by Shelt Garner
I like to think of myself as a friendly, interesting person who has a very Larry King type of personality. I’m 100% extroverted and I generally believe everyone has a story to tell.
Then something happens that causes me a great deal of self-doubt. I start to wonder if the way I perceive myself is not at all how others perceive me.
Over the course of this multi-year novel writing project, I’ve on occasion bought some time with manuscript consultants to varying degrees of success. Some of the people I’ve spoken to were unserious charlatans, while others were really, really good.
I’ve noticed something alarming about the better manuscript consultants I’ve worked with — they don’t think much of me. They either snub me outright, or they have a session or two with me then ghost me.
It all makes me question myself a great deal. What am I doing that turns these professionals off so much? I really struggle to figure out what’s going on. Maybe some of it is basic culture clash because I don’t really have the traditional novelist personality? Is that what it is?
I did notice how cold and distant these better consultants were, as if they wanted to make absolutely sure our relationship was strictly professional. Is there some sort of general fear among such people that the aspiring novelists they consult will want to date them?
It’s all very strange to me.
Anyway. “Normal” people have a tendency to underestimate me. I have five solid novels in me, I know. But I have a limited amount of time to prove this to the haters and naysayers who think I’m just a bonkers Internet crank. I still think there’s a possibility that if I ever find myself in LA, people might be significantly more receptive to my personality quirks.
I still want to have a second creative track of some sort, maybe a novel that’s a little shorter so I can use it as a calling card. But I gotta put up or shut up very soon.
I’m not getting any younger.