Wednesday 31 December 2014

Party Time?

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.


julia jones said...

Happy New Year Debbie - speaking selfishly I think I'm not the only one who values your wilingness to help in practical ways, never mind the motivation xxj

Debbie Bennett said...

I like having a purpose, Julia! And I did go out and I had a great time - but there was karaoke, so something else to hide behind....

SM Johnson said...

I had trouble last night deciding what to do, as well, and for all the same reasons. I did attend a party for a short time, but another guest was a real jerk, arguing with everyone about everything, so I bowed out well before midnight, and rang in the new year at home with my dog , while editing a novel. My daughter needed to be picked up at 12:30 from a roller skating party, so I had to be sober, which works out well - I can't work if I'm drinking : )

I am very much an introvert. My husband has parties in the man cave and often I wander out to say hi, then wander back in to write books. Writing is my favorite thing. It's a good thing my family doesn't count on me to be the social butterfly!

Debbie Bennett said...

I think many writers are like us - we hide behind our characters. Whereas my husband isn't introverted - he's just anti-social! There is a difference.