Disclaimer: Today's post may not "speak" to you directly. In fact, there's a 50-50 chance that you're one of those people who will think this post is not about you. We call those people extroverts. And though this post isn't about them, they should read it anyway. Because chances are there are writers in their critique group, children in their homes, or people in their workplaces who are not extroverts. And they may be approaching them in entirely the wrong way.
The other half of possible readers are introverts. And this post is about you.
Not sure if you're an introvert? Take a quiz here. Or check out this handy-dandy chart with examples from Harry Potter.
|You can view a larger version of it here|
Hi, my name is Dannie, and I'm an introvert. No, for real.
It may not always seem that way on Twitter, where I can hide behind the comfort of my security blanket (aka my laptop) and an avatar. But I really am the kind of person who...
- Would rather spend an entire weekend in silence than meet people
- Will not eat alone in a restaurant (or go to the movies by myself)
- Intensely dislikes parties (particularly the mandatory kind)
- Doesn't make eye contact with strangers--okay so part of this is being a New Englander, but not all of it
- Has a physiological aversion to telephone conversations.
Sound like you? It might. Psychologists estimate that between 25-50 percent of the general population is made up of introverts. When you look at writers specifically, that statistic jumps to 80-90 percent. There is a lot of evidence to support this. Veronica Roth probably said it as well as any of us could:
If you know anything about me, you know that I'm constantly wondering if I sound stupid when I talk to people I don't know, particularly if we're talking about my writing. I am sure that some of you have that same problem. Writers, as a bunch, are not mega-outgoing. We're more likely to put on giant sweaters and hole up in our bedrooms than, you know, dress up like Lady GaGa and crash a college party, or whatever those outgoing people do.
Extroverts who don't "get it" often view introverts as unfriendly, nerdy party-poopers, who are shy and lack social skills or, worse, hate people altogether.
Yes, that's right. Writers hate people so much we spend our entire lives studying their behavior and writing stories for, get this, people to read.
So, what does this mean for your writing life?
Conferences can be awkward.
Schmoozes are hell.
Twitter is awesome.
You will occasionally run across a kick-ass blogger or reporter who will let you answer interview questions by email. However, you will at some point have to have...phone conversations.
Online critique groups are awesome to the power of sauce.
WriteOnCon is, like, the holy grail of writing conferences.
Like any other challenge we face in life, we have to find coping skills to deal with the obstacles set out before us. In the next All-The-Feels post, some I've found helpful, and if you're an introvert, I'd love to hear what you use to help you deal with writing life outside of your safe corner of the universe. You can leave your tips for introverts as comments below, or hit me up via the Contact Form in the top right corner of my blog.
Did you take the Myers-Briggs inventory at the top of the post? What was your score? Does it match what you think is true about yourself? Why or why not?
Dannie Morin is an author, blogger, and freelance editor. She's currently contemplating seeking help for her social media addiction. In the meantime, you can find her on Blogger, Facebook, Goodreads, & Twitter. If you've got suggestions for a future All the Feels post, contact Dannie via the contact form on her blog. She is repped by Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.