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An Introverted Writer’s Very Extroverted Week

8/27/2016

Thanks for the explanation Myers-Briggs
Beach and Pier - 2016
I am a a very friendly person. That’s a fact. I really like people and it breaks my little heart to see someone sitting alone or sad in a corner. My husband can tell you I’ve ruined more dinners with my anxiety over the fact that the couple at the next table don’t seem to be talking – it freaks me out.

As a result people are always amazed when I describe myself as an introvert. There is universal confusion about the fact that introverts are shy people. I’m not shy but if you meet me I’d much rather talk about you than me. I’m going to ask you questions and maybe not give very long answers when talking about myself and my real interests. (Though I will usually share a cracking yarn with you).

Those Myers-Briggs tests explain that introverts need time to recharge between events and experiences. We need some space around us. Hence you’ll find a lot of writers who are introverts. It doesn’t mean we lack social skills (although some absolutely do) but it means we work well alone and we’re not that excited to be the centre of attention. We like a little quite around us. Turn off the radio and television when we come to visit please!

With all that in mind I find August to be my most taxing month. I think half of my known universe has a birthday in August (including my daughter and I) which means a whole lot of socialisation – lunches and parties – and I usually attend the Romance Writers of Australia Conference. I’m already at capacity normally.

So let me tell you about my week.

This time last week I was at the #RWAus16 Conference in Glenelg, South Australia. On the Thursday I somehow managed to be organising a lovely Barossa Valley (wine country) tour for fifteen people, ten of whom I had never met. That really was fun but when you put your hand up to organise something you feel responsible for other people’s enjoyment and that can be stressful.

As it turned out we had a great day and I think everyone got along well. Having left home at four in the morning to get there some of the details are a tad sketchy for me but I think everyone had fun.
Next up we checked in to our apartment which was awesome. Five women in a four bedroom apartment, five women who didn’t all know each other and I was the only link through. Again – no pressure. I’m so lucky to say that almost everyone I’ve met on my writing journey is a delight and these ladies, many of whom are already in my writing group, were no exception but that’s a lot of togetherness.

Friday was all about meeting people – I did a pitch, I helped a friend who came in as a journalist find her contacts for her story and I met writers I only knew from the internet. That’s a lot more for one little introvert.

And then Friday night we dressed up for the cocktail party – fancy dress is actually good for introverts in my opinion. Dressed as someone else you can relax. Three of us went as old-fashioned cigarette girls and won second place in the fancy dress competition. Introverts don’t really want to go on stage and get a prize in front of 400 people but they do it.
The rest of the conference is a bit of a blur but it was lovely to make new friends and catch up with old and see some good presentations. I especially enjoyed presentations by Kerri Arthur, Fiona McDonald and an intimate session where the publisher Esi Sogah from Kensington, New York. It’s a blur because that’s a lot for an introvert to take in.

Then I came home and it was my birthday. It’s lovely to have a birthday and in a world where people are increasingly disconnected birthdays make people reach out and touch base.

Finally I started a new role at a non-profit – in their office, with actual human beings, as opposed to working from my home office which I have done for years.

That’s epic for an introvert. It’s a really positive move for me. You can have too much alone time. It makes you stagnant. Sometimes we need people to recharge us. (Maybe not so many people as I had this week but still it’s a good plan).

Yes that was certainly a big week for introverted old me. It was a good week and a varied week and I don’t regret any of it but I sure was ready for a nice, quiet weekend.
Turns out life didn’t get any quieter after that
I wrote this blog post a month ago – a whole month. I guess that tells you how life has been tracking for me.

This week I actually feel I might be finally getting my rhythm back and a sense of normalcy. Hopefully that means I can get my writing and blogging back on track too.

This year has been one of those where every plan I’ve made has pretty much had to be changed at the last minute – from what I make for dinner to when I’ll release a book.

I’m rolling with it but I do hope to get some control back soon.

I have two more Upper Crust books and a Christmas novella I’d like to release this year….perhaps only two of those and the Christmas anthology I’m in is a more realistic goal.

For those of you who have hung in with me, thank you.

Now I better get my introverted self out of the house for the day.

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