Tales of an Introvert

This is the story of how I managed to sabotage myself thanks to my introvert anxieties.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend SaSS18, a much anticipated and large romance authors’ signing in Norfolk, Virginia. It was a dream come true (I got in because someone had to cancel at the last minute) and I was determined to make this opportunity my foot-in into the circle of wonderful authors who always seemed to be invited for these events.

Frightened and stressed young business woman

Even before the day of the event arrived, my anxieties were already kicking in and by the time I checked in at the hotel I was not feeling so good. It only got worse. When the doors opened to the public I was totally overhwlemed. A nonstop stream of self-defeating mantras flashed in my head:

  • You suck as a writer.
  • Nobody reads your books.
  • People think you’re boring.
  • You’re too fat.
  • No one wants to talk to you.
  • They all think you’re an idiot.
  • You don’t belong here.

Depositphotos_81005242_l-2015

No matter how much I fight these inner voices, they are often too strong for me. And this was the case that weekend. Afraid that I would be the one in a corner alone while everyone else was having fun, I ditched all the fun events, those where I could make an impression by talking and networking with other authors and readers.

Afterward came the self-loathing, anger at myself for once again making myself invisible. Apart from a couple of people, no one will remember that middle-aged woman who barely moved out of her table for the whole signing.

Lonely girl crying with a hand covering her face

Names have already began being picked for next year’s event, and I’m not holding my breath–why would they pick someone they can’t even remember? I’m in about three event pictures out of hundreds and I have no one else to blame but myself. Everyone was sweet and welcoming, but my anxieties did what I had promised myself I wouldn’t allow them to do; they ruined something I had looked forward to so much.

Have your anxieties ever done anything like that to you?

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10 thoughts on “Tales of an Introvert

  1. Natalina, at least you got there. Brava for stepping out that far. I always seem to allow others to sabotage my chances to go to such an event.
    Maybe we need to put together an Introverts Only Author event. Less pressure and a lot quieter. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      • Good to hear! That’s what we have to do…be strong and push past things that make us uncomfortable. It’s not easy but the more we do, the more we succeed. I have been terrified to put my writing out there but this month, I published my first novel. Now I am so excited to get the next books out to readers. It’s a bit addicting…the feeling of doing it even when scared to death that everyone’s going to hate it. It turns out everyone loves it. WooHoo! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m up for that only I live in another country! It’s great when you are next to someone and the conversation starts naturally. It’s so much harder when you have to move. But see, you’ve taken one step and survived. Maybe next time see if a friend can help man your table.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pretty much that’s what happened, I talked with my table partners but nobody else, lol. It is a learning experience though so if nothing else I know things now I didn’t before and that’s a good thing 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Paula, I like that idea. If people ask me questions I’m pretty at ease talking to them. It’s that first approach. I see other authors giving people summaries of their books and I’m just like, “Well, it has some humor and some mystery…”

        Like

    • It’s weird how I can strike up conversation with strangers if it’s only one person yet when I’m in a social gathering situation, I clam up. Having friends you’re comfortable with does help in any situation. Paula, your idea about having a friend man her table with her is great. Sometimes we need team to helps us get through it. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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