I am an introvert, as many writers tend to be (not all, it's true), though I'm pretty good at putting on the public face and socializing. I'm not shy, I don't get tongue-tied (much), and I can meet and greet like a professional. Not sure where I acquired these abilities, though I think it comes from being married to an extrovert and watching him in action. It's also a function of age — realizing that it doesn't matter what someone thinks, I'm me and that's that. ๐Ÿ™‚

But, I always DREAD the start of these socializing events. Today is the start of a busy two days for me. The Heart of Dixie Readers' Luncheon is tomorrow. Today, there are preparations to make — bags to be stuffed, dinners to attend, and a party for a friend who sold to Mills & Boon a couple of weeks ago.

And yet, I always always dread it, even when I want to see everyone and have fun. (I feel this way about conference too, even when this year I have a lot to look forward to.) I hate the preparation — the thinking, planning, packing (it's one overnight in a hotel 15 miles from home and yet I stress), the schlepping, getting situated, etc. I know I'll have fun when it starts, but it's the getting to the start I hate.

Some people are naturals at this kind of thing. I am not. At conference last year in Dallas, I got so overwhelmed at one point I went back to the room and was grateful my wonderful roomies were still out. I sat, drinking wine by myself (uh-oh, look out Hemingway), and tapped out the beginning of a new story on my AlphaSmart. I seriously needed that decompression time. If I could afford it, I'd spend the entire conference in a room to myself. But at $225 a night, that ain't happening. ๐Ÿ™‚

OTOH, like I say, once I get there this afternoon and start chatting and celebrating and talking writing with people who GET IT because they are writers too, I'll be as happy as a pig in mud. If I could just figure out how to stop the stressing stuff beforehand, I'd be all set.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Have trouble with socializing? Any tricks you use to prepare yourself? I don't have any, but like I say, once I get started, I'm fine. It's the getting there and getting into that frame of mind — and for longer events, like Nationals, some alone time.