Wednesday, November 25, 2015

True confessions of an introvert

A shout out to Firefighter Mike, who has so graciously answered my questions, pointing me in the right direction, given me ideas in previous books. His lovely wife is my pet sitter for those occasions when I take The Big Guy and run away from home.

I'm not always comfortable talking to new people, am not naturally outgoing by nature. As I work on this next book, I need more firefighter/paramedic information (I may have mentioned that last week), and I asked FF Mike's lovely wife if I could bother him with more ridiculous author-type questions.

True confessions. I'd feel comfortable chatting with Mike after past communications, but I always worry, as an author, if I'm "bothering" people, and I understand he is currently indisposed, so I'm even more apprehensive to bother him. Options? I have two fire stations very close to where I live and I've considered stopping in and making a nuisance of myself.

I was in the grocery store over the weekend and saw a contingent of firemen doing the shopping for the firehouse. But did I walk up to them and say, "Hey, can I pop over and ask some questions for this project I'm working on?"


Why not?

Enter Writers' Angst. What if the story I'm writing sucks? What if I make an idiot of myself in front of these guys asking stupid questions and I never go anywhere with them? Have I wasted their time? After all, they have more important things to do than talk to a "romance author." (Imagining male eye-rolls.) Then there's the whole "talking to strangers" thing, even though they are "good" strangers. (Have I convinced you that I'm a nutcase yet?)

Plan B. There is an internet loop of just these sorts of people who are willing to answer author questions. Yes, I'm going to tap them, too. Why not stick with them? Then I lose the personal touch, the same personal touch that scares me in the first place!

I follow another highly successful author's blog, an author who is painfully awkward with people, horribly introverted. I hate to think I'm like that, but on days like this, I can completely empathize with her. Fortunately, there are many days where I actually enjoy stepping out and meeting new people. Different personalities, different stories that feed my imagination.

Just not when I'm in the throes of writers' angst...

On Tuesday I went back to the grocery store (Thanksgiving is just around the corner, you know) and wouldn't you know it? Another batch of fireguys were also doing shopping. You'd be very proud of me. I went up to them and talked to them and everything! Made my trip to the station to fill in the details so I get it right...


  1. Once you get over that first hurdle, it gets easier (says someone who's had the phone numbers of 2 cattle ranchers stuck on her printer for months, yet doesn't want to bother them.) Picking up the phone is what's hard for me. If I run into people on airplanes, or in the grocery store, I'm much more likely to walk up and pesitfy myself.

    1. agreed, but it all depends on the mood of the day. I DID nudge my husband on the weekend and say "I need to talk to them" and then chickened out. He asked "Why not?" and all I could say was "not now." Sometimes I have to work myself up to it, ya know? I was ready to talk to one, but when there were three of them at the checkout, I lost my confidence. And there has to be three of them at the checkout, in case they get a call. So divide and conquer wasn't an option... But my thanks to Lieutenant Mike at Station 1 for being so gracious and giving me his time yesterday!