I was painfully shy as a younger person. No one who now knows me, believes me - but it's true. As a teenager, I would go to parties and hide under tables - so I'd be there but not have to interact except with someone equally shy, also hiding under the table with me. I would still do that, but it's too hard now to get up from the damn floor.
I still have social anxiety. I still worry about saying or doing the wrong thing, over whether people like me or whether I'm annoying them. l find socializing - while more enjoyable than I did as a child or teenager - to be exhausting. And, yes, I do stand-up. And yes, if you've seen me at any of the writer conferences, you've probably seen me acting like a social butterfly. I use the word "act" deliberately. It both instances, the social butterfly, the stand-up comedian, it is an act.
I'm pretty happy sitting here at my desk, writing, editing, and making snarky comments on Facebook. In other words, like many writers, I am definitely on the introvert spectrum, some days, pretty far along the spectrum. But the truth of the book business these days - is that if you want to be a successful author in terms of selling books, you can't just write. You have to sell your books, and as a sideline, yourself.
So I am hoping my first novel will be out next year, and I'm already dreading, just a little, what I'll have to do to help sell it. I've thought of combining a stand-up act with selling my spy thriller. They have nothing to do with each other, except for my role in writing both novels and comedy and the fact that both marketing and the stand-up are an act. It's a thought.
So, my fellow writers, do you consider yourselves to be extroverts or introverts? Which is the harder role for you - writing or the selling? If you are, like me, an extroverted introvert, how do you get through the marketing part of being an author? Please feel free to comment below or on my Facebook page.
Quick update from an earlier blog: Rosh Hashanah is in two weeks. I am more than half-way through learning my Torah portion. I am trying to do a line or two a day, and I'm hopeful that with two weeks to go, I'll make it through. Still spend time every day asking myself, what-did-I do?