Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An Introvert Doing What Doesn't Come Naturally

by Wendy Delaney

Thanks, Rebecca, for letting me hang out here with you at Once Written, Twice Shy. Like a lot of writers, I’m a natural introvert. Now that I’m as grown up as I’m going to get, I like to think that I’m not as shy as I used to be -- that maybe with age comes a little more wisdom and a bit more confidence. Or maybe I’m just getting better at pasting a smile on my face and faking that confidence when I walk into a room full of strangers, or when I step up to a podium to present a workshop at a writers conference.

As an unpublished author with dreams of booksignings and public appearances in her future, I know that putting myself “out there” is something I need to get better at if I want to experience success as a published author.

How exactly does one improve at something that doesn’t come naturally? As with most anything, I think the answer lies in practicing, in repetition, in the achievement of small successes that we can build upon. Was the fifth workshop I presented to a group of writers easier (and a better experience for me and them!) than the first? Heck, yes! Not only was I more mentally prepared than the first time, I had a realistic expectation of success as a speaker. Why? Because I’d previously experienced it.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with blogging. I can’t say that I’ve experienced much in the way of success with it, nor does trying to come up with something interesting to say to the blogosphere come naturally, so I decided to go another direction with it and make it more interesting and relevant for me, personally. That decision is now launching missiles through the boundaries of my comfort zone. And as I write this and remind myself of what the heck I’m about to do, the optimist in me wants to believe (okay, reality check time -- HAS to believe) that’s because it’s the right decision.

Here’s the deal: Starting October 29, which happens to be right after my birthday, my blog at Plotmamas will kickstart a year-long quest for more success -- my commitment to achieving more personal success, more professional success. I’m calling this my year of living dangerously. Really, what seems more dangerous for an introvert than putting herself “out there” each month in a public forum? Do I wrestle with the notion of “going public” with my goals? Of making myself personally accountable to the blogosphere? You bet I do! Are the butterflies in my stomach getting ready for takeoff, just like when I stepped to a podium and spoke into a microphone for the first time? Yep. But if I’m able to position myself for a more successful future and share what I learn along the way with anyone who cares to stop by, isn’t that worth an internal flutter or two?

As Cynthia MacGregor advised here a few weeks ago,
To make your blog interesting, you have to open up. You cannot be shy and retiring.”  I’m taking your advice to heart, Cynthia.  Even if my blog is just more interesting to me over the course of the next twelve months, that’s a step in the right direction -- maybe just a baby step, but that’s okay, because whether we’re introverts, extroverts or something in-between, every step on this writing journey counts.   


About Wendy: Wendy Delaney writes cozy mysteries but true to her romance roots, no matter how rocky the relationship between her mother and daughter sleuths, she’s determined to give them their happily ever afters. Ideally, at the end of a twelve-book series! A long-time member of RWA and Sisters in Crime, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience in workshops throughout the Pacific Northwest and online at Plotmamas.com. Wendy makes her home in the Seattle area with her husband and has two grown sons. You can reach her at wendy(at)wendydelaney(dot)com, or her website.

7 comments:

  1. You'll do great at Plotmammas! And yes, coming up with something personable each month might be a stretch, but you have a lot of humor so I'm looking forward to your posts. Congrats for taking this step forward!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for coming on today, Wendy. Blogging, while sometimes a pain, is worthwhile in the long run. You'll do great at Plotmamas.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It shocks me that you're a introvert Wendy - you are so accommodating and helpful when we ask you questions during one of your great classes helping the younger writers!

    I wish you nothing but success in this upcoming year, but in all honesty, I don't think you need it. You already have the chops to kick all our butts. Now that you are determined, no one can stand in your way :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wendy,
    I hope your year-long quest brings you everything that you dream of!

    Alexis
    (another one who thinks of herself as shy even when no one else believes it)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the wonderfully encouraging comments. You gals are the best!

    Danielle, you made me laugh. Never really thought of myself as having chops. But maybe they're like Dorothy's ruby slippers--something we all possess. Or better yet, they're like the Force. Use the Force, Wendy. Yeah, I'm rolling with that this year.

    Thanks all for stopping by. And thanks to Becky for this great blog. I feel like I'm in such good company! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm with Danielle - I've never seen you as an introvert. Since I started w/ GSRWA, you've been doing workshops and volunteering in all sorts of jobs. I guess that my perception if you has been shaped by seeing you in those capacities. But hearing that you consider yourself an introvert makes me in awe that you're challenging yourself in this way. Bravo! Good for you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Celeste, thanks for stopping by! I'll let you in on a not very guarded secret. Volunteering is a great way for us introverts to dip our toes in the typically more extroverted waters.

    This year-long venture will definitely be a challenge. Thanks for being along for the ride! :)

    ReplyDelete