Please join us in welcoming GRL 2016 Supporting Author Saxon Hawke today, as we head into the final two weeks of the countdown to Kansas City.
The Curious Lives of Anxious Writers and Readers
I cannot believe that two weeks from today I will be loading up my covered wagon, stocking the car with Tim Horton’s coffee, and starting my trek to Kansas City for GRL 2016.
Am I excited? Yes!
Am I ready? Kind of!
Am I a big ball of anxiety? Hell yeah!
Anxiety. It’s a common trait in our tribe. And yet, at some point during the year we venture forth out of our cozy blanket forts, don adulting pants, and make our way to events which include a lot of people to meet friends, fans, and idols. What are we thinking? Don’t we know we’re all introverts? Or at the most extroverted introverts?
I’m one of those slightly more sociable introverts who tends to think things sound just great when I sign up for something, only to crumble into a twitching pile of nerves when the time comes to actually put on my pants and go out. Looking back at the thing’s I’ve put my hand up for, you’d think I craved attention. I so don’t. Well, maybe just a titch, but not much. I’ve volunteered to be on television for a local children’s organization. I’ve said, “sure!” when an event needed someone to do a last minute reading. And I clicked “Supporting Author” on the registration for this year’s GRL. Seriously…the spotlight and me are not friends. I think it’s a filter thing – my brain filters everything as a “woohoo”. Stupid brain.
Some might have seen my post in the official GRL 2016 Facebook group with what I thought should be the alternative GRL shirt. For those who missed it, it states rather proudly: Introverts unite! We’re here. We’re uncomfortable. And we want to go home. I have never seen anything that sums up this tribe better. For those going to GRL, you can look for the Introverts Unite squad wearing their shirts on the Friday in Kansas City. And yes, we’ll want to go home, but not before we stock up on books and swag.
For me, this year’s anxiety is coming from a new place. Last year, when I attended my first GRL as a reader, I was anxious about not knowing anyone. I had not “met” anyone before, and although I had friends on Facebook, they were not relationships that it seemed everyone else had – friendships forged in the fiery pits of bookdom. Putting yourself out there when you are going solo is hard. Looking back, I did have a great time, but I realized there were things I could have done differently. This year, although I know people, have met people, and done questionable things with some of those people (shhh…I’ll never tell), I’ve made a few tweaks to ensure I get even more out of the trip. I opted to room with a group of people rather than having a room to myself which would allow me to hermit myself away far too easily. Because, if you give an introvert a place to hide, they will find and use it. I’ve made dates to meet up with people I’ve met and those I only know from the Book of Face. I’ve looked back on last year’s event and made adjustments which will hopefully allow me to enjoy GRL to it’s absolute fullest.
The main point of pure “ack” for me this year is attending as a Supporting Author. Yes, hello, I’ll be at a table where I cannot hide. Well, I could hide, but with my bad knee, once I got under the table I’d never be able to get back out. So I’ll be there in all my naked author glory with an ebook novella and a novel that I’m doubting will be done in time. So I’ll have some postcards for a coming soon book. That makes me anxious. But I have some cool swag, so I’m hoping to distract people with pretty shiny things. That’s my anxiety – that I’m not worthy of being there. Hell, even if my novel is done in time I’d still feel the same way. I am looking forward to seeing everyone, but I’m just feeling pretty damned small. That’s how I’ll be wearing my anxiety.
So finally my advice for those who have bravely put their hands up in the GRL group introducing themselves as a GRL newbie and asking for guidance on their first attendance – you are not alone. Putting your hand up in the group is the first step. When those of us who have been there see your name badge over in the corner, we will come and get you. Even if you haven’t said a word in the group, we’ll all recognize the “deer in the headlights” look on your face and we’ll come say hi. We will be there for you. But include yourself. Go to the panels and readings. I met so many people just by sitting next to them at a panel. Sign up for a Friday game night event (like the Daring Author Trivia I’ll be participating in along with a group of amazing Featured and Supporting Authors). I know it’s like jumping out of a plane, but we will be your parachutes. And when you need some down time, take it. Alone time is like water to introverts…we need it to survive. Make sure though, once you’ve recharged, come back out. I know the fort blanket is warm and cozy, but there is a friend you haven’t met yet back down in one of the conference rooms waiting for you. That I can promise.
I look forward to seeing the friends I know, and the friends I didn’t know I’ve been missing in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be epic!
P.S.: Here’s a peek at the book that will probably not be done in time. But there is a guy in a kilt and it’s a super pretty cover (thank you Kellie Dennis at Books by Design for the amazing work)
About the Author
Caffeine addict. Sarcasm aficionado. Maker of words.
Saxon can be found either on her computer or talking to random people in elevators to annoy her son. She believes that love is love, and although she does believe that all her characters deserve a happily ever after, she’s not opposed to messing with them a little bit before they get there.
You can find Saxon down her rabbit hole at www.saxonhawke.com or pretty much anywhere on social media: