Tomorrow, I am to meet with a local writers’ group and yes, I am indeed nervous. Not about meeting people – I can get through that as long as there is a minimum of hand shaking, eye contact and naked steel. What I am worried about is the multiple copies of the first chapter of my novel that I am distributing for all to read. Honestly – I know I can take the criticism, but I just don’t know what sort of criticism am I going to get? Gentle advice, cold edicts or harsh phrases of derision – which one will I get? This is why I like the Internet: there is that distance that somehow makes everything a little bit better. I can take online criticism (and boy, have I…) but that whole face-to-face thing makes me a little leery. I’m just not that much of a social creature. When I was acting, it wasn’t me on the stage, it was the character. I could do and say some outrageous things (and I did) because I was back in my dorm room as far as I or anyone else was concerned. Here? Now? Not so much – which is one reason why I like writing so much as a profession – even if your agent wants to shove you out for the entire world to see, it can be kept at a private distance. Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, Twitter – all of these things, while now crucial to getting and maintaining a fan base, are still somewhat private (even Google – sure, you can show everyone a satellite photo of my house and give everyone every bit of information on what I’ve ordered online for the last 5 years [hint: think books], but if no one has put a picture of me out there [and no, they haven’t], you couldn’t pick me out of a line-up). Even this blog, which is private in that only two other people other than myself know of its existence, and only one of the those people know what I look like (pity her for that…). If an agent tells me to have a Facebook fan page set up, I will do so, and be rather active on it, but with only one condition: no pics of me at all whatsoever. I’m not vain (OK – not very…), but I still want to maintain a modicum of privacy.
Is that so wrong in this day and age? Of course, given that I have this blog, the Facebook page and soon to be a website for writing, perhaps this is a case of the horse not only out of the barn, but in the city choosing an apartment and handing out resumes. I can trust my friends not to blab too much – they might not know why initially, but that will be another subject for another time. I know that this blog is somewhat shorter than what I usually do, but I want to make sure I have everything ready for the group – meaning more death of trees.
Wish me luck.
Best Wishes to you, Good Reader.
Seething With Apathy