WMBTSD Giveaway Day Thirteen: September 13, 2007

Today’s giveaway is…

September 13th: The Shy Writer by C. Hope Clark (Funds for Writers 2004).

C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of FundsforWriters.com, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Her magazine credits include Writer’s Digest, The Writer Magazine, ByLine Magazine, NextStep Teen, College Bound Teen, Landscape Management Magazine, TURF Magazine, and American Careers Magazine.

Hope is a motivational soul known as “Freelance Hope” in many circles. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at www.fundsforwriters.com & www.theshywriter.com.

She also writes “Time Management Mastery” for Writers on the Rise. 🙂

About The Shy Writer by C. Hope Clark:

The Shy Writer by C. Hope Clark“If you’ve picked up this book, you have a fear like I do. Or else you desire to help someone who has that fear. This is not a book to make you enjoy speaking and putting on a show in front of strangers. This is a book to help you deal with shyness within the writing world in your own fashion. You do not have to speak at conferences. You do not have to be embarrassed at a book signing. You do not have to hawk your product and feel like a used-car salesman. Or you might have a desire to do all these things but do not know how to start. Your personality is your personality. You write because it meshes well with your character. You do not have to sacrifice yourself to fit someone else’s mold of a writer. Challenge is good for growth, but agony is unhealthy. The comfort level is yours to find.

Here you receive pointers on how to maneuver in the writing arena without the social weight around your neck. And you will learn how to manage during times when you absolutely have to make appearances you cannot dodge. What you won’t receive is a message telling you to “get over it.” While Toastmasters is educational and worthwhile, it is not the cure-all. If you are shy and don’t want to “get over it,” this is the book for you.”

Question to answer in your comment of 50-300 words:

(I’m guessing you guys know what’s coming…) Are you a shy writer? Have you ever been or do you sometimes find yourself feeling shy? Does this feeling interfere with your writing and/or selling your writing? Will it interfere when you become an author? Inquiring minds want to know.

If you are new to the contest, please visit “Station Identification.”

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43 Responses to “WMBTSD Giveaway Day Thirteen: September 13, 2007”


  1. 1 Andrea McMann September 13, 2007 at 5:11 am

    Oh my goodness, I’m horribly shy! I think I’ll have to buy this book even if I don’t win! I’ve been wanting to interview one woman for a while, but I’ve been putting off calling her because I’m too nervous. I worked up the nerve to call her one day and I got the answering machine. I thought, “Yes! I can just leave a message!” but the machine cut me off before I’d said two words! I lost all the nerve I’d originally worked up to call her! Obviously, since I’ve been too nervous to call this woman, my shyness does interfere with my career somewhat. I will have to find some techniqes to boost my confidence. If anyone has any pointers, I’d love to hear them. I’m going to make it my goal to call that woman today. Wish me luck!

  2. 2 Kris September 13, 2007 at 5:30 am

    I like to think I’ve mostly gotten passed it, but at my heart I am basically introverted and somewhat shy. I think it can interfere with my writing, although blogging has been good for me on that front. It probably does interfere with my networking however, since I’m not so likely to be gung-ho about introducing myself and meeting new people. When I become an author I suspect it will interefere, but I will soldier on. 🙂

  3. 3 monica September 13, 2007 at 5:54 am

    ha. looks like i’m the first.

    me shy? maybe. it really depends on the situation. i think i’m shy with other writers, esp. those that i want to be like: published writer moms. sometimes i feel like a nerd sitting in the front of the bus when all the cool kids are hanging out in the back. i dare not sit with them ’cause i’m not in their clique. yet. someday. someday i’m going to be one of those writer moms.

  4. 4 dawn September 13, 2007 at 6:04 am

    First time commenter! Heck, yes I’m a shy writer and it’s been a slow slow road to overcome it. For one, I hate phone interviews and fret myself to death before hand. So for a long time I avoided assignments because I didn’t want to do the interviews. (Or I’d avoid obvious interview subjects to interview people by email even though I don’t think email makes for such great interviews.)

