Mon. Nov. 19, 2018: Friendliness – An Introvert’s Journey #UpbeatAuthors

Monday, November 19, 2018
Waxing Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Venus DIRECT (as of Friday)
Mercury Retrograde (as of Friday)

 

I am an introvert.

I am perfectly happy to hole up at home for days or weeks on end, writing, and not interacting much.

But my profession does not allow it.

My profession demands that I wear the mask of an extrovert in order to promote my books and to land marketing clients. If people don’t know about them, how can they read them? I’m constantly navigating the line between the public and the personal.

My basic policy is that my work is public; my life is private.

It’s not particularly scandalous or interesting, but it’s MINE. I CHOOSE what to share publicly.

I owe readers good work.

In order to do good work, I need to keep boundaries.

I like many individuals just fine. I’m not fond of “people” all that often.

Yet, when I go to conferences or talk at libraries, I enjoy myself. I like sharing my process, my ups and downs, with them. Most of them ask interesting questions. I like to hear about their journeys, their experiences. I like to know who they are and what matters to them. Some of them make unfair demands, and I’ve learned to shut that down.

At networking events or cocktails or dinners, when someone makes a rude or dismissive comment, I smile, cut them off, walk away, and get on with my life. I don’t owe them my time or attention. I owe that to my work.

This blog, which has now been up for more years that I can comprehend at this point, is a conversation, as far as I’m concerned. I share how the writing and the life weave together or get into conflict. I share ups and downs. There’s plenty I don’t share, especially when it concerns other people in my life. While everyone I interact with is processed into the work in some way, eventually, that doesn’t mean I write about them in the blog as themselves.

I try to give support and encouragement as often as possible, while not allowing myself to be drained by emotional vampires.

I fall short of my own expectations often.

Even events that I enjoy wear me out on multiple levels. Then I have to retreat to recharge.

I’ve finally accepted that it’s okay.

For me, protecting the work, doing what I have to in order to nourish the work, is the most important.

I build relationships, I maintain friendships (amongst my circle, I tend to be the main “kinkeeper” — keeping in touch with people, keeping them in touch with each other).

But I also relish my time alone.

It’s becoming less about wearing a mask and more about keeping a balance.

I don’t like the way we, as writers, are forced to dog-and-pony ourselves. I believe it should be about the work FIRST and we should be in soft-focus, in the background.

Others love to be in the spotlight, and are good at it. More power to them.

But I’m finally learning that I can be friendly by defining my own parameters, my own boundaries, and not feeling guilty or defensive when those are inconvenient for those who want more. I’ve also noticed that the bulk of those who want more offer little in return. It’s also about learning and enforcing discernment.

I’d rather meet someone with an expectation of the positive and let them fulfill it or not than assume the negative. But when they show who they are — for good or for ill — I believe them.

Because being friendly doesn’t mean being a doormat.

Being friendly means offering a warm hand and a warm heart when needed. Knowing when to step forward, and when to step back. When to give support and when to give space.

The space is as important as the contact.

It’s a beautiful, brilliant dance that brings out the best in both partners.

 

Published in: on November 19, 2018 at 6:36 am  Comments Off on Mon. Nov. 19, 2018: Friendliness – An Introvert’s Journey #UpbeatAuthors  
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