Self awareness


May 18th, 2011

Sometimes I read something in someone else’s blog and think – yeah, that’s like me. Like this, from Sarah Irving, author of Gaza: Beneath the Bombs

I’m not a theory person or an in-depth analyst. I have an adequate but far from outstanding brain, and although I can absorb staggering quantities of useless factoids, I’m not mentally quick. I’m the sort of person who suffers from bad cases of esprit d’escalier, revisiting moments in arguments and debates days or weeks later with that final, killer line. So the idea of being faced with an unsympathetic philosopher and supposed intellectual heavyweight was enough to cause me some lost sleep and serious nausea.

Sarah was writing about a book launch. I sometimes think a book launch or tour must be as excruciating for a writer as standing in front of dozens, if not, hundred of people to facilitate a meeting. (I can relate to the lost sleep and nausea.) In both cases it’s pretty unlikely that every person in the room will be your ally. I think this sort of self-awareness is a good thing. Sarah’s post is worth reading because it’s a great description of some serious status games. And she’s a great writer.

It also reminds me of a discussion Johnnie Moore and I were having about a mutual friend who can talk a lot. I’m quite happy with companionable silence, and certainly can’t sustain a lot of talking. Johnnie pointed out that people who talk a lot are most likely thinking out loud – making sense of their thoughts by speaking them, while I have those conversations in my own head. It’s good to be reminded of our similarities, and differences.

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