Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Awkward (An IWSG Post)

Hey, all!

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group!

Please click on the above link for more information about the group and/or for a complete list of participants.

This month's co-hosts are: E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose, C. Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant.

This month's (optional) question asks, "It's spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?"

The short answer to this question is no.

There's a longer answer, but I don't really feel like getting into it. Instead, I thought I might ramble a little about how damn socially awkward I am. I don't think this post has much of a point, but I guess we'll see where the rambling takes us...




(Note: I don't know what the above gif has to do with anything, but I kind of liked it so I decided to use it.)

Okay. So, here's the thing—and this certainly won't be a shocking revelation by any means—I am seriously socially awkward. I have very little ability to interact with the human race without coming across as some kind of giant awkward goofball. And after I do interact with the human race, I feel anxious about the encounter for days, if not weeks.

For example, yesterday I was able to make a quick trip back to New Hampshire to visit my old writers group. It was really great to see some old friends, meet a few new faces, and hey—the library still has my book Effigy on the shelves. I don't think anyone has checked it out in a while, so it's really even nicer that they keep it around.



And because the group asked nicely and made sad puppy dog eyes at me (Note to self: become less of a sucker for sad puppy dog eyes), I shared with them an excerpt from my in-theory-will-someday-be-published-but-who-knows novel Second Nature. The excerpt was very well received. Like, really well received—and this is not a group of people in the habit of heaping false praise on people. Which, naturally, made me want to crawl under a table or disappear into a hedge Homer Simpson style...



It got worse when one of those people decided to pull up Effigy reviews online and read them out loud to the rest of the group. 

I don't think I've ever run from a room so fast in my entire life.



(First Aside: Yes, I really did leave the room, with my fingers in my ears. I did not, however, actually run. I was wearing flip-flops and figured that falling and breaking my neck would do me few favors.)

(Second Aside: I really can't bring myself to read reviews. I tried it once, and though it was a lovely five-star review for which any author would probably kill, I felt horrible for weeks afterward. (More on that in a moment...) Because I have issues. Anyway, that said, I really do appreciate anyone who not only takes the time to read my book but who then takes the time to write a review for it. You are rock stars and I salute you!)

Now it's the next day, and I feel anxious and sick—physically sick—that I shared something I wrote with five whole people, and they liked it. (And that whole reading-reviews-out-loud thing, but that may be a different post altogether). I will continue to feel this way for days. It'll probably be a little worse because I'm writing about it in this blog, and I always feel the same way about anything I post on IWSG day (and every other day, too, truth be told.).

It's possible that I have issues.

But I suppose there's no way to know for sure.

Why did I share anything? Why couldn't I just sit there quietly? Damn you, puppy dog eyes!

I really need to look into become one of those reclusive writers who lives all alone in some cabin deep in the woods.

Just so long as the cabin has Internet. And chocolate. And Chris Hemsworth in a letterman jacket. (Waits to see if anyone gets the reference...)



All right, that seems to be as good a place as any to end this ramble. Thanks for stopping by!


44 comments:

  1. I like the idea of a quiet cabin in the woods...until I start imagining serial killers and zombies and....

    My husband always tells me I'm not as socially awkward as I think I am, but I really think he's just gotten used to me. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, I thought about the serial killers and zombies, but I figured that once they realized I was a writer they would steer well clear of me.

      And my husband just tells me that at least I'm not as socially awkward as he is. :)

      Delete
  2. I want a quiet cabin in the woods. I fancy myself a slayer, so the scary stuff doesn't get to me! I'm totally social awkward too. I still blush and get light-headed to nearly passing out when people talk to me about my writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so much happier when people don't talk to me about my writing. I really need to hire a spokesperson to handle that for me. :)

      Delete
  3. Don't overthink it. I know it's easier said than done. But the more you share your work, the better it gets. Including our writing!!! Make it shine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have yet to find a way to avoid overthinking it. Or anything, for that matter. But I keep hoping that if I keep putting myself out there that it'll get easier.

      Delete
  4. You always say you're socially awkward, but I don't really see it when we go to writers meetings and such. You give presentations and read excerpts and talk and contribute. I think you do very well. :)

    But oh my gosh. Someone read your reviews out loud? Who does that? I would want to hide, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, then, I have learned to hide it really well because I am quite literally terrified any time I open my mouth! And yet, I agreed to give another presentation to another writers group in a couple of weeks. Go figure. :)

      Delete
  5. I totally get the running-away-thing when your reviews got read aloud. Seriously? Isn't going out and talking to other people enough stress for one day? It's great that your novel is still on the library's shelves :-)

    Ronel visiting on Insecure Writer's Support Group day: Autumn Decisions

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I figure the librarians must have forgotten that it's on the shelf. :)

      Whatever the reason, though, I appreciate it being there.

      Delete
  6. I get that kind of socially awkward now and then, it's usually worse when people compliment me. When I get insulted (it does happen), I generally get fire in my gut and I forget about social awkwardness, well, unless I actually believe their insult is valid. Ugh. Those are bad moments.
    So, empathetic, virtual hugs - probably awkward ones - heading your way.
    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I really hate to be complimented. I'm much more comfortable with criticism.

      Delete
  7. And I thought I got nervous. Although I would've left the room as well if someone read my reviews to everyone. (Although I've already read most of them.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read almost none of my reviews. I honestly have no idea how many there are—or even if there are more than I've read.

