It’s amazing how often I hear, “you’re a writer?” Or “you’ve written books?” Then to have to go on a talk about what I’ve written, how many, and so on. I don’t like that question. It strikes fear in me, and more often than not, I feel embarrassed answering it. That raises a multitude of questions.
Am I embarrassed of my writing? Ashamed of my books? Or is it that I hate talking about myself that much?
My wife told me once that I should be embarrassed of my books because they weren’t good. Of course that was during an argument and she was purposely trying to be hurtful (mission accomplished) but it made me wonder. I’m not very good at self-promoting. If you asked me to promote your event–that had nothing to do with me–I could come up with a kick-ass plan and move quickly to action. That comes from twelve years in radio and promotions. But to promote myself… even a little… it’s like pulling teeth.
Am I embarrassed about what I write about? Not really. It’s all vampires, aliens, monsters, and flawed characters; nothing any other hasn’t written about. They’re just stories, and all stories come from the same place: that ancient campfire all humans sat around as they stared trembling into the night. Stories come from our hopes, our fears, and they come from that which we do not understand, and they are all based on similar ideas, concepts, and emotions. It is only the masks we place on the characters that make them different. I wrote a story about losing my father to cancer. In my story there were vampires and ghost hunters, but still it was about my father.
I have a terrible self-esteem problem. I hate bringing attention to myself in any way. That’s why I love being in radio. I can be as strange as I want, but safely tucked away in my tiny, safe studio. Books are much the same way to me; I can pour everything out of my terribly warped brain onto the page, then send it to someone to read without any contact or interaction. I don’t think it’s that I’m ashamed or embarrassed of my books, it’s more I have an extreme self-esteem problem.
Something I desperately have to work on.