesting to see what you post.

    @ Jennifer, thanks! Self-promotion is one of the hardest parts of the job. And querying.

    @ Simon, that's a good way to look at it. Thank you!

  14. You make me smile!! :) I'll check out the link.

  15. It wouldn't let me vote because I don't have a facebook account but I liked your entry!!

  16. Good luck on the contest! I read and liked your entry, but as I don't have Facebook, couldn't vote.

  17. You are busy busy.

    On the way over to check out your entry.

  18. Great essay on cooking! It is interesting because most people don't cook food from scratch anymore, let alone eat it. I can't remember the last time I ate a homecooked meal. I tried to vote for you, but it said I had to have a Facebook account, which I don't have. Is there another way to vote?

  19. That is a great post, and I voted for it.

  20. @ Jemi, thanks for trying. It's not fair that people need to have a FB account.

    @ Kelly, don't worry about it.

    @ Slamdunk, thanks! I hope you enjoyed it.

    @ Neurotic Workaholic, people don't cook from scratch anymore. I'm sure four generations ago, pasta with homemade sauce was fresh tomatoes and fresh pasta.

    @ Rayna, thanks! I appreciate it.

  21. I agree self-promotion can be difficult. But, you shouldn't feel bad about it. I'll definitely check out your entry! Good luck! :)

  22. I just tried to commetn and vote but my login kept failing-grrrr! sorry. But it was GREAT!

  23. Hi Theresa, I know what you mean about promoting yourelf. But your work speaks for you. I think it's great that you work so hard and enter contests like these.

  24. @ Jessica, thanks for checking out my entry.

    @ Christina, thanks for trying. Sorry you had trouble.

    @ Barbra, thank you. I want to stop getting sidetracked and return to my manuscript.

  25. I understand your reticence about self promotion. But due to it, I found your entry, read it and voted. Nicely done.

  26. I agree. Self promotion can be tough. I think blogging is more about relationships and less about promotion. I love the people I'm meeting!!

    My thought on contests, great job on getting an entry in. I think any time you make your writing public you tend to push yourself more. Just a thought. Thanks!

  27. I'm on my way to read your entry...Beat wishes!

  28. Ha ha ha! You are too funny. I'm off to vote for you and I look forward to your guest post and interview. Promote away, Theresa!! :-)

  29. @ Ann, so true. How would you know if I didn't tell you? Thanks!

    @ Paulgreci, blogging is about relationships. I love the bloggers I meet and don't want to abuse the relationships.

    The more I write and enter contests, the better I hope I'm getting!

    @ Sharon, thanks for reading my entry!

    @ Shannon, thanks for voting for me!

  30. Well done! (like the meat...) I just voted for you!

    Hey, promote away. You know how much we love supporting each other, and that includes YOU!

  31. Hi Theresa .. love the essay .. and well why not promote ourselves .. we know what we can do ..

    Excellent that you participated and entered .. and let's hope success beckons ..

    all the best - Hilary

  32. @ Julie, funny. I like mine rare.

    I love supporting everyone else, so I'm glad to know you guys are supportive of me. Thanks!

  33. Maybe I'm too late-I couldn't find a place to vote for you.

    I read the piece and completely agreed with you. I grew up in the country and ate straight from the garden all summer and most of the fall. Then, we ate what we'd canned and frozen.

    My mom bought very little from the grocery store-we grew everything under the sun and what we didn't grow, we went and harvested at large local farms that produced huge quantities of things like apples, strawberries, blueberries, etc. I miss those days....

    Your piece was insightful, spot on, and a great prod in the backside for us to make more of an effort. Not just at holidays, but at least a couple times a week....thanks!

  34. @ The Words Crafter, thanks for trying, but it ended on the 30th. What a good way you grew up eating-wise