I had my very first official Author Signing at Hicklebee's Bookstores last weekend, and boy was it nerve-wracking. But that is no surprise. (I saw my favorite author, Brent Weeks last night for his #BrokenEyeTour and was so nervous, I was sweating through my shirt.) Right. So…I've come to accept that many things make me anxious. Even other peoples book signings. To my credit, it was a little like meeting a celebrity, got to shake his hand, and take a photo with him and everything, so I was quite nervous the whole time. Anyhow, my natural high-anxiety is why I'm much more comfortable at home, relaxing to a movie, a book, and snuggled in with my boyfriend and cat, rather than being out and about at social events.
I organize events for a living, that's my job to put it simply. And that's more than enough socializing for me. I work with University students, helping them get connected to Tech Startups to hopefully land them a job opportunity. It's so much fun! And it is incredibly emotionally draining. You see, nobody believes me when I say that I'm an introvert. Yep, I can already see your eyes narrowing with doubt. Because I am a cheerful, energetic little busy bee, always smiling, giggling, and getting work done. That's me. So how, you ask? How can I be an introvert and not keel over and die from the stress and anxiety of pretending to be an extrovert?
I recently switched jobs and took a new role at a different company knowing I'd have to be on the phone with different people all the time--talking more than I ever have since I was in high school (remember those days when you'd be on the phone for hours with your BFF talking about…everything and nothing?). The answer to the question above is that I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to keep growing and keep challenging myself. And that's exactly what's happened. I'm able to put myself out there one small measure at a time because one experience after another makes it a little less scary.
It doesn't come without a cost. And what a price that is...I am run ragged. All the time. No energy what-so-ever for after-work evening social events, unless it involves a heavy amount of wine, and even then my gaze will avert to my watch knowing instinctively when it's 9pm and that it's officially late. And that one minute more and I will never get enough quiet time and sleep to recharge my introvert batteries.
Well…there's that. Suffice to say that it took me a whole day and night to recover after the Author Signing, spending most of it in solitude so I could gear up for a whole week of my endlessly talking and socializing job. :) It's fun. I swear.
The Author Signing at Hicklebee's was amazing. I was last on the roster (out of six authors) to give a ten minute speech about myself and the book. Talk about sweating bullets. I started off with a firm, "So…let me say that I'm definitely a writer and not a public speaker." To which the audience smiled and chuckled, and the rest is sort of a mystery because my mind went into self-preservation mode and sort of just forgot the whole traumatic event. It went well, so I was told. It was worth the discomfort for all the books that were purchased and all the wonderful people I met. I was most warmed by the mom's and young teenage girls who were inspired by the character Aeva and the story of how she came to be.
Sort of a like a dream come true. :)
I don't really want to willingly do that again in the future. But one does what one must in order to fulfill their dreams.
Here are a few photos of me at the event!
|Can you see the fear in my eyes?|
|And the rest of the speech went pretty smoothly. I'd recommend folks print out or write notecards to help them with their speeches! It certainly helped me.|
|I got to meet so many people who got a copy of Violet Storm!|
|This is right before I started speaking. A friend told me that the best thing to do is just smile. Keep smiling and the rest will follow.|
|Here's a photo of me and author, Brent Weeks last night at Borderlands Bookstore in San Francisco. It was such a pleasure. He's written the wildly successful Night Angel Trilogy and the Lightbringer Series.|