    I haven’t gotten over it — I’ll always be an introvert — but I’ve learned how to take care of myself while I struggle forward. Like I give myself downtime before and after an interview, I take breaks in my hotel room during writing conferences (or even a walk around the block at a writing retreat). I do a lot of networking now and when I feel totally overwhelmed at a big event, I duck into a bathroom stall and do deep breathing.

    But mostly I fake it. I fake like I can handle it and then I can. As long as I have sometime alone afterwards to recover. (Introverts recharge by being alone.) I wouldn’t say it’s become fun but I’ve learned to manage the adrenaline so it doesn’t feel like I’m falling off a cliff. It has gotten easier.

  5. 5 Tiffani September 13, 2007 at 6:15 am

    I’m not shy when it comes to putting the words down. I’m not afraid to get it out and say what I mean. However, when it comes to “selling” myself I get nervous and my heart beats like crazy. I have never picked up the phone to call an editor. Sometimes I get clammy just calling a source for a story. It’s ridiculous! 🙂 But it’s me.

    “The Shy Writer” sounds so intriguing; maybe it can help me get OUT of my own head and stop overanalyzing. “Will they think my idea is dumb? If I call, will my Southern accent put them off? What if I babble like an idiot?”

    I’d love to be able to talk to a crowd (a small one ;-)) about my developing writing platforms without turning red, stumbling over my words and getting so darn nervous.

    Thanks for sharing so many resources with us, Christina. Although I own several of the giveaway books already, I have many new ones to add to my list. I just hope I can win one. Or two. 🙂

  6. 6 Mary Jo C. September 13, 2007 at 6:54 am

    When I was in 1st grade the teacher told my parents something was wrong with me because I never talked. My husband falls on the floor with laughter when I tell him this story! I’ve become an outspoken fiesty Italian at 5’ nothin!

    Actually writing freed my shyness. I learned to communicate better through the written word, express my feelings, share my opinions. However, when I need to read these feelings and opinions aloud, that is when I clam up! My writers group has been a huge help and encouragement; it’s getting easier to read in front of them every time . Though I’m not sure I can brave a public reading at an open mic function and the thought of networking at a writers conference gives me the cold sweats! I actually have the opportunity to volunteer at the upcoming Midwest Literary Festival in Aurora, IL. I could meet editors, agents and published writers while I help them register. But my stomach tightens at the thought and I break out in hives. Help me Hope!

    Hey, mamas: you’ve got to sign up for Hope’s free Funds For Writers Newsletter – tons of writing opportunities and contests.

  7. 7 marnini September 13, 2007 at 7:01 am

    I only consider myself a shy writer when people I know request to read what I wrote. I get an overwhelming feeling of -they are going to think I’m so naive to think I could possibly write. But as far as letting outsiders read what I write, I’m not shy at all. I don’t know what it is, I waitress and I get the same feeling when waitressing on someone I know. I’d rather it be a stranger.
    So I guess my answer would be it depends on who I expect to read what I wrote.

  8. 8 Heather Haapoja September 13, 2007 at 7:29 am

    “Your personality is your personality. You write because it meshes well with your character. You do not have to sacrifice yourself to fit someone else’s mold of a writer.”

    Wow… what a relief! Oh, how I need this book.

    Shyness is what made me a writer. I’ve been shy all my life and growing up, most of my thoughts were just between God, me and my diary. Writing is the only way I know to really express myself, because I’m completely tongue-tied when I try to speak my mind out loud. When I started writing for publication, it was exciting to get positive feedback on my thoughts. At the same time, putting myself out there for total strangers to see, that was scary. Not to mention, loaded with second-guessing. (Will that come across as intended? Could someone possibly take it the wrong way?)

    I’ve noticed a pattern with my writing career and with other endeavors in my life. I jump into a new vocation with enthusiasm, do really well for just so long and then, just when things are really taking off, I quit. I used to think it was a fear of failure, but then I realized it was just the opposite. I have a fear of success, and I believe shyness is at the root of it. I doubt my ability to handle all that comes with success. I’m not sure I want to be noticed to that degree. But it’s discouraging when I realize that I’m holding myself back in this way. It’s definitely a pattern that needs to be broken.

