A Dash of Sociopathy Anyone?

psychtodayA few weeks ago I bought Psychology Today. The cover blared, “Confessions of a Sociopath.” The cashier glanced at me, then down at the cover, and said, “Be careful, you might learn something.”

Hah! I thought. I wish.

I’m jesting, but not entirely.

The author of the article is high-functioning, successful, and a church volunteer. As I read the article, I couldn’t help but wonder what my life would be like if I leaned toward the sociopathic end of the spectrum. I’m not¬†talking violence here. Most (or maybe only many) sociopaths aren’t violent, or even bad people, per se, but they are manipulators with a lack of affect. Everything they do is for a reason, and that reason is self-serving. They mimic us “empaths” surprisingly well, most of the time. They are our neighbors.

As I was saying, I got to wondering what a little sociopathy would feel like. Because, let’s face it, sociopaths aren’t bogged down by caring about others’ feelings or opinions. They’re often fearless. They aren’t prone to depression (my issue)¬†in large part because they have such a super-inflated sense of their own superiority.

Wow, must be liberating. Where would I be now in my writing career if I’d always known my novels were superior? If I hadn’t despaired about whether I had writing talent? If I hadn’t let others’ opinions (especially those in the power seat like literary agents) erode my confidence?

Soon enough I’ll be needing to talk about KILMOON with some kind of authority–as if I really know what I’m talking about! Yee gads…I just write, folks. Do I know what I’m doing half the time? Not really.

This is where a dash of sociopathy might come in handy. Then I’d fearlessly talk up my fabulous novel without a care in the world, not to mention stare down anyone who dared to disagree with me.

If you’re curious about the sociopathic life, check out www.sociopathworld.com. Great fodder for character (as in fictional) building!

GOOD NEWS | I’m Officially a Debuting Novelist

KILMOON takes place in western Ireland. Old burial grounds like this provided tons of inspiration.
KILMOON takes place in western Ireland. Old burial grounds like this provided tons of inspiration.

(Read more about the novel here: KILMOON)

Yep, that’s me: debuting novelist! I’ve been debuting myself in my imagination for years, so it’s strange to be here with a baby book on its way through a gestation cycle — editing, and interior design, and cover design. Exciting!

My authorial cycle is just as hectic. Here’s the immediate to-do list:

1. New website. My current website is pretty stale now. Needs a revamp. So I need to find a website designer, decide on content, write that content…

2. Author photo! If you’re anything like me, the thought of having your photo taken — especially an official photo — doesn’t send you over the moon with enthusiasm. First there’s the pose. Shall I sit with chin on fist, looking contemplative? Or how about with arms crossed in an I’m-a-serious-writer pose? To be honest, I picture myself at a pub with a Guinness standing proud before me. Perhaps with a Guinness and with chin on fist?

And what about wardrobe? I might have to buy a few new tops, and I don’t like clothes shopping. Makeup?! Yee gads. I’m also not a fan of makeup, but I might need to buy — foundation? Hmm…I’d better ask for advice from my girly-girl girlfriends.

3. Last bits of the manuscript: acknowledgments, dedication, author bio. The acknowledgments are challenging because I’ve been revising the novel for years (off and on). I can’t remember everyone who provided feedback or research information. Lesson learned for the second novel: keep an acknowledgments list!

4. Figure out social networking, for real. It might help if I blogged consistently, eh? I hereby and with sincere hope vow to write a blog post once a week. (What’s today? Wednesday? So, every Wednesday? Do any of you dear readers have an opinion about which days are the best blogging days?)

Facebook – check. (Come find me if you’d like!) Do I REALLY need a Facebook author page? I’d better ask around.

Over the weekend, I Twitter-ized myself. Getting familiar with that. Just learned that “RT” means “retweet.” That’s a good start.

I think I might join Goodreads because I’ve been meaning to anyhow. And that’s it. No Tumblr or Pinterest or whatever the latest social-media outlet is. (I do need to finish revising the second novel in the series, after all.)

5. Most important: keep writing! It’s way too easy to get sidetracked by social media and the business side of writing. I’m feeling pressure to be out there in the see-and-be-seen way. I’m the friendly sort, so this isn’t too hard–and I like meeting new people. (Just yesterday I virtually met Kristopher of bolobooks.com, a book reviewer–nice and smart reviewer!) However, since I’m the easily distracted type, this could be problematic.

There are more tasks, but I’m feeling a wee bit exhausted having written up my top five. OK, off to write the acknowledgments!