|Would you like to buy this book?|
I believe that new experiences are very important for us. They’re important for us as human beings who wish to keep growing as such, and they’re crucial for writers – if I don’t have my own personal experiences, what am I going to write about? My childhood? Of being bored and stagnant and empty? It’s something to write about too, but it can only get me so far until I’m left without anything to say and until everything I write starts looking as a fake and a lousy retelling.
How do you pick something new to do, some other area to explore? It’s up to you and to your interests, whether those interests are big or small or just something which will pass within a week. It can be learning a new language, exploring the woods close to your home, starting to take more pictures and playing with photography, looking for new recipes and trying them out… Anything, really.
What I did recently was to join a Serbian auction website. One part of it designed for auctions, and the other for selling and buying at fixed prices. I did it both as doing something new, and as a way to sell some stuff, books mostly (my own short story collection, plus a bunch of books I own but will not read again, nor will I give them as gifts – you know the kind, you buy them on a whim, read them, have no wish to read them again, and don’t know anyone who’d actually love to have them).
It was scary. Not much, but still. You see, I’m an introvert. I’m anti-social. It’s not that I hate people; I don’t. I just want them to stay away. And if I’m going to sell them stuff, well, I’ll have to communicate with them, to answer their questions, meet them in town and bring them books (if they’re from the same town as I am – that’s the simplest way). Scary.
So far, I didn’t have unpleasant experiences (well, it’s only been a week). The very first day I put up some books for sale at the fixed price part, I sold one. The guy who bought the book contacted me immediately. He didn’t live in my town, but it turned out that his dad did, so we agreed that I would meet with his dad and give him the book, and he’d give me the money. It all went without problems, his dad turned out to be a polite elderly gentleman used to meet with people who sold books to his son.
But still. A new experience, plus communicating with people. Scary.
The other book I sold went to another guy. The meeting with the elderly gentleman was still two days away (we agreed on the time which suited us both, and it wasn’t the same day), but with this other guy, it went faster, on the same day the book was marked as sold. In other words, it was the first time I did it, went to the place where we agreed to meet (a public place, of course), and I was a bit nervous. It’s not that I was scared of that particular guy, or of the possibility that he could be a lunatic with a machine gun – I checked him out on the auction site, and several people already stated that they sold him stuff and it all went just fine, so I had no reason to be afraid of him. It was that nervousness of doing something for the first time, and it was the darn communicating with people – and in person at that.
The guy – a young man, in his early twenties perhaps – showed up in a tow truck, the one they use to remove cars from the no-parking zones. I have no idea whether he was in the middle of the working hours, or was just finishing his shift and used the tow truck as his own vehicle, or what; we didn’t chat, it all went pretty quick, give the book, take the money, say bye.
We call those tow trucks ‘spiders’, so I was joking, later, that I sold a book to a Spider-Man.
So. Doing something new, making two sales, and I have stories to tell, of an elderly gentleman whose son lives in another town and loves buying books, and of a young man who came in a tow truck to pick up a book. Well, not exactly stories, but certainly nice details, at least.
Not to mention, while doing something new can be a bit scary, it’s also fun, and good. The little bit of money added to it doesn’t hurt, either.
When was the last time you did something new?