    So I’m really excited to hear about “The Shy Writer.” If I’m not lucky enough to win, I’m buying this book!

  9. 9 Rhianna Finnegan September 13, 2007 at 7:32 am

    I’m not sure shy is the right word, BUT, I’m petrified of sending out query letters and even posting my excerpts on my blog. I feel completely exposed and out there. Even thought it’s way out of my comfort zone, it’s my dream. I want to write, I’ve always wanted to write, and I can (hopefully) overcome anything to do so semi-sucessfully. I wouldn’t consider myself shy in real life, but sometimes when you have such a huge stake in something, and the risk is higher, you are more shy, or become more protective of it. But, I think in general, no, not shy, but, I’ve not done readings or interviews or anything of that sort yet, so, I can imagine I may be so in that situation.

  10. 10 Heather Myton September 13, 2007 at 8:28 am

    I can be a shy writer. It is very difficult for me to make a cold call and not stammer and lose track of what I am saying. I do find if I walk into a cold call somewhat prepared when I get nervous I have my information to fall back on and it will go much smoother. It would be great to find a style that suited me better instead of trying to fit myself into a mold that is really uncomfortable. I want to say thanks to my sister-in-law Karrie Myton who turned me onto your site.

  11. 11 Nancy September 13, 2007 at 10:08 am

    First time commenter, and completely new to writing in a “formal” way. I attended a local workshop Saturday on starting a freelance career and was directed to Writer Mama.. What a great site-love the give-a-way idea and WM book is on its way to me!

    Yes, I am shy and basically introverted. I tend to over-analyze past conversations or social situation and over-anticipate future ones. I always feel there is more I could have shared to let others know me more authentically.

    As a child, I did well academically but always had those “C”s in “conduct” for talking too much. From wearing the “I am a pest” sign in first grade (can you believe it?) to winning the “queen of the talkers” crown in fifth grade, I did MUCH talking. Not sure if it was the subsequent discipline or junior high (and all that brings) that then turned me more inward. I’ve struggled throughout my adult life with job interviews, public speaking and social initiations, but have learned to push myself even when uncomfortable. I ‘ve been blessed with family and friends that allow real sharing.

    I’m hoping writng can enable me to learn more about myself, and free some of that “what will others think” mode. Even as I write this, I find myself wanting to say, “yes, I’m shy but–I’ve done this, accomplished this, etc. in spite of it.” There is nothing to prove. We are who we are. And knowing and accepting that enables you to move forward. (with a few deep breaths and prayers!)

  12. 12 Cath September 13, 2007 at 10:20 am

    When I was in the first grade, I was so shy that I stayed inside with Sister Mary Joseph during recess!

    Eventually, I came out of my shell so much that I ended up going into broadcasting as my first career. Not that my hands didn’t sweat whenever I had to interview someone. I was always afraid I say or do something stupid.

    Years (LOTS of years)passed; I took up writing. And you know what? I’ve said and done ALOT of stupid things. But I survived it all. So whenever I have to put my work out there at writer’s conferences or book festivals, or queries, I always ask myself, “What’s the worse that can happen?” Well, they can say no. I mean, really, that’s about it. Big deal.

    They can also say “Yes!”

    (But there’s still a part of me that wants to hold Sister Mary Joseph’s hand when I’m asking!)

  13. 13 Cyndi Pratt September 13, 2007 at 10:32 am

    I’m not shy with writing but I am shy at promoting myself. Yet… I can stand in front of a room full of people and speak about topics of which I am passionate. Teaching a Sunday School class has helped tremendously in that respect. But a reading…in a bookstore…? That’s another thing altogether. Something I’ve not had the opportunity to do yet, but something I am sure will come with the publishing of my work-in-progress. That comes under promoting myself and I know will be tougher to accomplish. It will be in a venue I’m not comfortable in; it will be amongst strangers, not people I see on a regular basis; it will be on a stage I’ve never been on before; and it will involve pushing myself past my comfortable boundaries.

    I am also shy at initiating an interview. I prefer writing fiction so I can come up with my own story to tell, rather than someone else’s and I can write an essay in nothing flat about my own experiences and opinions. That’s another boundary that I need to push myself past to get more publishing opportunities. Maybe Hope’s book will give me the needed motiviation to make that push.