      This is not the first time that someone has decided to read my reviews out loud to my face. I had to leave the room then, too.

      Delete
  8. You are the definition of a bundle of nerves. Social anxiety is a real thing. If nothing else, you know you're going to struggle and can prepare for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need a better way to prepare for it because right now, all I do is pace around, shaking out my arms, and saying, "I don't want to do this." Good for my FitBit, not so good for anything else.

      Delete
  9. Chris in the letterman jacket: is that from Cabin in the Woods?

    I'd love a cabin in the wood; yes with internet, satellite tv, cell phone service. And a hunter to keep out the boogyman. Note: hunter is not my hubby, I want some eye candy for story inspiration, lol.

    Why is it harder to accept compliments than critiques? We writers are just weird. I would be totally embarrassed to have someone read my reviews to others. Somehow those seem private, even though they are public.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is from Cabin in the Woods. We have a winner!

      And who couldn't use some eye candy for story inspiration? :)

      Delete
  10. Reading your reviews out loud? That's just cruel. Bad enough reading them silent in your own head... I feel for you. But you know what? I bet you're no more socially awkward than the rest of us. Everyone in the room is probably feeling the exact same way, but some people manage to mask it better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You probably right, but if other people are feeling the exact same way I do, I feel for them. It's a horrible feeling that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

      Delete
  11. Actually, if you have issues, I'm pretty sure a doctor can do something about that. =PPPPP LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But then I would have to talk to the doctor, and you know how I feel about talking...

      Delete
  12. You always feel you're more awkward than you appear to be. And I mean the general "you" not you you. Most of the time people are so sucked in to how awkward they're feeling that they don't have time to notice what you are doing at all.

    It's good that you shared some of your book. You need others to tell you that it's ready for the world ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, five more people told me that yesterday. I, naturally, did not believe them. Maybe someday. :)

      Delete
  13. I'm still trying to figure out the point of being social, so I know I'm socially awkward. Praise can be as tough to hear as criticism. I tend to overthink things after a social interaction too, which is why I avoid them as much as possible. Heh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely overthink/overanalyze every social interaction. It's been 24 hours now, and I'm still doing it. Hoping that something will come along soon to distract me...

      Delete
  14. Taking praise while looking people in the eye is daunting. We say we want it, but it's hard when it actually happens. Hey, your book's on the library shelves and that is major! And ***** is quite an accomplishment, too. Here's to more of the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I said repeatedly that I didn't want to know anything about the reviews, but I lost the battle on that front. I'm still fighting the war, though. Or something. :)

      Delete
  15. Wait a minute... I'm still stuck at the part where you made a "quick trip" to New Hampshire.
    From Florida.
    A "quick trip."
    Did you get your own plane at some point?
    Or did I miss something somewhere along the way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha—yeah, I've been in Maine for the last week and a half. I guess that was never mentioned on the blog, was it? That's what I get for taking a (another) month off. :)

      Delete
  16. You're always so light and funny when describing your own awkwardness or embarrassment. It's like you're a writer or something :-) Just kidding. I do really enjoy your posts, and continue to hope that you'll become more comfortable with the public parts of writing.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It would be hard to become less comfortable with the public side of things. But if anyone could do it, it would probably be me. :)

      Delete
  17. Yeah, I saw that movie. Would you really get any writing done with Chris Hemsworth there? Cool to see your book on the library shelf.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't really get any writing done when Chris Hemsworth isn't there, so I figure it's worth an experiment. You know, in the name of science or whatever.

      Delete
  18. I'm socially awkward too, I think, but I try to act like I'm not. It's to the point where I'm not sure anyone would guess that I'm more introverted than anything else. I'm happiest with a book or a puzzle. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I fully support authors not reading reviews. I think most of us write them for other readers. I know I do. I keep in mind that authors are people with feelings and they MIGHT read it, but that's not the primary motivator. If I have something to say the the author, I will write to her. I've done it, and it's not that hard to find contact information, especially the the advent of ye olde interwebz.

    I don't know your specific reservations about reading reviews, of course, but I know some folks are all into reading reviews and I think it's perfectly valid not to.

    ReplyDelete
  20. There are very few people I know who aren't socially awkward. Most of the young people get past it by taking Ecstasy and jumping up and down with fellow partiers. It's a strange phenomenon that I just shake my head at. I'm an old man that likes to garden and plant flowers. I'm way past awkward and onto "leave me alone cause I'm grumpy."

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  21. It's terrifying, but I think it's fantastic that you shared and that they responded with enthusiasm. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Having reviews of my work read aloud would've terrified me, too. Ack!

    And being socially awkward seems to be a prerequisite for most authors, so at least you're in good company! XD

    ReplyDelete
  23. You're a wise woman not to read reviews. They make me neurotic.

    I want the reclusive cabin with Chris Hemsworth, chocolate, and internet too.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm one of those readers who does not really read high fantasy, but I enjoyed your story.
    So creative!!
    (Maybe they read my review aloud to the group...)

    ReplyDelete
  25. well, you definitely have issues... but that’s why we love ya! it also makes you a great writer =)
    and so glad you got out and did that event - hope it went well!
    here’s to admitting we have insecurity!
    Tara Tyler Talks

    ReplyDelete
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