This is a spectacular piece on introversion and coping mechanisms. And I cannot do it justice but to grab a blockquote and add a link.
But mostly my introversion and anxiety is toughest in social situations required for my career, things that you may not think are vital to the writing life, and, in general, aren’t until you can actually write. My day job has endless social opportunities, most of which I am able to avoid, but one must make the twice-annual drinks or dinner with colleagues trek, and for those I prep stories and anecdotes and nurse my one beer and work at trying to react to stories and anecdotes like a human would. Out in the novel writing world, though, when we go to a convention it’s not just *A* lunch or *A* dinner, but a multi-day affair of panels, readings, signings with fans, drinks, dinners, lunches and breakfasts. Cons are a mad affair, one that’s gotten easier as I’ve gotten to know people, but no less exhausting.
Folks who see me at readings or panels often comment that I’m a great public speaker, and are horrified to learn I’m introverted.
How do I hack this? Pretty easily.
I actually prepare for it.
I know, right!? Blasphemy. Mad talk. But I prepare book recommendations and a few talking points based on the panel description before I even go. I prepare things to chat with about for folks I know will be there. I go over socially nice things to say. When I’m moderating a panel, or doing a reading, my prep is more extensive. I might spend 30 or 40 minutes coming up with questions and getting them in the best order. When I get there, I write down everyone’s names in order, if I’m moderating, so I can call them by the correct name. It’s also certainly not unheard of that I’ll have a drink before a later panel – a time-honored writing tradition.
Read the full piece from Kameron Hurley.