As I was tidying up my desk today, I came across a fortune cookie fortune that must’ve somehow resonated with me in my not too distant past. It reads –
“He who bravely dares must sometimes risk a fall.”
I’m not, by nature, a risk taker. At all. Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m very good at saying “no,” but not so good at saying “yes” when it comes to new experiences. I’m comfortable in my own skin, and at my age, I know who I am and what I want, but at the same time, if approached to try something new, I normally run panicking out of the room, perhaps even leaving the house altogether, diving into the car, and then screeching down the street towards the distant horizon. Yeah, that’s me.
With less than two weeks left before I leave for Atlanta, I’m trying to figure out how I talked myself into not just going to, but also, partaking in a show where I literally know not a single soul. The thought is terrifying . . . and yet I’m conflicted.
There’s a part of my brain that is lonely. Being an author is a lone, introspective form of therapy where it’s just you, a keyboard, and that gray matter between your ears. It can be cathartic, sure, but there are days where you understand why people go into an office and work a 9 to 5 job. It’s because they have to make money, of course, but there’s something about being around other people. Human beings are not solitary animals – we roam in herds/clans/tribes/gangs/gaggles/whatever word you want to insert here. A human being left alone too long doesn’t fare very well. Same with authors. We need hugs, too.
So there’s that. The part about finding my tribe, that age old dilemma of feeling understood and accepted. Atlanta gives me a chance to see if I can connect and thrive. That’d be nice.
There’s also the part about it being hard to be an author without readers. Pretty self-explanatory. Technically, I can be an author without any readers, but honestly, how depressing would it be to write stuff that nobody read? That my friends is a narcissistic wormhole of self-loathing waiting to happen and not something for me. Life is too short to write stories nobody wants to read, but me.
And while I moan and panic and carry on (ask the husbot) maybe it’s not such a bad thing, this putting yourself out there lark, maybe an old, rigid, and anal retentive dog can learn a new trick after all. Got me. Ask me after TNEE.