  14. 14 brainymama September 13, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Boy, is this question timely! I have a creative nonfiction piece that is scheduled to appear with Literary Mama this coming week and I just want to tell the whole world about it! But, I am fundamentally shy about promoting myself and telling others about my writing accomplishments. I’ve sent out a few e-mails to my family members telling them about it, but I’m reluctant to mention it to my friends. I’ve also been invited to read this same piece at my local community college this coming week at a writing event and I’m excited and terrified at the same time. Even though I’ve had a lot of experience speaking in front of church groups, the thought of reading something so personal out loud makes me feel extremely vulnerable. I feel almost embarrassed by all the attention. This is sad to say, but I don’t want anyone close to me, not even my husband, to be there because I’m afraid it will make me even more nervous. The Shy Writer looks like just the kind of book I need. I hope I win it!

  15. 15 Cileface September 13, 2007 at 11:04 am

    For most of my life I was shy. In the painful process of attempting to recover from an injury that ended my career – before I was ready for it to end – I became involved in an expressive art group. We read The Artist’s Way and in each class we drew our emotions.

    What does an emotion look like? The pictures I drew while listening to music in a state of relaxation allowed me to reveal in colorful shapes – and stick figures – that fear held in my heart could be the cause of my elevated blood pressure. Fear and shyness are kissing cousins.

    Later in the class when we modeled anger using clay, not only was my condition exposed in a three dimensional object, my anger demanded further expression and I went home and typed eight pages, single spaced. A desire to write a book was born. It was more than the unfairness of an injury possibly preventable if the employer had invested in certain back saving equipment; I was angry at my shyness and inability to speak up when I wish I had. Even now my adrenalin surges just thinking about it.

    Shyness is a burden difficult to shed, but I’ve been partially successful. My sister-in-law, who “doesn’t get ulcers, but gives them”, says she liked me better before my personality changed and I learned to not accept what others try to push on me. Still, I have a way to go and would love to win the book.

  16. 16 Nicole September 13, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    First time poster, so please forgive any mistakes here.

    I am a writer in heart. I have wonderful ideas I know people out there would love to share. I have so many journals and scraps of papers just filled with ideas for books, and columns, and just words of encouragement for others, but I have not the courage to go forth with them.

    So yes I am a shy “writer.” Or perhaps I should say a silent writer? I have even completed books only to shelve them away because I know I am too shy to face the prospect of others, shall we say, awareness? I do fear that I will never accomplish becoming a writer because of my irrational shyness.

    So, now that I have bashfully said my piece, I hope to bow out quietly.

  17. 17 Tricia Grissom September 13, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Just stamp me introvert. I’ve gotten better over the years – I had to – I’m a teacher. You’d think it would be easier on the internet for me. But I often lurk more than I comment – everyone else seems so cool and funny in their comments, and I get an anxiety attack about exposing myself.

    I’m getting better. Now that I think about it, I’ve been a commenting maniac lately. Dare I say due to daily entries in the Writer Mama contest? 🙂

  18. 18 Abbey September 13, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    I’m not shy in most situations, but when it comes to writing, I struggle with shyness. I think my shyness is a direct result of my lack of confidence as a writer. I have no problem walking into a room of strangers and making conversation, but when I’m interviewing someone one-on-one, I’m shy. I have a tape playing over and over in my head — “Am I good enough? Am I asking stupid questions? Will they think I’m incompetent?” As this tape plays, I feel overwhelmed with shyness. I hope that this fades away as I get more and more comfortable in my writer’s skin!

  19. 19 Dacia September 13, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Writing freed me from shyness when I was a girl, and continues to help me grow as a woman. It is impossible to deny change and forward motion when you allow yourself to be open and honest on paper. Looking inside yourself can be painful and scary, but it can liberate. Answers seem to find me when I put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, anymore). However, as I try to earn my entry into freelance, I find that hidden shyness creep into my work when I am writing a piece that may be read by an audience, let alone an editor! Trying to harness the vulnerability for all to see is proving more difficult than I would have suspected.

