Sunday, September 4, 2016

How To Toot Your Own Horn...Unobnoxiously

I am not a politician. bragging about my accomplishments. I don't want to be that obnoxious person needling your nerves with bluster and boast. Even so, we all need ways to spotlight our own talents, scribal and other.

As a scribe, our works commonly are grandly shown at court, taken home and hung on a wall. While they are appreciated by the recipient, their friends, family, and on-line social network, few others know the work. 

This makes getting noticed as a scribe challenging. It's also challenging because, in general, acclaim does not spread as well or as fast as drivel.

So, how can you toot your own horn without being a show-off?

I'd begin by proving my worth and let my creations speak for themselves. As a scribe develop a quality craft, and be reliable. The person assigning you a scroll depends on you to do your best work and present it before it's needed for court. Anything less is a deficit for them...and you.

Along the way, create works and show them to skilled scribes. Ask for their suggestions. In Calontir great ways to do this are entering Queen's Prize or Tri-Levels competitions. I love these competitions because I learned the next best step to take, and who was doing what I wanted to learn next. 

I've also privately shown my work to scribes I admire and asked for comment. Most love to share information and often learn from your techniques as much as you can from them. When I am asked for comment I remember the work and the conversation because I am honored to be asked.

When you ask for comment remember everyone has things they want to do better, including the person you are asking. You are not your work. The offered critique is meant to help, even though it may include criticism. Soak up advice. Use it to take your work to your next personal best.

As I go about things in the SCA I try to herald quality works of others, even non-scribal. This helps them feel comfortable doing the same for me. It is human nature to pay your gift-compliment forward. Plus other scribes resent less the times you do talk about your own work. 

Along with praise for other scribes' work, don't forget to include anyone you ever work with on a group project. That project did not get done without their help, including the wordsmith's. 

I truly enjoy seeing Facebook posts about scribal art. But, after several years reading posts I'm now tuned to recognize overstatement. I'm not alone. Try to give succinct facts about your work, without embellishment. Your pictures are their own praise and a great way to share your success. 

When compliments do come your way, be sure to thank those who give you one. Don't minimize your efforts. Praise is a gift, and "thank you" is the perfect reply.