I suspect I’ll bloat with nausea the moment I hit publish on this post, because I’m about to reveal more than I normally would. But I take solace in the fact knowing I’m likely not alone. That’s the beauty of this inter-connected world.
If I sold a book every time someone online told me I can’t be an introvert because I’m so “outgoing” on social media, I’d have a bestseller.
But there are two reasons why I’m outgoing online:
1) The Internet is easier for an introvert to navigate than the face-to-face world
2) I have to be.
Just as I did in my professional life, I step into my mask and play my role, a role I’ve perfected over the years.
That isn’t to say my interactions are phony. On the contrary. Like most introverts, they are heartfelt and sincere. We’re an empathetic lot. But those exchanges exhaust us. In fact, that’s a chief difference between introverts and extroverts:
Extroverts are energized by social interaction. Introverts are drained by it.
That doesn’t mean we don’t desire it. We just desire it in smaller bits, less often, and with fewer people. Which is why social media is easier.
But even that can leave us sapped. Just as in the face-to-face world, after a social-media-heavy day, I need an escape. That usually means hiding away in my basement, zombified in front of the TV.
But by the next day, I’m ready—and eager—to connect back in. After all, I’m an introvert, not a miserable misanthrope.
So What’s The Problem?
These past couple weeks have been difficult, because they’ve been filled with self-promotion. I don’t like talking about myself in that vein, and I’d rather wear itchy wool underpants than ask people for things.
But as anyone who follows me knows by now, I have a Kindle Scout campaign running for my new book. Sure, that’s groovy. I want to get the manuscript published. But since that outcome depends on reader nominations, promotion is required. Paramount even.
And that makes me feel icky.
Every time I publish a promotional blog post, or send out a tweet, or post to Facebook, I get a peach pit in my stomach. A putrid peach pit. In fact, I feel like a sleaze, as if by promoting myself, I’m saying, “Oh, look how worthy I am.”
Then, to put a rotted cherry on top of my putrid peach, if my book doesn’t get selected for publication by Amazon, I get to experience public rejection. Gee, that’s fun.
I never faced this in my professional life. I went to work, saw patients, documented in charts. Most interactions were one-one-one or between a small group, and the focus was not on me. It was on my patients, just as I liked it. Of course, I got burned out in the process, but that’s a whole other blog post.
But enter the writing world—a world I love but a world I fear. Not the writing itself, but the promotion. It makes me feel like a costumed fraud. And yet, as a big girl, I know it’s necessary.
So my intent isn’t to whine about it. I don’t want to complain authors should not have to promote—they should. I’m just letting you know how I feel, because I’d wager many of you feel the same.
Is She Finally Done Rambling? This is way past her usual word-count
So that’s my saga. Maybe to you it’s not that revealing, but to me it’s like peeling off my skin and showing you my sensory endings.
But no need for “there there” comments and no need to lift my spirits. They’re not down. In fact, I’m quite content. I’m a realist. It is what it is.
But if you know how to get rid of that peach pit, by all means pray tell.
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