|Where I will be facing my fears...|
Image courtesy of Kenneth Allen via Geograph
Licensed under Creative Commons 2
I’m in a state of some considerable confusion right now, and it’s all because of something I ought to be tremendously excited about. I’ve been asked to do some library talks.
You might think I should be leaping about for joy, but the idea of it stressed me out so much that when I’d sent the email saying I’d do it I had to go away and eat a bar of chocolate to recover. Let me tell you: that isn’t normal for me.
Realistically, there shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t mind talking. (Ask anyone who knows me.) In a previous life I worked in economic consultancy and — apart from one terrible occasion when I succumbed to a coughing fit and had to be brought a glass of water — I positively enjoyed standing up in front of sometimes-not-very-friendly panels and being cross-examined on the finer details. I even have fond memories of some of my smarter replies to some of the questions (along with some less fine moments, but I prefer ti forget those).
This is different because it involves talking about me, my creative process, my productivity and that old chestnut, my path to publication. It’s one thing doing that over cup of coffee with a friend. We can all do that. But this is different, because it’s in front of people I don’t know. Like every other writer I know, I suffer from impostor syndrome and wake up every day believing that today is the day the world will realise that I can’t write at all, that finding a publisher was luck way beyond justice and that self-publishing is an act of suicidal vanity.
What if they begin to whisper? What of one among them, like the wise child in the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes, points their finger at me and says the unsayable? “Look at the Emperor! He has no clothes on!”
Is it possible to die of humiliation?
I’ll let you know.