Origins of The Marquee Project

(Post by BT)

Sometimes I just feel like this crazy, ambitious freak. I mean that. Sometimes I really wonder if something is wrong with me. (And other times, I know…)

So, I’d mentioned this whole Pay It Forward idea on my daily blog. Awesome. Great! One whole week of paying it forward and promoting people who helped me so much last week – and always. Nice. Simple. But then I took it a step further and decided I wouldn’t promote myself AT ALL during this week of paying it forward. I want it to be all about the other people, and not at all about me. Again…nice. Simple.

But then my inner cynic started thinking. If someone else was doing this, I would think, “Okay, that’s great! Good for them! But…they’re still getting traffic directed to their site, aren’t they? They’re going to promote other people exclusively, but at the same time, they’re getting new visitors to their blog. Smart! And not quite as selfless as it seems…”

But see, that really isn’t the case here! I don’t have a hidden agenda. Nevertheless, someone out there will think I do. And while I don’t really care what they think (Just kidding…ofcourse I do.) I also want to avoid the appearance of doing something for others in order to benefit myself. Does that make sense?

So then I started thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a forum for authors/artists/performers/etc. who are in the business of continual self-promotion? And in this forum, self-promotion is off-limits? And everyone puts all of their efforts into promoting others, just to say thanks?” I had been using the term “Pay It Forward” but it suddenly occurred to me that it was possible that term was trademarked. I didn’t care enough to look it up and find out. It’s overused anyway.

Long story short, I came up with The Marquee Project. The tag line is “You’re a star. Share the marquee.” Take your name off of the marquee for a day, and put someone else’s up there instead. And what do you gain from it? Well, in terms of promotion, maybe nothing. You don’t include a link to your site, or your Amazon page. You just support to support. And who knows? Maybe someone will want to say thanks, and you’ll end up on the marquee. Maybe not. Does it matter?

I feel as if I have had a major breakthrough. During lunch I was talking this over with Kelly, and I told him that I really believe the reason I had to walk away from all the book stuff before was that I just couldn’t reconcile in my mind the idea of me, me, me while still living the life that Christ has called me to lead. It’s not that there is anything wrong with self-promotion. I really don’t believe there is – not in and of itself. That’s what you have to do to sell books, or whatever it may be for each person. But if you’re like me and you don’t know any speed except “All In”…

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.” (1 Timothy 1:12)

He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to his service. I’m not going to pretend to fully understand what that means for my life, but I know it’s true. Promoting these books isn’t wrong. Writing novels instead of building churches and teaching English and spreading the Gospel in foreign countries isn’t wrong. In fact, I believe God is telling me that this is what I need to do. I’m supposed to write these stories, and I’m supposed to share them with people. I don’t understand why, but I believe it. That’s not wrong. What’s wrong is focusing on myself so much that I start to take exclusive credit. What’s wrong is working so hard on self-promotion that I convince myself am the only one who can make my dreams come true.

So, there you go. All of this came to me as I showered this morning before church. (If I could live in the shower I would be the most productive thinker in the history of mankind.) Okay…great. So, yeah…those are some good ideas which are definitely worth thinking about, right?

This is where the crazy, ambitious freak part comes in.

I’ve created a site (themarqueeproject.wordpress.com), a Facebook community (facebook.com/groups/themarqueeproject), and a Twitter handle (@marqueeproject).

I don’t know what’s going to come of any of it, but I’m excited about it. I don’t need another project, but I need this.

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