Thursday, 26 May 2016

Introversion and appointments

You know the old phrase, “Your mouth’s writing a cheque that your body can’t cash?”

OK. Perhaps it’s not that old and perhaps you don’t know it, but I’m sure you can figure it out if you take a minute.

As an introvert I have a constant war raging inside of me. My brain is often thinking up sarcastic and witty retorts that have a way of flowing straight out of my mouth before I can stop them.

The downside is that as soon as the aforementioned retort is out of my mouth, people have a habit of turning and staring.

My brain likes being the centre of attention. Right up until the moment that it is, whereupon it remembers that it hates being the centre of attention and would like to crawl back into the dark hole it came from.

This is exacerbated by writing.

I like sitting alone at home typing out a whole lot of words. It’s fun. Even when it’s hard work that I complain bitterly about.

The great thing about a page full of type is that it doesn’t turn and look at you when you’re feeling vulnerable. A page of typing never dropped by when I was in a non-peopley mood and sat down on my couch to chat.

The sad thing about a page full of type is that nobody knows it’s there by accident.

If I want somebody to actually read the pages, I have to announce it to the world at large. Quite frequently. Far more frequently than my non-peopley soul would find comfortable.

Some of that “promotion” is okay with me. A lot of it is online, where I can happily pretend that all the other people are just more pages of type written by another introverted soul (and a lot of the time I’d be right).

Sometimes, though, I just have to bite the bullet and actually appear in public places and do things in front of other human beings.

Things like talk. About writing and stuff. And how there are books out there that you can buy for money that I can then redeem for food and electricity and wifi.

Usually when I agree to do these things the actual events are months away and I’m fine with the prospect of appearing in front of a crowd.

(I should note here that a crowd is what I call more than one person. More than two people if one of them is my darling because he doesn’t count-in the most wonderful way.)

So, I’ve agreed to things like appearing on TV or talking in front of rooms of people because my imagination likes to pretend that those sorts of things are just fine.

As the time for the actual event draws closer however, my brain reasserts a thing called reality and has to reluctantly agree that although it imagines itself an extrovert it would like to be that while living under a rock.

One such event is fast approaching. I am graciously being hosted, along with two other Christchurch crime writers, by the Christchurch South library at an event called “Murder in the Library.”

It’s next Wednesday at 6.30pm and that is now less than a week away. It’s becoming dangerously close to being soon and that will inevitably lead to it being tomorrow and then this evening.

My mouth has chosen yet again to write a cheque that my jittery nerves aren’t sure they can cash.

The good news is that, at the moment, there are three acceptances on the facebook events page. This nicely coincides with the number of authors who will be on the panel. I’m half-hoping that isn’t a coincidence.

I’m also hoping that “Murder in the Library” won’t turn out to be “Nausea and Stammering in the Library” but only time will tell at this point.

If you’d like to join me, and change the number of acceptances to four, then feel free to register for free tickets on the following events page Murder in the Libary – June 1st.


  1. :) I have discovered that most people that frequent library events, bookstore events etc. are also introverts. They are never happier than when they are sitting alone reading a book. But they want to see what the author really looks like so they go ahead to the event. They may not say anything though. Don't take that personally.

  2. It sounds like we could have a library full of silent people trying not to make eye contact. Not a bad evening :)