Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ham to Hermit to Ham Again

I started my professional career as an extrovert. My first job was one of travel, presentations, schmoozing, and always being a collected, articulate representative of the college I worked for. I know I have that skill … somewhere in me. You see, my husband and I have spent a lot of years now as hermits. Regardless of the number of extroverted jobs and roles in my career—and I’ve hammed it up onstage many times—I’m most happy sitting quietly at home and reading a book. Or writing.

Like many writers (and engineers, like the ones I work with), I dread small talk. I don’t mean I dislike chatting with people, but I often feel awkward doing so. Don’t we all? Well, not all. You see, I have a friend who can walk into a room of strangers and have them all dying to talk with her inside of 15 minutes—which is a rare gift I don’t possess. And watching her makes me realize how much better I am at other things….

But again, I have to admit that I can do it. I have done it. But I haven’t flexed those extrovert muscles in a lot of years, and I’m honestly just so darn out of practice.

Back to my point about hermiting (hermitage?). Here I am, facing the classic writer’s dilemma: I’ve finally won my way to publication … and now I will go promote. Part of me wants to run screaming back to my comfy chair and my writing desk (not the one pictured here, but I can dream, right?). Part of me is recoiling from all the prep I’m doing, including photo shoots and video production. Who wants to see that much of themselves?

And yet … there’s a small part of me that’s ready to go. So I’m trying to tune in to that voice, to flex those long-forgotten muscles. It’s time to channel my inner ham, tap into my superstar, and get ready for a year of adventure!


  1. You can do it, Tammy, but you know that. I read a great quote which made me think of you (and am using it in a forthcoming TOJ interview, too, with a woman with whom I think you'll identify):

    “Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.” - E.L. Doctorow

  2. Thanks, Shane! That is a good quote. There's certainly the aspect of putting ourselves out there, whether it's the writing or the promoting. I'll watch for the interview!


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