Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Outting My Inner Child by Christa Allan

“Author John Green, who has penned a number of acclaimed Young Adult novels, puts it this way: “Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story, but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.”   From the blog, A New Fiction Writers Forum, “Why Introverts Make Good Writers”

CGBlake, author of the blog, shares a sentiment widely expressed by others, which is most writers would call themselves introverts. For many of these writers, being asked to speak publicly is about as appealing as pole dancing on Bourbon Street.
I am not one of those writers (though pole dancing would be a totally humiliating experience for me mostly because, with my lack of grace and athletic ability, I’d have a head injury in less than twenty seconds).
Our topic du jour is authors in the public forum, and after spending 25 years teaching high school English, I’m not uncomfortable being the target of thirty or more sets of eyeballs. Over the years, I developed my teacher “with-it-ness” to recognize when their eyes looked like glazed donuts.
But teaching and sometimes (often?) entertaining teens is far less intimidating for me than presenting to my peers. It’s not so much the being “on stage” as it is attempting to be the “sage on stage” while I’m there. I’m eager to volunteer to give workshops or attend conferences for the opportunity to meet readers and/or other writers. Then, when I arrive and find myself in the company of well-respected agents/editors and writers whose books are NYT bestsellers, my inner child has a wee panic attack.
I wonder, even after having written five novels, what I could say that would be share-worthy because I don’t feel like I’m there yet. That there place where everyone else who’s found recognition must hang out and have lavish parties and chocolate-induced comas.
So, I remind myself that I’ll never be there unless I’m here first. Challenging myself to grow as a writer means being willing to fall off the pole and to trust that the people I meet will catch me.
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You can find Christa at www.christaallan.comFacebook, and Twitter. She and her husband live in  New Orleans with their three neurotic cats and new dog Herman who eats Magic Erasers, bras and jeans. Test of Faith, Christa's latest novel, released in March.


11 comments:

  1. OK, what do you say we try public speaking *while* pole-dancing? Who's with me? Bueller?

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    1. Love that idea! I'll have to wear a helmet, though.

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  2. Um . . . I thought you were *there.*

    The sage on stage is the best phrase ever. I'm going to have to remember that.

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  3. I'm in the introvert category, Christa, and there have been times when the idea of pole dancing would've actually been more appealing than the thought of giving a luncheon keynote... ;) Would love to go with you to one of those lavish parties/chocolate-induced coma events, though!

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    1. Still waiting for an invite myself! Now, a keynote speaker--whoa--haven't been near to climbing that ladder.

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  4. That's a great quote and totally describes my socially awkward self. I'll just be quietly writing (or reading) here in the corner.

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    1. My grandmother used to tell me, "Still water funds deep," so I certain your quietness is belies the depth there!

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  5. Great post, Christa! I actually thought of you when this topic came up. I said, "I bet Christa and all her years in education could teach us a thing or two about public speaking!"

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    1. Fake it till you make it...and, of course, it's a bit easier when they're held captive for 52 minutes!

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  6. I have just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.

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