I used to do this thing where I downplayed my success.
When I met with industry people I joyfully talked about who I represented and what they wrote. But when I met with outsiders I held back, I suddenly became self-conscious and quiet.
The inevitable question, “do I know anyone you represent,” caused me to panic. Since I assume most people don’t read much and I don’t represent James Patterson, I often answered, “no.” No. I’m shaking my head at that. Instead of pointing out to this reluctant reader who they should be reading, I instead, for some inexplicable reason, felt self-conscious that they didn’t know the names of my wonderful clients.
In some way, shape or form we’ve all done this. It might be when people ask what you write, what you do, or your time from that 5k. Somehow, somewhere along the line, you answered as if you were embarrassed. As if you weren’t good enough.
It’s not easy to puff out our chests and allow ourselves to brag. But it’s our right to do so. I’m damn proud of the clients I represent. I always have been. If readers don’t know their work that’s their loss, not mine to be embarrassed of. Now I proudly rattle off names of clients and when the reader acknowledges they haven’t read them, I tell them they should. Because they should.