Sep 16, 2006

"SHYNESS CAN STOP YOU"

To my great dismay, a little shyness snuck up on me yesterday. See, when I was little, I was very shy, but grew out of it and worked it out for the most part. Sure, when I was unsure of what to say I generally kept my mouth shut and never dealt very well with being thrown verbal/social curveballs, but I managed and it wan't much of an issue. But, somehow, in the last couple of years, it's come up for me again.

It makes zero sense. I did improv! I do book readings! I turn some readings into an episode of "Jackass"... These things are no problem. The problem is being in a room full of people and only knowing one or two of them, or worse, none of them.

I don't feel badly about myself, but when asked to talk at length about myself or my book, I start feeling uncomfortable, thinking I must sound like an egomaniac. This is ridiculous because I hear wonderful, creative people talk about their lives and projects all the time and don't think that about them at all. And, this is especially terrible because, hello, I'm on book tour. It's my fucking job to talk about my writing!

Ah well, yesterday was just one day. Today, I have decided, is drastically different. And good thing, too! Today I'm sitting on two discussion panels here at the Omaha Lit Fest-- one about comedy-writing and the other discussing literary sex. Now there are a couple of topics I can yammer on about.

2 comments:

Nicky said...

Good luck at the lit fest.

You know, it is always easier said than done to say to yourself, hey - no one else is thinking "X" thing about me that is so so sooo apparent to me. In my own head, I generally know that most people are about as wrapped up in their own thoughts as I am, and generally give little prolonged thought to what I am saying or doing, beyond the realm of what is necessary for general social discourse. But the problem is, for me anyway, that once that thought is in your head - to use your example, "I must sound like an egomaniac" - it's hard to dispose of it for some reason. I guess what I'm saying is, you're not alone in that phenomenon.

Eric said...

Hmm. Well, some other introverted authors include Harper Lee, Thomas Pynchon, and J.D. Salinger. Some authors who aren't quite so shy include John Grisham, Ann Coulter and Dan Brown.

I'm just saying...