A little known fact about me – I’m really quite shy

Santiago Maggi Book Signing

Image by miamism via Flickr

*updated May 2011*

Semi-public figure (author) and shy really don’t sit well in the same sentence with me. And though I know what I’m talking about, can confidently answer questions about everything from Forensic Linguistics to WordPress, I’m really quite shy.
There’s a myriad of reasons for it – to the point that I’ve got a biohazard tattoo as a bit of tongue in cheek fun about something very serious. I have a huge problem with my self-image.
Massive in fact.

That’s the first part of ‘me’ I hate – I’m a size 18 (UK), which to me, is about as overweight as I’m going to let myself get – I’m not happy about it by a long shot.   I know other people have other barriers, and I ‘carry it very well’ (according to my beloved anyway) but I hate being overweight. I’m 5’5 or there abouts, so a size 18 is about a 40 round my waist, and more at my ample bust line, and lets not even talk about my butt…..

It goes deeper than that though – I’ve always hated the ‘me’ that stares back from the mirror at me. I struggle to understand why people like me, and am flabbergasted that my fiancée is still with me after nearly seven years of craziness. I have two beautiful children (we’re talking model level for my son and Hannah Montana lookalike for my daughter (just without the wigs and the odd teeth)) but I’m anything but pretty. People tell me I am, and though I’m aware arguing with them seems false and like I’m looking for compliments, I’ve always believed, always *will* believe that I’m adequate, average, plain and happy to remain that way.  I’ve even got a tattoo that sums it up – a biohazard symbol on the base of my spine.
So yeah, I’m shy – and it’s one of the things I’d like to change in the near future.  Writing isn’t the easiest thing to do when you’re shy – but the internet kinda helps.

One of the best things about the internet is I can do lots of my promotion online – when I’m talking about writing, I can do it online – or at a push, I can take part in teleconferencing.  What I can’t currently do is stand up in front of people – there’s an open mic night at a pub local to the University that scared the living daylights out of me – to the degree that I haven’t ever been back.  I’m not sure how I’m going to handle stuff like that in the future – it’s possible that I’ll just play the ‘shy recluse’ author, but at the same time, I’d really love to be brave enough to meet people who are reading my books.
It’s a long way off, but it’s one of the things that make me hesitate to keep pushing forwards with my books.  I’m pretty certain one of my posts in the next week over at Writer’s Bookshelf is going to be about ‘fear’, but I’m curious about other writers and how they handle being shy.
Edit – I finally put up a photo of me online smiling and looking directly at the camera – it’s a big step.

Kai’s book, Glass Block, is due out in August.

This post is part of a series for

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. Bobette Kyle says:

    I have some similar issues (I am an introvert). Agonized about what I “should” be doing and went after those kind of goals for years.

    Then I had an epiphany at a seminar. The exercise was to set a one-month goal and commit to the first step; mine had something to do with speaking engagements. We partnered up to present to each other and my partner stopped me and said, “This isn’t right.” She saw that I shouldn’t be going after what I thought I “should” be doing, but after what fits my personality and inner motivation. That’s led me to pursue goals the way *I* want to reach them rather than in a way that is considered “normal.” It’s a much happier life.

  2. Cricket says:

    Little known fact about me. I am painfully shy when I first meet someone new, but it usually disappears quickly.

    I just wish that you could see you through my eyes. You are stunningly gorgeous EXACTLY the way you are.

  3. Amy Warden says:

    I wish it wasn’t so, Kai! I was pretty shy when I was growing up – didn’t run with the popular crowd by any means. However, I did have a break-through after participating in debate & forensics all four years of high school. LOVED it.

  4. Gina Maggard says:

    What is a size 18 in US sizes? I am a size 12 or 14 US. I weigh 161. I have lost 17 lbs in the past 2 months.Hopefully by Summer, I will be at my Goal weight, which is 125.If I get back down to that weight, I will wear a size 5/6 or 7/8 US Size. Are you wanting to lose weight? Or just sustain your current weight?

    • Kai says:

      Hi Gina- an 18 UK is a 14 US according to most tables I’ve seen. I think my goal weight is somewhere around 10 stone (I’m currently 14.2 stone) though I suspect given I look kinda wierd at a size 12 (which is a 7/8) or smaller, I might aim for a 14 (10 US). I really need to lose weight, partially caused by meds and partially caused by, possibly and being tested for at least, an underactive thyroid.
      Thanks for visiting 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *