I wanted to mention that tomorrow evening I will be attending a launch party for the FiND iT FREDERiCK Magazine website. Food, drink, mingling, speeches.
I know what you are thinking. It's the least Ty-like thing you could possibly imagine. And while that may not be 100% accurate, I would not blame any of my regular readers for that perception. I am indeed a bit Too XYZ for such events, normally. And I don't expect to be the life of this one, by any means.
Still, several factors play in to my decision to go to this event, and I thought I'd share them with you here, as I think they reveal something about me.
To begin with, I have contributed several pieces to the magazine, (henceforth referred to as FiF) over the last year or so. They have been kind and gracious to me, and have allowed me to build my portfolio. I won't do anything and everything to repay a debt, but I do believe that expressing appreciation and thanks to someone from whom you have received support is important. Even if one has to step out of their comfort zone a bit to do it.
Secondly, this is not a networking event. This is in fact a party. And while I am not the most party oriented person, it is much easier for me to take part in an affair that is designed specifically to be a celebration, and not designed to be and, "everybody sell your stuff now" sort of deal. I know you business minded, extroverts out there will say this launch party is the perfect time to mention my writing services, and they may come up. I will take a few business cards. But nobody will expect me to, and that makes the event more palatable to me.
And the people there will at least know of me. I have not yet met in person most of the staff at FiF, but they will be familiar with who I am, since I contribute so frequently. Knowing ahead of time that I expected helps me a lot.
Also, I will know one or two other people there, and I admit, that will make the entire situation much easier for me. I would feel far less comfortable with going if I knew from the start I would know nobody at all at the event.
And though I don't throw my card around like a ninja star to everyone in a room, I am not unaware of the potential benefits of going, outside of the support I owe FiF. For since I have made the effort to increase my social media presence over the last year, (Too XYZ, Brazen Careerist, Twitter) I have managed to pick up a few serviceable nuggets of advice out of the huge maelstrom of bullshit that is the world of social media self-promotional posturing. Subtle but real changes have taken place within my mind as regards to human interaction and personal presence. I'm anxious to see if what I have picked up has been of true benefit to me in that regard. A simple, casual party filled with other writers and patrons of the arts, (held at an arts institution with whom I communicate frequently on Twitter) should be an excellent crucible for that.
So, my goal for the evening is to enjoy myself, meet a few new people, and not feel pressured to be "on". To simply be out and about in support of a magazine, and be totally at ease with not shilling anything, but also in the hopes of meeting some new people. Check back in on Monday for a report on how it went!
It helps also that the event is being held at the Delaplaine Center for the Arts, a local arts organization with strong ties to the community. I don't get in to their events very often, but I strongly support their presence. (And have often retweeted them, much to their appreciation, on Twitter.) So I will also be supporting them