Friday, May 21, 2010

Leave Me at Home

Please help me welcome author Mysti Holiday. Mysti is a very busy SAHM who dreams of warm climates and hot bodies. Most people know she writes, but not what she writes about: sexy men and the wanton women who love them. She's married to a wonderful man who happily sacrifices himself for research, and she spends most of her days dreaming of interesting and unusual situations in which to place her characters. But most of all, she's a sucker for a happy ending. Mysti's erotic romance, SHUT UP AND KISS ME, is available now from The Wild Rose Press. Visit Mysti on her blog, The Menagerie.

HERE'S MYSTI: I have a confession to make... something most folks simply wouldn’t believe.

I’m painfully shy. Shy to the point of being incapacitated.

What? Why are you laughing? Just because I talk to everyone I see, just because I have no problem with public speaking or getting up on stage, and I can even sing in front of people, you don’t believe I’m shy?

I am.

Every time I face new situations, I die a little inside. When I meet new people, I’m terrified. But, the fact is, new stuff is a fact of life. So I can either sit in my house with the curtains drawn and suck my thumb, or I can figure out how to deal with it. Because besides being shy, I’m also stubborn.

Here’s how I learned.

From my earliest memories, I can remember performing. In kindergarten I was in drama and playing the Empress of China ( I still remember one of my lines: “Rise, my subjects.” *G*). In sixth grade, I learned how to play basketball so I could hang out with my secret crush (he was the basketball star ... and I asked him to teach me), and I learned so well I ended up captaining the team. In seventh grade I learned how to juggle. In ninth, I joined choir and drama. As an adult, I took speech classes and worked as a bartender. I’ve always been in the public eye and it’s easy to do.

You know why? Because when I’m the captain of the basketball team or the Empress of China, I’m not ME. Me is shy. Me is terrified of new people and sits in a corner and cries when she’s expected to go outside her comfort zone (which is pretty much anything and everything). The Empress of China is confident and proud and secure. She drapes herself over Me and shows her how it’s done. Me happily stands aside and lets the Empress, or the Captain or the Bartender take over.

It’s make believe that lets me do it. I’m a terrifically private person and very few people know anything about me. They may think they know, but they don’t. They know about the Empress or the Captain or the Bartender, but Me is carefully buried in a place where she can cringe when the Bartender greets a new customer and carries on a conversation, or when the Empress stands on stage and says her lines.

It’s my version of picturing the audience in their underwear. I just become someone else, and it protects Me.

Think about it. Everyone does it. When you dress for work in a business suit, or put on your hooker red lipstick to give yourself confidence, you’re becoming someone else. You’re using props to create a new persona to help you get through an uncomfortable situation. Why not do that all the time?

Today, wear your confident author persona and push through. You CAN do a book signing. You CAN read an excerpt of your work to a group of ladies at your local library. Just pull out the confident author and put her one. Leave Me at home where she’s happiest.

Give it a shot. What do you have to lose?

9 comments:

  1. Hey Rebecca -- thanks so much for having me today!! I'd love to know what your other readers do to help them through those situations that make them want to crawl into a hole... lol..

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  2. I love an essay by Louise Plummer called "Fear I Embrace You." She points out (in a very funny way) that most things we do just FEEL like they will kill us, they won't actually kill us.

    from one shy author to another, bravo for embracing the fear and living anyway. :-) And best of luck on your tour!

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  3. Mysti, what a great blog. I love the idea of leaving Me at home. I do that when I teach fitness classes--otherwise I could never do it.

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  4. What a great post, Mysti! I like how you think of it as playing a role. "I'm doing XXX, because that's what an XXX would do." Besides, who wants to be a Me? Me is boring, while the Empress of China is beautiful, charming, and witty.

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  5. No one takes over, not for me. I just hold the fear off to one side, and jump in. It doesn't matter so much to me as I get older. What can they do to me. Is my new attitude.
    But I feel that fear, I just choose to push it away, and I admit that is hard to do
    But to say no one knows the real me, that's seems a bit sad somehow. You have done so well, you don't need to hide anymore Misti! Because you rock!

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  6. Pauline, that sounds like a great essay! I wonder if it's available online? I'm going to look when I'm done here.

    Rebecca, thanks again for having me -- and I agree completely!

    Laurie, I think everyone puts on an act to a certain extent ... a bank teller acts a certain way at work, and another way at home. It works!

    Mary, I suppose to say that "no one" knows the real me is a bit untrue, but I will say that I'm very difficult to get to know for many reasons. And, as I said to Laurie, we all behave different ways in different venues and to different people. I am absolutely different when I'm hanging out with my in-laws than I am with my best friend. Does it mean I'm compromising something? I'd like to think not! Thanks for your compliment, though. I'll take it *G*

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by!

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  7. It might be. I know it is included in this book of essays:

    http://www.amazon.com/Thoughts-Grasshopper-Oddities-Louise-Plummer/dp/0875795579/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_5

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  8. Rebecca: I love your book titles--crisp and to the point. Interesting blog. In a workshop one time, the presenter said that taking an acting class or being in Little Theater was one of the best ways to learns about characterization and dialogue, so there you go! That's why you revert to Chinese Empress! To improve your characters--and all this time you thought it was because you were shy.

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  9. That's great advice - I tend to do the same thing. Being in the public eye terrifies me, but I'm getting so much better at dealing with it. :)

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