Those who haven’t met me in person and even some who know me don’t know I’m shy. In any group of people, I’m the one who speaks least. Funny how not speaking makes people think I’m a good listener. I like to listen and most times I do listen, but on occasion I’m daydreaming, usually about writing.
In school, I never said anything unless I was called on. There was never a question about asking a question. I was afraid other kids would think I was stupid. I learned to speak and sing in public because of practice in church, in school choir, and later, the military. I actually enjoy teaching now, and I was hired at a laboratory that needed a peacemaker because I get along with others who aren’t easy to get along with. But none of my success at overcoming (more like masking) my natural shyness in person translates to writing. I’ve been rewriting the same book for six years. In the process, it became three separate books, two in a series and one standalone.
I have finished around twenty stories and poems, most of them short. The picture below is one of my biggest successes to date, winning first place in a short story contest at Emerald Coast Writers’ Conference in 2010. I’m wearing the tan sweater. The Good Hare Day is on my website and theirs. My other contest win was a poem prequel for my book that I wrote for Rachael Harrie’s Platform Building Campaign. I have a long way to go for someone who waited until age fifty to decide to write.
I learned about Alex’s Insecure Writers Support Group over two years ago but was too insecure to join it–to the point of fearful. One obstacle was thinking I didn’t want an agent or publisher to know I was insecure about writing, let alone shy about promoting. Since then, I started a twitter account and found I could do a whole lot of promotion online that I would have a hard time doing in person. And I’m coming to terms with the fact that by the time I’m done editing my book from third to first person, I won’t want to wait long enough to find an agent and go the traditional publishing route. So there go my excuses except for fear. That one remains. Fear is the core of shy people like me. But I won’t let it hold me back.
Next time I post for the IWSG, I’ll say what I did to find other writing support and give credit where credit is due. I owe a lot to some very supportive writers. I hope to meet a lot more of you now. Thanks!