Social Anxiety Be Gone!

anxietyWhen I first took the plunge and decided to publish A Girl from the Hill, I never considered the next logical step – selling A Girl from the Hill. I was clueless about the feelings that come from creating something, sweating and crying and laughing and agonizing over this baby of mine, only to then try to convince the rest of the world that it’s worth their time – and money.  Holy crap, I said to myself then and still say now. This marketing stuff is not easy.

I am not sure what I expected, for though I’m expressive, I’m just pathetic at networking, small talk, and walking up to people and asking them if they’d like to read my book. No, I’m the person who will sit with a million boxes of books printed and ready to sell in her living room, calmly waiting for the crowds to arrive. My ninety-year-old mother is a better salesperson than I am. “Didja know there’s a book about me?” she crows to anyone who will listen. And they listen.

So I’ve been trying to sell my book, and having all kinds of interesting adventures in the process. The best part of the selling process, besides making money, is, and I never thought I’d say this, meeting people. Not only meeting people, but talking to people. About me. And my book. And a whole bunch of other things that are important to us. Yes us. I am learning to become engaged, and hopefully, engaging.

You see, I often dread the thought of new places with new people. Even familiar places with familiar people. Call it social anxiety because that’s exactly what it is.  It isn’t apparent to people I work with, and I enjoy leading teams and projects successfully

Tonight, though, I wanted to take a moment to mention how incredibly fun it has been so far to talk to new people about writing and books, especially my book, these past eighteen months. Really, it’s been great therapy to share part of my life with others and not feel responsible for their happiness at the same time. Maybe they like me and my work, maybe they don’t. But I will not pass out and die if they don’t approve of me. Who knew?

The other aspect of this whole marketing thing that I’m grateful for is the writer friends I have made along the way. Whether it’s my blog buddies who write great stuff and urge me on when I blog, or the writers from ARIA or  ASTAL who share their work and their advice with me, and whose work provides me with the inspiration I need to keep writing even if it’s for 5 minutes a day.

So thank you all, who I’ve met so far on this journey, who write, read, share, and who have helped me grow as a person and a writer. Looking forward to next weekend at the Scituate Art Festival, when I’ll get another opportunity to reach out and find some more reasons to feel grateful and inspired.