Tooting my horn
Taking credit for my work, tooting my horn, call it whatever you want.
I don’t love the spotlight. I have an ambiguous relationship with social media. But I know that taking credit for my work is critical.
And I have learned that sharing my experiences with an online audience helps keep others from claiming credit for my work. It’s not foolproof -- there will always be those who claim credit even if it’s not theirs to claim.
That’s not to say I only work solo. I love to partner on projects. I’m always happy to share credit or give credit where it’s due.
But credit-stealers are out there.
I’ve seen other people put their byline on original articles I penned as my alter ego (it is a Sisyphean task to undo and unfortunately many journalists face it).
I’ve seen people take my photos and use them as if they belonged to them (another Sisyphean task, this time one that photographers face).
I had one temporary manager tell me that everything I did for a project had nothing to do with my background, academic studies or experience in the field, but rather all the credit of my achievements (and especially new ideas I brought forth) belonged to said person. Incredulously, not to the project (a shared credit would have been fine) but to the person!
So, I tell the online community what I’m doing. Or, I share with the online community what “we’re” doing when I’m part of a group initiative.
When I’m ghostwriting, I take no public credit at all. And I’m fine with that. I don’t need the public to know I wrote for this company or that. The people who hired me to write know I did the job for them. That is enough.
Self-promotion is not always comfortable for me. But offering freebie opportunities to unscrupulous people to claim credit for my work is even worse.