  20. 20 Linda Harris September 13, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    When I saw the book for today, my first reaction was: “That book’s for me!”

    I’ve even written about how my shyness affected my relationship with God (although the publisher changed “shy” to “fearful”). The article was published in the spring 2007 issue of Psychology for Living, titled “Romancing the Fearful Heart” (the original title was “Romancing the Timid Heart”).

    I’ve figured out that anxiety and excitement feel very much the same, and I’ve let excitement turn into anxiety, which kept me from doing things I could have done. But I still dread talking on the phone or speaking in front of a big crowd.

    But when I pitched my book proposal to five editors at a recent conference, I wasn’t anxious or timid at all. At that conference, I took a class on “Too Shy to Pitch and Promote.” The presenter said that, as shy people, we can learn to play a role, at least when we need to be more outgoing. Then, when it’s done, we can retreat back into our shyness shell. It helped my thinking a lot. (And isn’t shyness mostly due to our inner conversations?)

  21. 21 Lea September 13, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    I wonder if there are any statistics concerning the personality types of most writers. It seems there are a lot of introverts around here! 🙂

    As a kid, I was always labeled as shy, and I hate it when I find myself sometimes doing the same to my kids. Labels tend to stick with people long after they change. Although I’m far from being an extrovert, I no longer think of myself as being shy…except when it comes to many aspects of writing. I don’t even like showing my husband what I write! And I hate talking on the phone in general, let alone conducting interviews. I do much better face-to-face or through email.

    I, too, over-analyze everything and am always anticipating making mistakes, which makes me procrastinate like no other! Actually, I can’t believe I’m getting today’s contest post done so early! I’m sure The Shy Writer has loads of good advice I could put to use.

  22. 22 Julianne September 13, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    I guess I don’t fit the stereotype of the reclusive writer because I am far from shy. I do, however, get nervous and weird in “official” situations. This can lead to some awkward moments in interviews. I have gotten much better in recent years.

    When I had kids and decided to leave my 9 to 5 gig, I was forced to find other avenues for socializing. I grew more and more adept at meeting new moms and slowly changed from the wierdo, red-faced mom who smiled too much to the warm, easy to talk to Mom that new people felt instantly comfortable with. I suppose it is because practice is the key to success when it comes to anything, including awkwardness upon meeting people. I’ve come a long way, Baby.

  23. 23 Mary Jude September 13, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Am I a shy writer? I would have said no until last week. I am new to this journey and I sent a link to something I had written to a friend who is a writer. I was feeling pretty good about what I had written and sent the e-mail in a fit of “maybe I can do this” euphoria. The next day after I came crashing down, I was mortified that I had even thought of having someone else read what I was then certain was abhorrent work! Even worse, he did not get back to me right away, which is unusual for him. I spent the next few days theorizing that he was trying to find just the right words to discourage my writing and that was causing the delay. Talk about nutty! Not only did he e-mail me the next day, but he had actually liked my piece. If that is how I feel about having my writing exposed to one person, I think I need to figure out how I would ever be able to put my work out there for all to see. Who knew I was so shy?

  24. 24 LauraE September 13, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Yes I do feel I am shy from time to time. Especially when it comes to putting pen to paper and telling the truth. Instead of writing what’s on my mind or getting to the heart of a story I tend to write around issues. That, I think, is a form of shyness. In face-to-face encounters I’m very friendly and some would call me outgoing. But ask me what me novel is about and I freeze up. So by nature I am friendly and outgoing but in my writer life I retreat a little.

  25. 25 Kristi Valiant September 13, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    I’m not shy in speaking to groups of people, especially children (I have fun with school visits), but after I’ve written something that has anything emotional in it, I have a hard time watching others read it. I’m currently working on some picture book manuscripts and I find I need the manuscript completely polished before I let anyone else see it. I’m an illustrator first and foremost, and after illustrating a bunch of children’s books, I decided it would be fun to write my own stories. In some ways it’s easier to illustrate someone else’s story because I feel less vulnerable. But I am enjoying writing a story in which I can visualize the illustrations I want to create for it.

