Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why Don't I Fit In?

On Saturday I joined a group of other authors at a local indie book store for a signing. When I arrived I saw the author that invited me but I didn't know any of the other authors in attendance. Because of the layout of the store we were not all sitting together so part of the event was spent walking around to the different tables in corners of the store to talk about our work and meet one another more formally.

I never mentioned it out loud, though a couple others did, but I was the youngest author there but close to twenty years. It is strange because when I am chatting in groups online there is a range of ages. Because social media was developed in the last decade the younger generation tends to have a larger presence online. In fact I tend to feel far too old and out of my element when conversing online.

In person seems to be different though. When I go to events like Authorpalooza or Vegas Valley Book Festival there are authors there of all ages. Some older than me, some younger but all there for the same reason. At writer's groups I stand out as one of the younger attendees and at all of these events I am noticeable because I am usually more social than most. It seems no matter where I go I don't fit in. That used to bother me but I have found it can be helpful if used in the right way.

When I went to the conference in January it was remarked upon everyday that I was the social butterfly. I talked to almost everyone, I listened to stories, shared experiences and ate meals at a different table every chance I got. I networked with every group there and volunteered for the game night event. I wanted to interact and be seen. That is where I shine. It also is a trait that doesn't have an age attached to it.

There are so many author stereotypes but I somehow don't seem to fit enough for most people to believe I fall into the author category. It can be frustrating to be seen as an outcast in a group of outcasts. I don't dye my hair pink or blue or purple, I am not prolific with photoshop and understand the nuances of social media. I am a performer at heart and an extreme extrovert to my core. I don't fit in. But maybe that means someday I will truly be meant to stand out.

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