Whatever happened to the midlist writer? Here I am! Here I am!
Monday, April 25, 2011
Confessions of an Introvert
So here’s the thing: I have danced with my dog on stage in front of three thousand people and a television crew. Swear to God. I have been featured on television talk shows, news broadcasts and documentaries dozens of times. I’ve stood before audiences in aggregate of the tens of thousands over the years to give speeches, workshops and key note addresses, and my heart never skipped a beat. I am not shy. In fact, some people might even say I shine in the spotlight.
Most of the time.
You see, I am at heart an introvert. That means, among other things, that I spend more time thinking than acting. That I value my privacy. That I give one hundred percent of myself to every experience and because of that, I choose my experiences carefully. And that I suck at social media.
I have to point out that I am not talking about the comfortable, day-to-day interaction with my readers through e-mail, my blogs and discussion groups. I could not live without the encouragement from and contact with my "people". If I don't hear from readers daily I desperately start dialing tech support to see if the server is down. Seriously. Don't stop writing to me. I'm referring here to all the time consuming extraneous things writers are expected to do to promote their books that most of us, myself included, simply are not suited for.
Shrinking Violet Promotions did a wonderful post on dispelling myths about introverts, and I don’t think I can improve on that. Basically, what it boils down to is that introverts can dance on tabletops (or onstage in a top hat with a dog), give knock-dead speeches in front of stadiums filled with people, and host our own reality television shows if required, but at the end of the day we really just want to close the door, take a deep breath, and gather ourselves. Alone. We don’t want people all up in our biz-ness every single minute of every day.
I became a writer, in part, because I am in introvert. I can work for long periods in isolation without ever hearing the sound of another human voice. I can create something out of nothing, all by myself. I am comfortable with my own thoughts. I enjoy keeping to myself.
I recently read that in order to be successful at promoting a book, a writer should update his Facebook status 2-3 times a day, Tweet 3-5 times a day, blog once or twice a week. Minimum. Additionally, of course, said writer would also be expected to reply to all relevant tweets, post on everyone else’s Facebook wall, and comment on 12-15 blogs a week. In order to do that, it seems to me that the writer would spend half his life just thinking of things to say!
Here are my status updates:
1) Woke up
2) Walked dogs
3) Wrote some stuff
4) Wrote some more stuff
I’ll be back with more updates when I have something to actually report.
I’m not shy. I’m just a writer. Please buy my books anyway.