It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m contemplating my evening. Not new year resolutions or anything like that (gave up on them a long time ago), but how I’m going to spend the next few hours. I live on a small unadopted lane and we’re quite a social lot - there’s a party later on. I will know a lot of the people there and it’s a short stagger home, but I’m undecided.
Why? I hear you ask. Or not. Andy is unlikely to be
drinking as he’s working tomorrow and he’s not very sociable at the best of
times – he’d rather sit in the pub with the pint and a newspaper than make
polite small-talk. Me – it’s not that I’m not
sociable; I’m just really not very good at it.
I’ve said before on this blog that I’m actually quite
shy. Half a bottle of wine helps, but I’m not very good at small talk. How do
people do it at parties? Stand there and chat effortlessly about anything and
everything? I can never think of anything interesting to say. It’s why, when I
used to do the convention circuit, I was always on committees and doing stuff –
sitting on a reception desk or running an event gives me a focus and a raison d’être.
Without that, standing at the bar with nothing to hide behind and I’m just me.
Even in the local pub, I’m far happier on quiz night or meeting to talk about
the radio plays project I’m involved with.
And I wonder if other writers are like this. Is this perhaps
why we invent our own worlds, peopled by characters we understand, who don’t
judge us? Writing is like acting in many ways, walking in somebody else’s
shoes, getting under somebody else’s skin. Being
somebody else. It isn’t that I’m dissatisfied with my own life in any way – I just
can’t imagine it being that interesting to anybody else!
If there was a poll of writers, how many would declare
themselves as introverts and how many as extroverts? Sometimes I wish some of
my closest friends were closer in distance so we could spend evenings with a
bottle of wine and putting the world to rights. And I value my online friends
too. You guys know who you are!
So I expect I’ll go out tonight.
Put on a bit of slap and some heels and have a couple of drinks. Pretend to be
somebody I’m not. And I know if I make the effort, I’ll enjoy it too. I will.
Here’s wishing everybody all the
best for 2015.