Incognito a practiced art

If this photograph from 1970 is any indication, I started enjoying being incognito at an early age.  Although I suspect going out in  public in that get-up would have attracted more attention than I would have been comfortable with.   I also think it shows I have been comfortable being me from the beginning.   While I am comfortable in my own skin, probably now more than at any other time in life (your forties are so liberating!) I am still uncomfortable in the limelight.  So I find it rather ironic I have chosen two careers that force you to put yourself out there.  My teaching career has me as an educator and entertainer with a class full of children who take in all I say and do.  My writing career requires self-promotion to get published and to develop a following of readers.  If I had my druthers, I  would like to hang in the background, be a home or beach body. I would have folks discover my books by finding them at the library, like I have found so many of my favorite authors.  I do enjoy the love and admiration I get from my students, it is reciprocal, By October of every year my students have become my own children and I dread the beginning of June when I have to let them go (Many stay in my heart forever).  I am comfortable with the kids, it is parent night that gets my palms sweaty and stomach churning.  The world of publishing has changed, a writer no longer can hide behind closed doors. For years I avoided Facebook or any social media.  I would never have considered sharing my thoughts and ideas on a blog, I had only a few trusted friends and family members I let see the inner me.  But last year when I recognized I could no longer avoid the siren call to pursue my writing seriously and in a committed fashion I was blessed to have a friend with experience offer to be my mentor (Kathy I am talking about you!) and she encouraged me to begin to brand and build my platform by blogging and getting on Facebook and Twitter.  I have found Facebook to be a great way to reconnect and keep up with friends and let them in on what I am doing as a writer. I confess although I tweet out my blog link twice a week, I have not fully grasped the concept of twitter and all the hashtags.  The most surprising thing to me is how much I enjoy putting my thoughts out in the world on this blog.  I started out with  a bit of fear I would have nothing to say or would struggle with ideas for posts, that has not been the case.  whether my readers think I have something worthwhile to say, may be another matter.  Sitting at home with my laptop  and publishing a post is a bit like going out in the world  en-scarfed with a pair of dark glasses compared to stepping up to a podium or a video camera. Yet, I still reveal a bit of my soul, connecting myself, my characters, my love of tradition and the South Carolina Lowcountry to the world beyond my door.  I should also say thank you for the positive reception I have received. I find no disguise is needed here, and even outlandish get-ups are accepted as long a what is underneath is genuine  and respectful.

3 thoughts on “Incognito

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