When I was 19 and a freshman in college, a few friends and I took a roadtrip from Erie, PA to NYC to see The Scarlet Pimpernel on Broadway.
Now, I’ve always been a sensitive introvert, but absolutely love NYC and everything about it. I even love the things that I don’t love- the crush of people, the traffic, the buskers shoving things I don’t want or need into my line of sight. I just love the overall energy of the place, and since I was born, raised, and lived most of my days in a small town, the city life is a welcome change of pace from time to time. You would think, being a sensitive introvert, the city would be the last place I’d want to be. Not so. However, that’s not to say that, at that point in time, face to face interaction with strangers was within my comfort zone. (Twenty years later, I have no qualms talking to strangers. Back then, not so much. At all. Ever.)
So, after our showing of The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I was totally obsessed with at the time, my friends and I waited around by the stage door in the hopes of meeting the actors, getting autographs, posing for photo ops…you know, fangirl stuff. The actors came out, and we did all that. But when it came time for me to approach Douglas Sills, the actor who played Sir Percival Blakeney, I choked. I couldn’t do it. One of my friends approached him on my behalf so I could get a photo, and bless the man, you know what he said? He said, “Why isn’t she approaching me?” And my friend said, “Well, she’s shy…” Mr. Sills’s response was as follows:
“Shy people get nothing. You gotta step up to the plate and take a swing at the ball, baby!”
The gracious man gave me a hug and took a photo with me after calling me out and putting me on the spot, thankfully! He didn’t say it to be mean, he said it to be encouraging. And he was right. It took me sometime to get here, but now I’m running my spiritual business where I meet with clients face to face and even teach small groups of people. I’m also writing (obviously), and that’s putting me in a bit of the public eye as well.
I’ve decided that I’m making this coming year The Year of Taking Chances ™. Just kidding, that’s not trademarked. I started with contacting some author friends, most of whom I fangirl over, to join me in a new Facebook reader group. There were several who I expected to say no, but they surprised me by saying yes, and now I’m living the dream of having people I admire see me as their peer. (Is this real life?) I never would have done such a thing before because I would have feared rejection and worried that I was bothering them, and God forbid if I should rock anyone’s boat. Luckily for me, they are all lovely, kind, gracious women!
And today, I threw my name in the ring for ApollyCon! Will I be selected as a participating author? Well, if I’m realistic, the answer is probably not. It’s a super popular event with an incredibly competitive roster of popular authors who have been doing this a lot longer. But, I still tried, and that’s what counts. I didn’t talk myself out of it with a ‘why bother?’ mentality, which I’ve been known to do when self-doubt and imposter syndrome rear their ugly heads. Plus, the world is full of miracles, and you never know just when all the pieces will fall into place. Could be sooner, could be later. Point is, we won’t know unless we TAKE. THAT. CHANCE.
If you’d like to join the new romance reader group I mentioned, it’s called Book Crush Cafe. It’s a group of authors who just want to give back to their readers. There, you’ll find all kinds of bookish discussions plus exclusive content and giveaways!