  26. 26 Monica C September 13, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    I am not necessarily shy about writing, but once it’s in the hands of a reader I lose all sense of confidence. I suppose this does interfere with my writing, because after all, aren’t we writing to be read? I’ve found that blogging somewhat helps – it forces me to just get something out that isn’t always perfect. And although I know it’s being read, I don’t know who is reading (unless they comment, which inevitebly leads to two thoughts: Oh, please comment and let me know I’m loved. Oh no, please don’t comment and remind me that someone’s reading!). But will I let this shyness stop me? Nah! The reward of a completed project is too great.

  27. 27 SueMarie September 13, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    I’m shy. I’m a writer. I’m shy about my writing. So, yep… I guess I qualify as a shy writer. This book sounds like a must-have for someone like me. When I was in college, one of my professors cautioned me about my “self-effacing” demeanor. I smiled, nodded, then ran home to look the words up in my dictionary. Since then, I’ve struggled to overcome my compulsion to blend into the background and avoid notice by others. Writing has been enormously helpful in freeing my inner diva. Yet, I still balk at promoting my writing, in boasting of my triumphs, in proudly putting my voice out there.

  28. 28 Meryl K. Evans September 13, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    As I tell people — I am an introvert, but not a shy person. Those familiar with Myers-Briggs know introvert means you get more energy from solitary time or spending time with a couple of people while being around crowds drains your energy.

    Sometimes I have wondered whether a writing career would be wise since I can’t make quick phone calls, do radio interviews (imperfect speech), and make appearances (thinking publicity — not fame). Well, I can make appearances, but the thought of having trouble lipreading an attendee scares me. I feel like it insults the person when I can’t understand her.

    I am not afraid of making speeches — but afraid of the Q&A that happens after. I do want to hear from others — but again, I don’t want to hurt feelings when I keep asking, “What? What did you say?” that I eventually just nod my way through the conversation. In spite of all this, I work full-time as a writer.

  29. 29 Shonna September 13, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    A list of kindred spirits today! Count me among the shy folk. That being said, I love writing because the exchanges are done through the printed word. You don’t have to stand in front of a crowd to deliver a speech, yet you can still “talk” to a crowd through your writing.

    I’m curious about what kind of advice is in this book. I just read a quote somewhere about spending less time trying to build up your weaknesses and spend more time playing to your strengths. Did someone mention that here??? Anyway, I’d love to learn more about how to stop fretting about being shy!

  30. 30 Darren September 13, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Oh, yes, I am definitely a shy writer. In fact, I’m rather shy all around. Unless I’ve come to know someone very well, I tend to float towards the back of a group and hide in the shadows. For this, most people who know me don’t even know I write, so no one tends to ask to read what I write. For those who do, I usually argue that it’s not ready to be read yet. Certainly not ready to pursue publication. None of them seem to understand that writing is more than flopping down some words on paper and sending it out, so that usually only furthers my inclination to avoid talking about my writing at all costs possible.

    Online, however, whenever I share my writing with those close to me, I’m certainly not shy. I keep modest and humble, but I could talk on end about it if I chose to. It’s my writing, a part of me, and once it’s out there, it’s hard to keep shy. It’s the getting it out there part that I’m shy about. Once I’m an established writer, I don’t know how shy I’ll be. On the one hand, I’m not fond of public speaking and I don’t like being the center of attention, but on the other hand, it would still be my writing, which is something I could talk about endlessly if people are genuinely interested in hearing what I’ve got to say. Although I think once I’m past the initial shyness of getting out there, I’ll be okay, I don’t really know.

    “The Shy Writer” sounds like an incredible book and whether I win it or not, I’d like to thank you for bringing my attention to it. It’s certainly something I’d like to read to reap its rewards.

  31. 31 writer_tab September 13, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    I’m crazy shy. The only person that is perhaps shyer than me is my 5-year old daughter. She rarely speaks to anyone outside her immediate family. When someone (adult or classmate) asks her a question, she looks at me and smiles…doesn’t say a word. Drives me crazy. But here’s the weird part, she’s super popular at school. I’ve had two parents approach me this school year to say that their child wants to schedule a play date with her. Ha! I’m hoping it’s just a phase, but if she is permanently shy, she comes by it honest.

