8.23.2011

The Spark Blogfest: Who Set You Off? (Part Two)

This week I'm participating in Christine Tyler's blogfest and talking about who and what made me decide to be a writer.

I've mentioned before being painfully shy growing up. It's a bit melodramatic to say, I guess, but there's a reason they call it painful. It's...painful. (See how good I am at writing down the words?? I'm a writer, yo.)

I won't go into particulars, but I pretty much tried to fake-sick my way all through first and second grade. All that shyness did wonders for my imagination, though. I couldn't manage a conversation in real life, but in my head, they were wonderful. My in-my-head friends weren't scary. The situations I imagined myself in weren't uncomfortable. Everything was sunshine cupcakes and daisy popsicles.

Maybe confessing this makes me sound nutty, or like an emerging serial killer, but it's not like I was imagining myself rocking in the middle of a white room, surrounded by my mother. In my head, I was brave. I was strong. In my head, on the first day of school when the teacher inevitably came to my name on the roll and asked how to pronounce it, I could jump up on the desk and shout, "It's JEIGH! Like sleigh and weigh and neigh!!" instead of whispering, "It's just Jeigh," and having to repeat myself five times in my whisper-voice while all the kids stared at me in that annoying and nosy way all kids stare.

Surprisingly, the summer before high school, at a camp for the young women in my church, I just decided one day that I didn't want to be shy anymore. So I wasn't. I got out there and dorked it up in my own, special way and made a ton of new friends. But I never forgot that living in my head was a fine alternative when real life was scary or boring.

It may not have been a defining moment in wanting to be a writer, but every writer needs a kick-a imagination first, right?

16 comments:

Angelina C. Hansen said...

I love it that you made a conscious decision not to be shy. That's so cool!

We're in the same campaign group over at Rachel's, so I thought I'd stop by and say "hi" and push that follow button. Nice to meet you!

Mel Fowler said...

My husband is shy, thankfully I'm not. I have seen great things happen when you decide something.

PS I was the camp director for my young womens camp. So much fun! Best place ever!

Madeline Bartos said...

I always love to live an imaginary life in my head where everything goes the way I want it. It inspires me to try to be the person I am in my head. I think we've all been there. (Or at least all the cool writers have.) ;) I love the fact that one day you just decided to break away from your shyness. That's awesome!

Ruth Josse said...

Boy, can I identify with this. I was (still am sometimes) shy and it was a hard, hard thing. I hated when people would tell me to just snap out of it. So didn't help. Just made me want to find a hole to hide in.

But you're right. It did do wonders for the imagination:)

J said...

I love that I can identify with you on so many things. I was also painfully shy as a child (and still deal with an intense fear of the dark, an I-still-sleep-with-a-nightlight-in-my-20s kind of fear). It's good to know I wasn't the only one who spent a ton of time in her head as a kid. :)

Juliemybird said...

This might surprise you, Jeigh, but I was also painfully shy! (No? Not surprised?) I still have to make conscious decisions to be social. Then again, we do share a brain.

Oh, and by the way, hi! I'm in your Campaign group! And I woud love to be your forever friend, if you'll be mine, too. :B Haaaaaaaaaaa.

Jess said...

I went through a phase of being painfully shy too...one time I was invited to a girls' sleepover in 3rd grade, and I wouldn't participate in anything like the dress up games or nail polish painting. The girl's mom called my mom to pick me up because she thought I wasn't feeling well. Everyone probably thought I was snobby and weird, but I was just shy and wanted to go home. I got over that phase, but I have a few memories that hurt a little. I tell you what, though, just like you said, I'm very comfortable being alone, and I find myself to be perfectly adequate company :)

Julie said...

I really enjoyed this post. I was a very shy kid too and did a lot of living inside my head. Kudos to you for making the decision to overcome your shyness and making it work!

Great spark story! :)

Tara Tyler said...

excellent perspective. it's also part of growing up, we adapt to be who we want. but some are not as strong and confident to make a big change. good for you!!
it takes guts =)

Patricia Lynne said...

Awesome spark story. I still have my shy moments, but I'm working on them. =)

Kari Marie said...

Great story! I love how you "decided" not to be shy and just put yourself out there. I did something similar in high school as well. I still find myself falling back into that from time to time and I'm truly horrible with small talk at cocktail parties, but my imagination is always running wild!

Laura Marcella said...

Hi, Jeigh! It's wonderful how you used your imagination when you were a kid. Being shy helped fine-tune your creativity for your writing future! Or perhaps for handling all those kiddos you have, LoL. :)

And I really like how you spell your name!

Sommer Leigh said...

This is a wonderful story :-) I also love love love your blog header. It's so great! I'm in the same YA campaigner group. Glad to meet you !

AllMyPosts said...

Came here from the Platform Building Campaign!!


Cool Blog!!

with warm regards
Another Author

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

I was shy in my head AND in real life. I still am, actually, but I'm getting braver with time. I love that you just decided one day to stop being shy!

Christine Tyler said...

This is so you. I just loved reading this. Making choices to break out of any kind of shell is a real feat. Way to go. I'm glad you did :)