When classified as an introvert or an extrovert, I fall under introvert.
Actually, it’s more like I awkwardly trip into that category and then hope no one saw me.
I am very shy. I don’t mingle well at parties or church and tend to hang around people I know well. I do not willingly perform (I used to play the piano).
The scary thing is that I’m going to have to get over all three of those eventually. My goal is to one day be a published author. I want to do book tours and signings. Shyness, mingling, and stage fright will have to be shoved to the side and forgotten.
Funny thing is, that if I meet someone and they seem nice and friendly, after a while I will tell them just about anything. While I am painfully shy, I am also extremely open. Maybe too much. Maybe painfully shy isn’t such a bad thing then.
And it’s usually in that time of saying about anything when I usually overdo it or say something awkward. It is not cool when your joke goes unlaughed at. It’s not cool when you suddenly become the center of attention and the thing you didn’t mean to be a big deal suddenly turned into one. You suddenly notice something wrong with your food and mention it to the person next to you? Suddenly, the whole table knows. Your friend next to you encourages you to just get more food. And then so is the whole table. And there’s no one else left in the food line. So, guess who is going to be up there with every eye from her table on her?
That actually happened to me recently. I don’t mind that the food was undercooked (well, I do, but we really don’t have to make a big deal of it), just don’t watch me take care of the problem. Don’t make me the center of attention. Not for reasons like that.
Don’t surprise me. I don’t mind talking to you about my writing, I really don’t. But don’t get into that conversation by asking all of a sudden if I’m taking college courses. I won’t talk about what I’m doing with my life, I’ll admit to a YouTube lecture series and maybe iTunes and then get out of there as fast as I possibly can. (Actually, I have turned the conversation from college to writing before. But there are better ways to get me to talk about writing.)
And for anyone who wants to know what I’m doing with my life, I am an author who is trying to get published. I write Middle-Grade (8-12) and Young Adult (13-16) novels that are usually fantasy. I am trying to get an agent. I have queried agents, but nothing has come of that. I will query again in a few months after some revisions. And no, I do not believe I need a college course for this. In the past year, I have learned about writing from actually writing, reading, a podcast, a couple of beta-readers, and my critique partner. And I have learned a lot.
So, there you have it: a glimpse into my soul. I may not seem an introvert here on the blog or online in a chatroom or in forums, but that may be because I’m not making eye contact with you. You can’t hear me say “um…” while I try to answer questions. You can’t see me nervous or excited or red in the face. Have you ever seen a toddler cover their eyes and then they think that because they can’t see you, you can’t see them? It’s something like that. I can’t see you seeing me.
For me, getting over being an introvert involves going somewhat Elsa on it– conceal, don’t feel– and fake it, until you make it. If I act confident, eventually I will feel it.
I was asked a question the other day that I had never been asked about before. “Do you illustrate your books?” The sweet lady that said this had been told I wrote children’s books. I smiled and explained that no, I don’t, because I write chapter books and I can’t draw anyway. Well, the next day, I realized that I should’ve added “I doodle in the margins of my notebooks.” But maybe that would’ve ended in a an awkward silence…