Now some writers are born promoters. They are savvy, personable, and really know how to woo people. They network, schmooze, and create buzz. They understand how to make a sale. I’ve met some of these folks, and I am in awe of them.
And then there are folks like me.
I am not a great schmoozer. I am a worse networker. And wooing isn’t my strongest personality trait. That’s because you put me in a conversation, and I seem to lose my improvisation skills. At some point I will say or do something stupid and realize it only a beat or two after I could fix it.
I really can be clever and witty, and come up with light banter and brilliant responses. After the fact. I rehash that conversation and think, “What I should have said was. . .”
That’s why I became a writer.
I can create those conversations on the page and make them funny or sad or poignant or silly, and make them look easy — as if this was the way people behave. But to get there, I had to write the scene, add a sentence here, remove several there, change the words around, until finally I had something that flowed. Then I let the scene sit, for days or weeks or months, and revisited it to decide whether I shouldn’t just cut it out entirely.
Unfortunately, in real life I can’t go back and fix or throw out the scene I screwed up the first time. Which is why I tend to stick to writing. (Though I do my best to promote my books, too.**)
* For the vast majority of books. There are obvious exceptions.
** Fodder for another blog piece.