  32. 32 Renee Roberson September 13, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    I think I started out as a shy writer, but I’ve gotten a lot better over the past year. Compliments from editors, friends and acquaintances on my writing helped me overcome some of that shyness. Friends and acquaintances may say something is good just to be nice, but you won’t find many editors saying stuff like that unless they mean it! They’re just too busy.

    I started blogging this year and I think that helped me overcome some of that anxiety about exposing myself. Sometimes I’ll be typing away at the blog and think, “Wait a minute. You don’t know who will end up reading this. Careful now!”

    Although I have horrible stage fright, I’ve always been pretty good at public speaking once I hit the stage, so I think I’ll be okay if I ever get to the point where I have to promote my writing publicly. I’ll just be throwing up in the bathroom beforehand from nerves!

  33. 33 Megan September 13, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    I’ve always been outgoing, in many senses. I love to perform on stage (in character – forget improv!) and teach classes. But in those venues I have a script or a mission. I get a little more shy at parties, although not too bad. But my most shy has always been calling people on the phone. Why? I have no idea! I got a lot better after two years as a newspaper reporter, out of necessity, but I still make my husband order sushi takeout. And, yes, I tend to do my writing correspondence over email rather than phone. Probably would get more work if I picked up the phone more, but, alas, when I am speaking as me, I speak better by writing.

  34. 34 Kathleen September 13, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    I had the distinct honor to preview The Shy Writer in galley format and do a book review for the local writers’ group. I’m sure I nodded in recognition as I saw myself in every page. Most people don’t think of me as shy because I can be quite outspoken at times, but I would just as soon listen as talk.

    In fact, that is how I spent much of my booksigning at Barnes and Noble a couple of years ago. I may have sold quite a few copies by being an attentive listener, but I’m certain I will handle it all better next time–now that I have read Hope’s fantastic book.

    I want a REAL copy of my own!

  35. 35 Libby Miner September 13, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    I am definitely shy about my writing. I don’t let my hubbie look over my shoulder or read it until I’m good and ready for outside comment.
    Also I know I’m shy about it because I was childless for 6 married years after college and never pursued writing because I didn’t know where, when or how to start. I felt everything had been written. Plus I lacked the confidence and courage. I took one short 3 week class through my local adult education office about how to get started in freelancing. It was the boost I needed. While I’ve only submitted one article so far I’ve gotten the writing bug and now I wish I had more time to pursue it. Instead I’m honing my editing skills for the Maine Antique Digest, a publication done right here in Maine that travels world-wide. I am definitely shy about interviewing or calling strangers, something I will have to get over. I am not shy about blogging or commenting on blogs any more though. It’s fun and good practice.

  36. 36 Laural Ringler September 13, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    I’m not shy about calling people for phone interviews anymore, but I did hesitate to enter a business the other day to drop in and grab an interview. I actually had to laugh at myself, take a breath and then just do it.

    I like talking to people, even groups. I work at a high school and have spoken to 1000 teenagers, so should I ever become a touring author I have that going for me. I don’t even use that old trick about picturing your audience in their underwear anymore. At a high school, you see enough thongs a day without picturing any less clothes.

  37. 37 Beth K. Vogt September 13, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    My tagline is Writing Honestly, so I tackle some tough topics in my articles. Not too shy about what I write most times.
    However, when it comes to marketing my newly released book, that’s where I hang back.
    I believe in my book. It’s timely, it’s well-written–and I thank my writers group for that! But I’m dragging my heals. Partly it’s because my introverted nature rears its head and partly because I get lost thinking about all the things I could be doing. So, I’m shy and I’m overwhelmed.

  38. 38 Laura September 13, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Writing is the one place I feel like I can truly be me. Writing is the one place where I can completely accept who I am, all of who I am. When writing I don’t have to edit myself, to censor myself. I can reach inside, deep into my core, and show my inner self. When I write, I am more truly me then anywhere else. So, no, I am not a shy writer.

