So today has been a better day. Courtesy of some very wonderful bloggers and a handful of authors who sought me out to say hi, it has been an easier day all around. Don’t get me wrong, the days are generally easier anyway as when you go into a panel you are just one of many who are sitting watching and listening. There is no pressure to do anything other than turn up.
That said, I had some great chats with my fellow bloggers and even with new and aspiring authors who wanted to know more about Facebook groups and blogging/blog tours. And this is where I am back to being funny strange because if somebody asks me a direct question on a subject I know something about I can talk freely and easily and you would not think I had a care in the world. Another person asks me a little bit about myself and I respond in monosyllables followed by a succession of nodding and staring into space and I forget to ask them anything back. This is where I suck at life. This is why I become anxious and nervous and want the ground to open up and swallow me. This is where, when faced with the question ‘so are you a writer too?’ I respond with the age old put down ‘no. I’m no one. I’m just a blogger.’
Just a blogger.
How disrespectful does that sound to all of you wonderful people who spend so long slaving over your blogs and reviews getting them just so? Told you I suck at life.
It was a good day today as I caught up with an author I met last year when I came to Crime Fest as ‘just a reader’. Bernie Steadman is lovely so conversation was quite easy and as I’ve read and reviewed her book now we had something more to talk about. And this afternoon I had a lovely long(ish) chat with Matt Johnson who I have met before and who is a thoroughly lovely fellow, so very easy to talk to as, after all he has been through, he has learned to accept not to take the little things in life too seriously. I could learn a lot from him as god knows he has more reason to be nervous and anxious than I do.
And tonight… Well I was planning to settle in for another night with a bottle of Pepsi max but got persuaded to meet some people instead (not in the bar this time and so it felt a little easier). When we finally went to the bar later it was easier because I wasn’t walking in alone to a room full of people who were already engaged in conversation and who all clearly knew each other. I was still in fish out of water territory, sometimes hanging back as the conversations happened around me, and I’ve probably scratched a nice big hole in my arm which is no mean feat given that I’ve already bitten my nails down to the lowest point they have been in years. But often I was involved and engaged in the conversations too.
Because that folks is how stupid and pointless and self doubting I am. If someone talks to me I am happy to talk back but I cannot start a conversation and I cannot sustain one. If I know you I’ve half a chance. If I don’t… But this evening, albeit briefly, I met Jane Isaac, Fiona Cummins (who actually recognised me AND knew my name which was a bit surreal) and had a bit of a blather with Sam Carrington. It has been quite a night.
Oh and bless Karen Sullivan. She is such a lovely lady and god knows why but has such faith in me and my reviews. And she has also helped create a key memory for the evening. Just to show it’s not all bad when I can find the nerve… (I sound like the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz. Tbf we have the same hair) .
The best thing… no tears tonight although I came close earlier today and again his evening but I’m getting there. Baby steps…
Of course come July when I go to Harrogate these monumental steps forward will be forgotten again and I’ll be in hiding from everyone. My hotel looks nice though so could be worse…
The other side effect of going out tonight is that I will now spend then next two hours analysing everything I said and did and wondering how I could have done it differently and what I should have said rather than what I did say. Not to worry. Gym opens again in just over four hours.
Have a pleasant night all. Or morning. Whatever.