This past weekend, I deliberately — and quite willingly — went from Introverted Writer to Extroverted Event Participant and in doing so, gave myself a boost of something I didn’t know I’d been missing.
The event was the Big Island Book Fest in Courtenay, British Columbia, and the *something* was being face to face with people who love books — who love to write them and who love to read them. Over the course of the very full day I had one wonderful interaction after the other and my original purpose — “sell lots of books” — shifted quickly to “make lots of connections.”
Reader, I did. I met writers hoping to be published (or self-publish), including a couple of teenagers. I met first-time authors, and others like me with numerous books out. I even did a handful of impromptu Q & A’s about the ins and outs of self-publishing.
In short, I had a blast.
At first, I found it challenging to talk about the books I had on display. I just wanted to hold one up in front of my face and hope it would lure curious passers-by to stop and browse. But once I started to chat with people about the books and authors they love, everything got easier. I even added a couple new-to-me fantasy authors and titles to my TBR pile.
I’m grateful to every single person who stopped at my table. I had a small basket of free stickers at the front (I have a sticker problem and I culled my collection for this event), which was a nice ice-breaker. I also had a terrific table-mate and by the end of the first hour, John had gotten very good at pitching my books.
This morning, I shared my insight about face-to-face interactions with my friend, author Ali Williams. Ali’s in the UK, which is eight hours ahead of me, and our paths often cross as I’m starting my day and hers is winding down. As we chatted about the book fest, I added that I wanted to figure out how to take the joy I experienced at the in-person event, and apply it to social media and my newsletters.
Ali suggested I think about connection; about being more open with my readers (and potential readers) about who I am and what I do. I don’t have to relay every little thing that’s going on in my life — but I could do better.
So, I shall, starting with this blog post.
Reader, I’m struggling, and have been since I took on a part-time day job in July. Switching gears multiple times a day has been difficult, and I’m trying different strategies to make sure I protect my writing time — and use those hours productively.
Before making this morning’s coffee, I first had to finish unloading the car (when we got home from the book fest, we grabbed the essentials from our bags and collapsed, lol). Looking up, I marveled at the bright stars I could see within a small patch of clear sky. Closer to the horizon, the sliver of moon glowed. I made myself stand there, taking in deep breaths along with the beauty of the predawn sky. Which is another important reminder to just… stop. Look around. Take it all in.
And then get on with the day 🙂
Check out The Goddess Diaries, my new project with the aforementioned Ali Williams, on Youtube! Our next recorded chat will go up in early November 2022.