The Work Or The Glamour

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Every day, I am pulled between doing the actual work and seeking attention.

What do I mean by the actual work? I mean the core bit of my business -- doing client work, writing technical articles, creating technical tutorials, learning new technologies and responding to clients inquiries.

What do I mean by seeking attention? It is every other thing I do beyond what is listed above, just so someone notices me. Maybe for an award or for invitation to an exclusive event. To a large extent, most of the glamour is in this area. When you see people list their achievements as an individual, they love to talk about the awards they got and the exclusive events they were invited to and the glamour outside the actual work grind.

But I am old-school. I feel sick when I get too much attention and I tend to do things to the extreme. Put me in a community group, online or offline, and I'll be either invisible or too visible. I don't know how to be right in the middle. I either pour myself into a task or don't do it at all. I am terrible at just doing what is acceptable.

The unpleasant result is the when I pour myself into my work, I ignore all the award and attention grabbing activities. Then when I try to balance things, I end up doing too much to get attention. Which sometimes gives a terrible feeling of shame.

I don't know how to balance things. My only strategy is to avoid completely what I don't want to overdo because I always overdo things.

And now I am trying to convince myself that lack of attention and awards isn't bad and as long as the work gets me income, I should forget about attention and focus squarely on the work. So I will be isolating myself professionally more and be content with just the attention and rewards the work brings me.


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