    My only true problem with writing is in believing in myself. To believe that I can do this. I can write. As a single mother of three kids, all born within 2 years, I found myself so busy taking care of their needs, that I had little time for myself. I have always put my dreams, especially my dream of writing, behind other needs.

    My kids are all but grown now. My sons (twins) are 19 and on their own. My daughter, 17 & a senior. Finally in the last year and a half, I have decided to try to follow my dream, and write. I did find a few encouragers, but only after I started to write. (I found Writer Mama only this summer).

    I think that my brand of shyness will interfere as I become an author more and more. I have a hard time listening to praise over my article. How can I accept acknowledgement when I have trouble acknowledging my self?

    So, while I am not a shy writer, I am a shy believer in self. I am taking baby steps, trying to learn to be bold, and brave.

  39. 39 Kelli September 13, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    At my first poetry reading in college, my now-husband will still call it that time “I sounded like a mouse.” What I’ve learned is the more you readings the easier they become. Of course, I must have improved as at my last reading, my 95 year old nana said, “You were the best because you were the loudest.”

    best
    Kelli

  40. 40 Code Name MOM September 13, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    I must be a shy writer. Just thinking of responding to the blog post has caused me to break out in a cold sweat and set my heart racing. I’ve never sold a single piece I’ve written, mainly because I’ve never had the courage to submit anything.
    I believe my shyness was caused by never having an inch of privacy growing up. I never kept a journal, I knew it would be searched out and read by my parents. I never brought home notes from school friends. Even the most benign note was read and re-interpreted into something negative. Every piece of poetry, every short story was quietly stolen from me to be read and analyzed before being used as fodder for some imagined crime. So, as much as I loved writing and being in the world of words, I decided to stop.
    As an adult I finally faced my fears and started writing a journal. Some days I write in it, some days I don’t. Sometimes I write until my hand cramps, but most days I feel the overwhelming urge to write in code just in case someone reads it.
    It’s been a long hard journey back to the world of words, but I’m slowly breaking thru the barriers I set up so long ago and beginning to realize why I loved writing so much.

  41. 41 Karen September 13, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    Hmmm…I’m not sure if I’m shy or just not overflowing confidence. I’m a little slow in the life lessons department, but am learning that I won’t get what I want if I don’t articulate it clearly and to the right people. Shy or not.

    Looks like I’m surrounded by great writers who are inherently shy–that’s interesting, because it just shows me time and again how powerful our chosen words are. Just because we don’t have them rolling of the toungue when we someone asks us a question, when we should be tooting our own horns, or just simply when we want them, doesn’t mean they won’t come back ten fold-powerful when we go to write them down. How cool is that?

    Anyway, if random number generator likes the early posters, then I will just enjoy reading all the great responses, because being an early poster is not a luxury this writer mama has at the moment!

  42. 42 Mary Jo September 13, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    As I was pondering the question of whether or not I’m a shy writer, my teenage son said, “Mom, you ought to take this cool personality test I just found!” and he reached over my shoulder and clicked on a couple of computer keys before I could stop him. It was the moment of truth: I had to face up to myself…

    After 72 questions, and lots of coaching by my children, I was determined to be “Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging.” Considering just the first trait, I agree that I am basically introverted–I say very little when I’m with people that I don’t know very well, I prefer one-on-one conversations over group discussions, and I’d rather stay home than go out and socialize.

    But when it comes to writing, I feel so extroverted! I always imagine people reading my writing (maybe because my twin sister used to read my diary all of the time!)–I always feel like I’m writing for an audience. And I often daydream of having my own booksigning events, and selling my books at festivals and conferences, with fans fawning over me. I try to imagine being interviewed on radio by people who are impressed with my success… Who wouldn’t shine in that kind of atmosphere?

    WHEN (not IF) I get my book(s) published, the truth will be told if I will be as self-assured as the woman of my dreams, but for now, it’s fun to think so…

  43. 43 Hope Clark September 14, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    I read emails like this all the time. That’s why I wrote The Shy Writer. It’s who we are, and I try to tell readers how to maintain a loyalty to their personality while learning to deal with the world of writing. Good luck!

    Hope


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