Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Writing Life or Why do I Feel this Compulsion to Share?

My bestie Olivia Hardin and Me
A friend is reading Kristen Lamb's book Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World and she quoted a section to me about mavens and accused me of being one.  I was perplexed. My first reaction was, "What the heck?  Me?  I'm no expert."  But as I thought through the context of the quote, which was about mavens being "collectors of data", "brokers of information", and being "pathologically helpful" it dawned on me she was right.

I am exactly that, to a fault.  I have to think twice before I chime in on a conversation or add my two cents to a thread, because I don't want to be that annoying person who always has something to say about everything. And you know exactly what I'm talking about, don't you?  Yeah, ah ha ha ha, that's so me. Um...yeah.  *clears throat* Sorry.

But I also have to acknowledge that I do have some expertise: in teaching, reading, writing, self-publishing, wellness, and well, adventure.  There are other, more formal topics I could add to that list, but those aren't as interesting.  While I recognize this about myself, I am not comfortable with it. It makes me squirm when someone calls me "accomplished" or an "expert". I'm just excited about what I'm...well, excited about.

And when I get excited, I can go on and on.  Then, I get that sinking feeling whenever I realize I've over done it and said too much.  I really don't want to annoy you; I want to share.  I always have, even when I was a little kid.  My parents can attest to how I used to describe a movie or TV show or book I read in minute detail.  Ugh. *slaps forehead*

Some people accuse us Share-ers of wanting to be the center of attention.  Maybe, but I don't think that's why I do it.  I do it because I get so worked up and want to share what I've experienced or the data I've collected.  I read a ton about a myriad of topics and spend a lot of time contemplating all these ideas that swirl around my head.  And I like to talk about it. On top of all that, I so love to help people and will pull from my experiences to hand out what I hope are helpful nuggets without even thinking about it.

But, I am, unfortunately, a grown-up and need to rein in my annoying tendencies.  It's one thing for a child to blather on; we can smile indulgently and appreciate the enthusiasm of youth.  But, when a grown-ass woman does it, its eye-rolling.  I get that.  I really do.  So, in an effort not to bother my friends and neighbors...and the busy mom in the check out line behind me....and the cashier...and the nice police officer directing traffic at my kids' school, I've made an effort to seek out acceptable avenues for my compulsion.

Blogging and writing stories provides a socially acceptable platform from which to ramble.  And I've recently discovered that I thoroughly enjoy yammering on with my co-host, Buddy Gott on the Sunday Night Fiction Club.  At least I know when you surf on over here, you really want my input. When you open one of my books, you're volunteering to go off on one of my adventures with me. When you tune in to our YouTube show, you are a willing victim witness to my pathology.

How about you? What is your pathology? Compulsion? Have you found a productive way to channel it?  Maybe even made a career out of it?

I love hearing from you so please post a comment.

Namaste, y'all.

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