Everyone who knows me cannot believe I am an introvert. Deep down, I'm shy. It's true. It's chronic and can be very debilitating.
But no one recognizes this fact because I hide it well. I always hear, "No, you're not."
Or my favorite, "You shouldn't feel that way."
I love when people tell me how to feel, which is why I usually don't bring up my problem very often (you won't see me tweeting this blog post, placing it on Facebook, or sending it to the email subscription list--I'm writing this for me and for any of you out there who face similar conditions).
Whenever I have to interact publicly, it is very draining. It exhausts me. I struggle with it all the time. I read many other authors feel the same way, so I know I'm not alone.
Why am I writing this confession today?
The air conditioning in our house is on its last legs. The units are ancient, and I knew it was going to conk out soon. My fantastic technician noticed the back of my laptop (see photo below) and said it caught the interest of his "inner nerd."
It turns out he was a huge Star Wars fan. Without thinking, I blurted out, "I think Star Wars is the reason I write what I write."
He stopped at the door. "You're a writer?"
I should probably preface this by letting you know I don't tell many people I'm an author/writer. I just don't.
I have never been a good salesman, and I always feel people will think I'm trying to force them to buy the books if I mention it. I even struggle to mention my novels to my family! I'd rather keep writing because I have to tell these stories and let the chips fall.
Yes, everyone tells me I need to get over this fear.
Yes, I know it is something I should ignore.
I've heard all the benefits of how I should conquer this issue.
But the fact is that I cannot change who I am.
Or at least that's what I thought.
Returning to my air conditioning story, I conjured up the courage to ask the man if he wanted a copy of Invasion. I had just received some author copies and had a couple. He took the novel with a smile and seemed happy to get a new light sci-fi book to read.
I have never--EVER--mentioned my books out of the blue to anyone. I've been writing in one form or another for twenty years. Today was the first in-person giveaway of my career!
He will never know what a huge step that was for me. It felt good to share a book with someone who loves Star Wars. I couldn't believe I did that. I still can't. I doubt I will start going on a massive book tour anytime soon. I have major respect for anyone who does that.
However, I will make more attempts to keep improving. Today felt good.
Now, as I'm writing this, I hope he likes the book.
If you're a fellow introvert and want to commiserate, drop me a line here and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
For now, I'd better get back to writing. The sixth book in the main SRU storyline is almost complete!