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I’m a Writer, Not a Conversationalist

Confession: I am an introvert, as I imagine the majority of writers must be. This makes the tasks of self-promoting, public speaking, and the ever-dreaded networking nearly insurmountable for me. While an extrovert views a room full of strangers as a room full of potential friends, I use the spy skills I’ve acquired from watching Alias and all the Jason Bourne movies to scope out all the escape routes. Alas, I am not as agile and quick to escape as Sydney and Jason; thus, I usually find myself stuck in awkward small-talk. I despise small-talk. It’s so…small… and insignificant. I only want to exchange verbal words that have meaning. And don’t get me started on having to talk about myself to strangers.

All of this is to express to my readers the fear and anxiety I felt going into the huge book signing and author event I was part of on Saturday. There were around fifty authors and random people coming into the Veterans Memorial Library in St. Cloud, Florida that day. I felt like part of an assembly line, or worse, part of a speed-dating event. Authors were lined up at tables with our books, business cards, and shining smiles on display. Potential readers journeyed from table to table, judging our books by their covers, occasionally asking us questions about ourselves and our books. Whenever I had the chance to talk, I felt like I was vomiting incoherent strings of words.

Yet, I felt a value in all of the torture.  It was a chance to be seen, to tell about Drew, my dear protagonist/me, and to see what other authors do. We all had a chance to learn from each other, spanning across the genres. Yes, this was a valuable experience, even if it made me feel as out of place as an adult at a Justin Bieber concert.

I also just gained access to my interview from the event. 


Getting out of Myself

At this time of year I’m usually absorbed in getting myself ready to teach another year of high school, but if you’ve followed my past blog posts you know I will not being going back this year, so that’s freed me up a bit.  Instead, I’ve been filling my time with home improvement projects and giving a new life to my book.  What this all amounts to is that I’ve been home alone and wrapped up tightly in my own cocoon of me.  This is the introvert Terri.  She cares deeply about others, but if nobody checks on her, she tends to lose track of the world and just sort of fold up inside herself.

Ok, I’m done referring to myself in the third person.  I just wanted to try it out for a bit, but it’s going to get creepy if I take it any further.

Thankfully, I’m about to experience a takeover of my attentions, and I really need it.  Next week I’m going to Guatemala on a mission trip.  I will be building houses, presenting vacation bible school activities to children, and hanging out with a team of 16 other people, and getting very little time for my cocoon, and I’m glad for that.  I love cocoon time, but now it’s time for me to reach out and love others.  I cannot wait to see what God has planned.

If you are interested in seeing what our team does while on the trip, follow us at

I may or may not be posting to this blog while I’m there.  It depends on the demands on my time and how well wi-fi works where we will be staying.  If I don’t post for a bit, check out the above link, to which I will definitely be posting, as it is one of my roles on the team to update the team’s blog.

So, Now What?

I honestly don’t have anything interesting or inspired to write today, but I’m doing it anyway.  I decided when I woke up this morning (way earlier than I would have liked) that I was going to have to establish routine in my life, or I really will feel like I’m on a perpetual summer vacation, which though many people feel I am, I am not.  I will need to do something in the near-ish future to help earn money around here.  We’ve lived off one income before, but it was not fun.

So I am setting out to create a routine for myself in order to make sure I get what I need done so I won’t feel guilty when I do what I want to do.  For some reason I have a real problem with that.  I think maybe because I worked nonstop as a teacher I feel I am not allowed to ever do anything for myself.  Obviously this is an issue I need to get over (and part of the reason I knew I had to leave the profession).  I can’t spend all my time reading, writing, or watching Doctor Who, now can I?  I have a constant to do list scrolling through my head, so I need to compromise with myself.  Being the organized person I am, this should not be a problem.

The other predicament I find myself running into, due to my preoccupation with my previous occupation, is that much has built up that needs to be done around the house in the form of organization, and it may not fall in the category of routine, but it does fall in the category of some stuff seriously needs to be thrown away if it doesn’t get put away, and I need to figure out where “put away” actually is.

This isn’t an exciting post, but I feel I have accomplished something I can cross off my Monday list, and I always feel better when I write down my frustrations.

Also, I’ve had much time to myself in the last week (maybe too much), so socialization should probably be added to my list. As an introvert,  I forget to get out of my own head and into social settings sometimes. The dilemma here is that since most social settings revolve around food, and I am currently limited in that area since Robert and I are on a strict two-week flush and detox diet, I have purposely closed myself off.  Today begins week two, so wish me luck in eating my veggies but not becoming one.