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Introducing Myself

I’m still working on figuring out how best to introduce myself to new people here. The focus of who I am shifts depending upon the social circumstances of the introduction. So far I’ve been introduced as a fiction writer, a blogger, Howard’s wife, the manager of Schlock Mercenary, one of Mary’s alpha readers, and as Mary’s guest. It has been a fascinating opportunity to watch how I am treated based on the framing of the introduction. Unfortunately the usefulness of the experiment is somewhat foiled by the excellence of the people to whom I’ve been introduced. I’ve been uniformly spoken to with respect and interest. The shape of the respect and the follow-up questions is different, but if the conversation lasts for any length of time the other aspects of who I am also get touched on.

The one major role in my life that has not been my primary introductory lead-in is being a parent. Again, that gets mentioned but often much later. Once again I’m having the experience where I mention the quantity of my children and people are a bit startled. I’m still sorting the experiences and trying to rehearse so that I can introduce myself comfortably. The process is surprisingly similar to writing an elevator pitch for a book. I now have two sentence introductions for my blog, my Schlock Mercenary work, and my book. Having the pitches is really useful so that I don’t have those deer-in-the-headlights moments when someone says “And you are? What do you do?”

This convention is perfect for playing with the introductory options and pitches, because I’m not actually trying to pitch anything. I have no goals to forward, no people I need to seek out in order to advance my career. I am able to just meet cool people rather than seeking out people because I am hoping for something from them. It is a very pleasant way to attend a convention.

And now, to breakfast.

3 comments to Introducing Myself

  • If you didn’t wear so many awesome hats, you’d have less trouble. 🙂

  • I feel your trepidation, I am horrible at introducing myself. I would have loved to meet you at Baycon. I did not even introduce myself to the Kollins brothers, and you could hardly walk around the hotel without running into one or both of them. It was pretty pathetic, but I had a great time and learned a lot, anyway.

    • The Kollins brothers were indeed everywhere and I had several fun conversations with them. When I’m introducing myself to someone cold, I find it really helps if I start with a compliment/question combo. “I really liked your story, where did you get the idea for the purple butterfly zebra?” or “What a beautiful necklace, where did you get it?” If there is a particular conversation you hope to have with another person it is best to make the compliment/question relate to that. For cold introductions I focus on asking the other person about themselves and only telling about me if they reciprocate. The best way to become interesting is to be interested in the other person. …and you probably weren’t looking for a mini-lecture on introductions. Sorry about that. I guess I’m trying to solidify my thoughts so I remember them.

      Please don’t ever be afraid to introduce yourself to Howard or to me. We love meeting new people. Howard will be at GenCon and Dragon*Con. We’ll both be at Worldcon. If you’re there please do say hello, and you can reference this comment conversation. I’m glad you had a great time at Baycon.