I am not a naturally sociable person. In a crowd of people I am apt to jump up and bark too much, like an overexcited Jack Russell. The thought of going to a party where I don't know anyone, is more than likely to encourage every reason not to.

I'll be laughed out of town wearing those trousers, it would be safer for the world if I stayed in and read a book, is that really my face, with those teeth and that hair?

That's not to say that when I drag myself through the front door I am not often pleasantly surprised. Still, there are enough times when my doubts live up to themselves in full surround sound and technicolour, to keep me lurking in the shadows.

Being somewhat of an introvert, and a writer, the world of social media can often feel like one constant party I really ought to go to. Writing, to me, is a gloriously solitary pursuit, something to be done in a shed at the bottom of the garden (I would if I could if I had one) or hidden away in a quiet room. Occasionally I can write in a busy café, concentrated by the bustling noises all around, but essentially it is something I can only really do if I take myself away from everything and everyone.

Talking about writing, sharing thoughts, now that's something I am compelled to do, to relish in the love of the written word with a group of like-minded people, smallish in size, not too loud or overwhelming. I love the buzz that comes from the rise and fall of discussion. This feels organic, essential. Safe.

But the huge, shouty world of Facebook and Twitter, and all the other medias that I have no clue about? For me, I have to limit the amount of times I open the door to such places. If I stopped to listen too long, I would be carried away on a sea of noise, bedazzled by the phosphorescence of other peoples' stories.

It is for my own survival, as a writer and as a strange solitary person, that whenever I visit such places, I take a deep breath, plunge in, then lean back on the safety hatch once I'm out.

The solitary footprint of a seagull

I am full of admiration for those who bloom Out There, those who can ride the waves of social media like a fine admiralty. For me, I will always have my feet firmly planted on the sand, a brief dash into the surf and then out again to sit quietly on my island.

Don't forget last week's tasty morsels on Words & Pictures:

Monday's Inspiration piece from K M Lockwood, invites us to explore the rich possibilities of feasting in our stories
Tuesday's comprehensive pick of the blogs from Nick
Wednesday's invaluable Proofreading Tips from Catriona
Thursday's Event News Candy's colourful report of the pulse event with Sarah McIntyre, and Network News Dom's report of the North-West Sketch & Scrawl event
Saturday's Small Big Celebration of Sally Kindberg's new book - Draw it! Animals

Nancy Saunders is the Editor of W&P. You can find some of her short stories here, and on Twitter @nancyesaunders

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