If you’re an introvert like me, you know the feeling: standing at the podium with a throng of captivated listeners, eagerly waiting for the first word. Your hands tremble in time to the frantic racing of your pulse. Dryness forms in your mouth and seeps down the back of your throat until every swallow becomes a cacophonous gulp. And still they wait, while nerve endings in your muscles sever ties, leaving you weak and ready to collapse. When you finally speak, the words have to be forced past the lump in your throat. You’re regurgitating monologue entirely from memory, praying that you don’t inadvertently confess that you’re imagining the entire audience buck naked. Hoping that the one person in the crowd you’d like to see naked isn’t reading that expression on your face at this moment.
I’ve always been avoidant of the spotlight; cowering away from large crowds and retreating to the solitude that brings me comfort. So why would I try to publish a book? Everything about book publishing screams scrutinizing attention: from the editor, to the blogger and finally the end-consumer.
The beauty of social networking is having the masses at your fingertips, without actually having to stand at the podium. Don’t get me wrong, blogging and tweeting has its own associated terrors, but at least you don’t get to see me wavering over the keyboard. I’ve had a difficult time wrapping my head around the idea that someone somewhere in the world gives a damn about what I have to say. Okay, some still don’t. But for the few that do, if nothing else, blogging and tweeting provides insight into the baby steps that all aspiring authors must take. So for all you fellow introverts: get out there. Crawl out of the depths of your dark shell, brush the dust off and make some friends.