I'm A Writer, and I'm An Introvert

I'm not generalizing here...I'm only referring to myself.

Yes, me. The quiet, inconspicuous person you don't see behind the online persona. In real life, when people talk, I'm the one who listens. I'm not the loud, obnoxious Uncle in the family reunion party, regaling everyone with his incredible tale of escaping the deadly bite of the garter snake he found in his garden (I'd be the one chuckling to myself because garter snakes are not deadly, nor particularly poisonous to humans).

In other words, I don't live for the spotlight. Instead, I make sure everything goes smoothly backstage.

That is who I am. And as I learn more and more about the publishing biz, frankly, I'm afraid.

Too often we hear how we as writers are expected to MARKET OURSELVES.

Build a platform Plan BOOK Tours BLOG book signings Join Google Plus TwEeT
Where's your FACEBOOK page? HyPeS Must do TumBlr CONFERENCES Blog Hops speaking engagements Interviews  Contests!! SWAGS!! goodreads Amazon Pinterest is the NEW thing Promote, promote, promote...YOURSELF

We're expected to be loud. We need to be heard. We need to be seen. We have to be in your face because unfortunately, you and everyone else have the attention span of a 2-year-old... (if you're on Twitter, you've probably seen this countless of times. *coughspamcough*)


That's not who I am. It's scary, isn't it? For an unpubbed writer, the pressure is ever increasing. For a pubbed or soon-to-be-pubbed writer, the pressure is doubly increasing. Whether you're on my side of the equation or on the other, the truth is, we have to sell ourselves eventually.

So if you're an introvert like me, this kind of stuff is what makes our nightmares. Can we just go back to the days of yore, when there wasn't a photograph of Jane Austen on the back jacket flap of Pride and Prejudice? Alas, no.

Tell me: Does the thought of being in the public spotlight terrify you or make you giddy? If you're an introvert, do you wory about these things, too, or am I the only weird one here? :) 


Miranda Hardy said...

I'm an introvert. I admit it, and the thought of public appearances makes me want to vomit, but I know what's necessary to sell a book.

I'll do what needs to be done. I do enjoy meeting people and listening to thier stories. So, I look at it like that.

Jeana said...

This stuff is hard for me too. And even if you do all these things--Twitter, FB, etc--it hasn't been proven that it actually helps that much. Word of mouth is still the best way...

Lori M. Lee said...

OMG SAME HERE lol. I'm terrified of things like a book launch party where I'd have to speak in front of everyone, or of being a guest speaker at events. I'm the most awkward person, and I hate being put under the spotlight.

Rachna Chhabria said...

OMG, you are echoing my thoughts. I too find it difficult to promote myself. I just cannot indulge in heavy duty marketing. That's so not me.

Angela V. Cook said...

You're preaching to the choir, sister! I'm a huge introvert (actually, I think it's pretty common in the writer community)! I often say I'm a "recluse-in-training" :-) hehe! To be honest though, the thought of selling myself doesn't scare me any more than the rest of this process--the rejections, dealing with agents/publishers/editors, the rejections . . . Did I mention rejections? ;o) Almost every part of this process is scary. I just try to take things day by day and pray to God for the strength to get me through it! I just keeping telling myself--nothing worth anything comes easy.

Angie Sandro said...

I hear you, sis. I'm the same in my daily life. The quiet one who listens, but doesn't say much. I've been forcing myself to come out of my shell. It's hard to overcome the habits of a lifetime, but I feel like I'm making progress. And having wonderful writer buddies, like you, make it worth it.

Chippy said...

You are not alone - I was always known at school as the quiet one. I'm the epitome of introvertedness. But I don't like to shout about it :)

Can't we just do all the marketing and stuff that comes with writing online?

No... Damn!

cherie said...

Introverts unite! Glad to hear I'm not alone. Whew!

Thanks for the comments, guys! <3

J. A. Bennett said...

In every test I've taken, I'm shown as smack dab in the center of introvert and extrovert. Sometimes I do like the spotlight and I crave human interaction. Other times I like to be huddled in my corner where no one can see me. It's hard as writer though to put yourself out there All. The. Time. it seems like that is what is expected. But in all seriousness sometimes I can't handle the social media overload. I tend to pick one and stick to it for awhile, then I move around hoping I haven't lost everyone in my other fan bases, but it can be taxing.

Mandie Baxter said...

Terrified! I'm like you, I'll listen all day long but don't expect me to jump into the spotlight anytime soon! :)

Anonymous said...

It's a tricky thing because our introverted-ness helps us write well, but then when it comes to publishing all of a sudden we need to get more out there.

It won't be easy, but it is a challenge I am a little excited for. :)

Ashley Nixon said...

ahaha!! I LIVE for being an extrovert! LOL. BUT. I'm weird for this, I think. I constantly want to be out there meeting people, talking about my book (anything, really...I talk too much), and I want to have great relationships with everyone if I can.

The Golden Eagle said...

I'm an introvert. I'd be willing to market if I had to--but I don't think I'd enjoy trying to sell something to as many people as possible.

Sarah Pearson said...

I hate the thought of people looking at me!

Bethany C. said...

There's a reason we're writers and not actors.

I feel your anxiety, friend :)

Kristin Baker Przybyla said...

Oh man, HUGE introvert here too! I'm the complete opposite in real life that I am online. I know if I get published I'm going to have to get myself out there for the marketing, and it terrifies me! There's a new thing my friend and I are starting, it's top secret for now but very soon we'll make it public - but the part that freaks me out is that it'll put me out in front of people every once in a while. She did it on purpose, it was her idea! LOL

Lydia Kang said...

It terrifies me. However, I've gotten more used to it because of Blogger. Blogging was such a scary thing--being "out" there and so public. I've gotten used to it now, and I think it's helped me feel more comfortable knowing I'll have to do marketing later.

Simon Kewin said...

It terrifies me. I'm pretty OK with being "out there" on the internet, but in real life - yep, terrifying about sums it up.

MartinRMeyers said...

Hello! I'm a new blogger/writer and I just added myself to your followers for support! Maybe you could come follow me too?
Thanks so much!

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