Posted by: faultlessfinish | May 24, 2010

Overcoming Shyness

I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a shy person (although I would have in high school). But the idea of talking to someone about business over the phone terrifies me. In fact, the phone in general has always made me uncomfortable. As a freelancer, I’ve become quite comfortable dealing with clients solely through email. This week, however, I was given the opportunity to tackle my intimidation of the phone. I was brainstorming various ways to connect with editors who have been in the business for years and who have experience working for large fiction publishers, and decided it would be beneficial to contact the instructors of the publishing courses I’ve taken though Ryerson’s distance education program. I emailed one instructor with a series of questions about the best course of action to take for breaking into fiction publishing, and he responded with one line: “Why don’t you call me so we can chat about it.” This was the best response I could have hoped for, but my stomach immediately seized up. “What if I come across as silly?” “What if it’s awkward?” “What if I ask the wrong questions?”

It took me two days to get up the courage to make this simple phone call. And it was so worth it. He gave me invaluable advice regarding working with self-published authors, setting up a website, and networking. He also put me in touch with a local editor who knows the ins and outs of the industry. It’s now my goal to connect with more editors over the phone and completely eradicate my fear. It was definitely comforting to actually hear the voice of another person in my profession. As I’ve said before, freelancing can get quite lonely and it’s easy to become disconnected from the outside world.

What scares you the most in your career? How did you overcome it?

🙂

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