“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” Stephen Hawking
There was a young woman at the writing conference I attended recently, and all I could do was stare at her with admiration (and yes, a touch of envy).
You’ve probably come across people like her — why, you might even be one yourself!
She didn’t seem to know a stranger.
Rising from her seat at every break, she went from attendee to attendee, introducing herself, shaking hands, exchanging business cards and contact information. And she seemed happy to be doing it!
That got me thinking about why I was sitting in my chair, surrounded by writers who were sitting in their chairs, fearful of interacting.
At first, I blamed it on my being an introvert, more comfortable on the fringes of a group, hiding from the spotlight.
But my third grade teacher, presented with my parents’ fears over my shyness, assured them, “Debbie talks when she has something to say.”
And I do.
As a journalist, I regularly spoke with attorneys in the courtroom, candidates for public office, business executives, civic leaders. I figured they put pants on the same way I did — one leg at a time.
And when I worked in sales, I regularly spoke with doctors, pharmacists, business owners, reps for other companies.
None of that terrified me.
But a room full of writers? Yep, shaking-in-my-boots scared.
I think it’s because I feel inferior. A charlatan. Despite the fact that I’ve written almost ever since I could hold a pencil, I don’t see myself as a “WRITER.”
Writers are these amazing souls who provide enchanting worlds for readers to live in for a while. They create characters so mesmerizing, dialog so sparkling, stories so riveting, that we ache when we finish their books.
I’m not sure I’m good enough to do that. Actually, I’m not sure any of us at that conference is good enough to do that!
I like to think this young woman was counteracting her nervousness by finding solace in the presence of others, while I prefer to withdraw into my own thoughts and company.
Just a difference in personality, really.
And there’s nothing inherently wrong in playing to one’s strong suit, is there?
How about you? Do you work a crowd, or hang back a little?
(Note: I’ll have one more post about the writing conference before resuming “regular programming”!)