In less than four weeks, I get to scratch “publish novel” off my bucket list and remove “wannabe” from in front of “author” on my life resume. This should be exciting, right? So why are my palms sweating? Well, I find myself neck-deep in publicity plans, not a good thing for an introvert, because it involves crawling out from my shyness cave and greeting the world.
My shyness cave is my self-imposed retreat from society. It’s not really a physical place, more of a mental state. I can be in my shyness cave in the middle of a mall food court. In fact, it’s a great shyness cave because what normal, non-creepy person would randomly strike up a conversation with me while I fill my pie hole? Total safety. I can be as antisocial as I like in the midst of several hundred hungry strangers.
More typically, though, my shyness cave involves anyplace I can set up my laptop or phone as some sort of electronic aegis to shelter me from unplanned, random interactions. There are the usual places at home: the bedroom, the living room, the backyard when it’s not 110 degrees, or wherever the cat happens to be. The cat likes shyness caves too, only his usually involve blankets.
Then there are public places that serve the cause of anonymity rather well: Starbucks is an obvious choice, as are the floors of bookstores, but so is a diner or a quiet park or duck pond or the plaza in front of a corporate building. All those places have worked for me in the past.
And now I have to leave them. I have to emerge from the cocoon around my psyche and emerge all pretty and outgoing and fluttery. I have to be colorful and warm and fuzzy. I have to sign books, talk about my book, plug my book, and sign more books. If I don’t, there will never be a book two or a book three or a book ________.
And writing becomes just something that I used to do.
So. Buh-bye, shyness cave. I’ll see you in a few months.