So, I made a huge revelation today.
I hate advertising, marketing, promoting, recruiting, and selling. Those of you who know me personally, know that I don't use a word like hate freely. Dislike is about as strong as I go in most situations. So, for me to hate something is pretty big. Actually, its darn right colossal.
I am a creator. I love to generate ideas, make dances, write documents, design newsletter, etc. What I hate is trying to convince someone that what I have done is worth their time, money or attention. This commodification of the creative process eats at me; it burns up my life force and makes me really really sad.
Now, I know enough about marketing to reverse the perspective and say things like-- It is just sharing my "gift" with the world. It is letting people know of the great things I have planned or organized. It is not about me or the event; it is about the person who is looking for something like this and wants to know about this event. . . needs to know about this event.
This things is, I don't know if I believe that. From where I am sitting, I see throngs of people with overfull lives and no wiggle room for adding anything onto their agenda. They are too busy, too stressed, too strapped and even if they want to participate, their sleep deprivation is telling them otherwise. The supply out weighs the demand. There is more to do than anyone wants to do.
Life has become a job. Even the fun stuff.
I will not guilt people into doing something. I will not scare someone into doing something. I will not alienate them or devalue them as individuals if they choose not to do something. I believe in personal choice and personal freedom. I don't like manipulating someone into thinking they need something they don't want. I can't do it. I won't do it. Just the thought of it creeps me out!
I can't force anyone to do anything. I wouldn't want to.
Here is the reality. I get sad when people don't come to my shows or to my events. It makes me sad that others do not see the value I see in the things to which I dedicate my time and energy. It triggers a deep sense of unworthiness in me. In my most downtrodden moments I wonder: Is it because I am just not good enough? Maybe. Or maybe I am fantastic-- but just a terrible promoter.
What I know is that I believe in the things I do. I love doing them. I just don't have it in me to promote; I don't want to market; I don't want to convince; and, I certainly don't want to sell anything. I have to detach from the outcome. I have to love the work so much that I would do it alone in a room with the lights out. A teacher of mine asked: what does a person do when they have made something no one wants? Like a hostess who has prepared a fabulous desert for a group of guests who just aren't that hungry.
The guests are not to blame because they are not hungry.
The hostess is not to blame for being generous and caring.
But, what happens to all that extra cake?
I don't know. I just don't know.