Hello. My name is D.S. Williams and I'm socially-challenged.
I was sitting here wondering about a support group for people like me, then I realized there probably isn't one. Can you imagine a room full of introverts, all sitting around awkwardly, wondering how to start a conversation? It would be a recipe for disaster.
It's taken me a long time to figure out (unbelievable I know) that I'm actually a chronic introvert. I like being at home. I don't find casual conversation easy - in actual fact, it's probably the equivalent of having teeth pulled. I'm not a winner with clever repartee, nor do I have a snappy comeback to people when we're chatting. Parties dismay me - weddings have me practically suicidal. Talking to strangers is definitely not my strong point.
Give me a piece of paper and a pen and I become a different person. I can create long, witty conversations, my characters are quite often socially-competent and enjoy spending time with people and are magnificent with witty repartee - so how come that doesn't happen in real life?
Mainly because in real-life, I don't have hours on end to construct the conversation. I'm a master of thinking "why didn't I think to say that?" - about twenty minutes after a conversation is over. I don't have a conveniently located backspace button to delete the inane conversation I had with someone, and replace it with the witty and sterling discussion I should have had. Writing is a much easier place in which to create relationships with people.
Having said all that - so far, I've managed to keep to my New Year's resolution for this year - the one where I'm going to be poking my nose out into the real world every now and again. For instance, yesterday, I went with the Darling Husband and 50% of the Gang of Four to the movies. Admittedly, I did try to weasel out of going - why go and see Frozen when I could sit comfortably in my lounge room, working on my nice, safe imaginary world where I'm a social genius? I didn't get away with staying home, however, because the beloved daughter pouted and told me 'she was looking forward to going out together to do a family thing' and guilted me into attending.
Funnily enough, once I got there, I quite enjoyed the movie. Although I felt it could have done with some tighter dialogue and there was some extraneous scenes which could have been cut to stop the story from slowing down in places. (Ah ha! Clearly I've done WAY too much editing in the past year on my own works!)
Today, I had an absolutely wonderful afternoon with my friends from the Ellenbrook Writers Group. Once again, I spent the morning trying to figure out a way to weasel out of it, but one friend had kindly offered to drive me and I didn't like to chicken out at the last minute. And once again, I enjoyed it, so I guess practice makes... one minusculy more capable of socializing.
The big one will be coming up in May - when my writer's group are planning a road trip to Margaret River for the Writer and Reader's Weekend - I've tentatively agreed to consider going along... now I just need to talk myself out of it :)