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Behind the Facade

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I’m a writer. I’m not someone who wants to be an “influencer,” per say. I much prefer to sit on my couch with my dogs, my computer, or a good book. On social media, I’ll occasionally share a photo from an activity I’m at or a good meal I whipped up. But I paused a few days ago when someone who is a business coach talked about how you should get more “personal” in your social media accounts. I wondered if this is good advice for a writer looking for an agent or not. Does it make you seem more real, or authentic? Does it make you look more like a person who would leap through fire to sell her books?

I decided to take a baby step and try that strategy out here today on the blog. So I’m lifting the façade, and being honest with everyone. I hope this post will help convince other introverted writers such as myself that they are not alone.

Revelation #1
I struggle with my weight, and have since I was about 14 years old. This shocked me when I thought about it the other day. That’s a long time to be worrying about your weight! I think the concern first started because I had a chaotic childhood where my parents moved houses three or four times a year during my formative years. I eventually grew so frustrated I thought maybe if I stopped eating things would get better and slow down the craziness. Well, they didn’t. I grew up with a Hispanic mother and grandmother and aunts who didn’t hesitate to speak out if I ate too many tortillas or guacamole and gained a few pounds. Have you ever seen that movie Real Women Have Curves? Starring America Ferrera? Story of my life. I finally got professional help when I was 19, but I still find myself having to be conscientious about what I eat and how often I exercise.

Revelation #2
I have persistent depression and anxiety. Sometimes I think this goes hand and hand with being a creative person. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m sure a lot of you will agree with me here. The funny thing is, I never considered myself an “anxious” person. Sure, I carry my car keys in my hand with my finger poised over the unlock button in every parking lot, and lock the door as soon as I get inside. Sure, I make sure I’m never on my phone in a parking lot as I’m walking to my car at night, and maybe I occasionally wake up in the middle of the night worrying (about my kids, my husband, something I forgot to do at work, a deadline I’m not sure I’ll be able to meet) etc. but that doesn’t make me an anxious person, right? Ha! I think this is something that has gotten worse with age but I’m working on it. I have to take more time to care for myself before caring for others, knowing when I need to bow out of a social activity that will make me uncomfortable, and simply taking time to decompress when I need it.

Revelation #3
I am a blessed person. Despite my misgivings, and despite a distant relationship with my extended family, I have a lot. I live in a beautiful house, have a job that’s ten minutes away for that house, and have two kids and a husband who love me completely even with my quirks (I think!) I have two dogs who are almost always happy to see me, and I have a phone and earbuds that can feed all the podcasts I can handle into my ears as I exercise outdoors. I also have access to good food, good books, and the occasional margarita. Life is good and sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

What are some revelations about you that others may not know? Do you have any quirks or fears you’d feel comfortable sharing, because, guess what? We’re all in this together, and keeping things inside isn’t always the healthiest route.

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who also works as a marketing director for a nonprofit theatre company. Visit her website at www.FinishedPages.com.

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