According to #Society, I’m a unicorn. I mean, I’ve never confirmed nor denied this claim. I could be a majestic, magical creature that rides on rainbows.
But in this particular case, I’m talking about the fact that I DON’T EXIST. (Which, again, could be true. Maaaybe I’m a figment of all your imaginations. *wriggles fingers in the air making scary ghost noises* Whoooo.) Because, you see, I am in fact an…
But but but. That’s not POSSIBLE. Those don’t exist! Should we sell it to science to be studied? Should we protect it before it goes extinct completely? Should we just laugh because this has to be a prank? An extroverted writer? Psssh. An impossibility!
Yes, yes. According to #Society, if one is a writer, they must be an introvert. And you know what? I GET IT. Yep, I do. The traits of a writer do often tend to lean toward introverted traits. I’m honestly not mad at #Society with this claim. It amuses me endlessly. (Mainly because it makes me a unicorn, but shhh, that’s a secret.) If I’m being real here, most of the writers I know are, in fact, introverts. Maybe the introverted writer is the more common variety. It makes SENSE.
Because introverts tend to be…
Great at focusing on their worlds and characters.
Okay with spending time alone into pouring over their writing.
Fantastic observers of the world, which aids immensely with writing good, wholesome, real stories.
AWESOME thinkers. They have a wonderful ability to think deeply about a subject and really dig into it.
And they need a form of escapism to recharge, and writing is the BEST for that.
If I’m being honest here, I very often envy the introverted mind. Like I said, they obverse the world so beautifully and think so deeply. And they can FOCUS and disappear in their worlds.
Now, please, please, please, don’t think I’m trying to stereotype here! You may be an introvert and reading this thinking, “What on earth? I’m NOTHING like that!” I know every person on the earth is different. (Which I think is the most wonderful thing about our beautiful earth.) So do please disagree with me here! These are just things I’ve observed from the many precious introverts I have in my life.
What I’m really getting at here is: YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING WRITERS. And I envy your magical abilities!
Because I have a confession: BEING AN EXTROVERTED WRITER IS HARD. For me personally anyway. And why is that? Because…
I want to be out DOING. I want to be out in the world and with people all. the. time.
I don’t want to spend time locked away in my room in front of the computer screen. I’m my happiest when I’m constantly on the go, out and about, seeing other people. Or, even when I’m home, I want to hang out with my family.
Spending hours holed up by myself editing? I DON’T WANNA.
So you may be saying, “Why not take your computer to a coffee shop or something where there are people? Best of both worlds, right?”
I have been cursed with the inability to be able to write with people around. I can’t disappear into my story at all if there’s even a single soul nearby. I get too much focused on them, or just want to talk and hang out, than try to be quiet and actually WRITE. It is not possible! If there are people, I want to immerse in the people! I have to be 100% alone (save for my poodle who is my writing buddy…though even then I get distracted by petting her and talking to her instead of writing, but I digress) to focus enough to write properly. IT’S A PROBLEM.
Being an extroverted writer is not all a struggle. My personality actually often aids in my writing as well.
And I have a list for you guys as to how my unfocused brain somehow manages to create people and worlds and throw them on a page and call it a novel.
TRAITS OF THE
Since I thrive off being out and doing, it gives me a chance to experience the world and glean story ideas from it. Such as at the little secondhand bookstore I work at, I meet all sorts of fascinating characters to strike up conversations with. I’ve listened to many an interesting story. It’s very inspiring.
SOAK UP THE WORLD
I tend to soak up every minute I step outside of the house because that’s when I’m my happiest. When I’m in a place with a ton of people, I soak up everything around me, and then (hopefully) take part of everything I can. I don’t want to just watch, I want to do, to experience. And then, in turn, I learn what it feels like and can accurately portray similar experiences in my novels.
PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE
I’m not book smart, guys. I can’t spout off awesome historical facts or give you the scientific reason about…anything, and even my grammar is much to be desired (#shamefulwriterconfessions), but I know PEOPLE. I’ve been told writing real characters is my biggest writing strong suit, and I tend to think the same. BECAUSE I LOVE PEOPLE.
People is where I thrive. And not only that, I get people. I understand how they think and why they do the things they do, and I am a total nerd about it. When I need to research something for my novel, I whine and groan and put it off for 2239384 years (I’m just not the intellectual type, guys). And yet, I’ll spend hours studying the Myers-Briggs personalities JUST BECAUSE. Simply for fun! I’m the biggest nerd when it comes to personalities and just PEOPLE.
Characters is 100000000% my FAVORITE part of the writing life. I could create characters ‘til the end of time. Because PEOPLE.
As an extrovert, I want to be with people all the time. And I gain experience from it, I hear interesting stories which is very inspiring, I learn more and more about how people think.
And, to go along with this point…
BEING A CHAMELEON
Okay, so I don’t think this is an exclusive extroverted trait, or even a common trait in anyone. This is more a my specific personality thing (and I’m an ENFJ/ESFJ, because I know you were all dying to know). See, when I’m with a person or group of people I tend to…become them. I adapt to their personality and way of life and just kind of be like them. It’s very odd, and probably not the best thing because, ya know, I should be myself. And I AM. It’s not to say I change my views on things when I’m with people. Not at all! And once I’m away from people, I’m back to being 100% myself. I can just easily blend in and adapt to different types of people. Which actually serves to be very useful. Because it means I get along with most personality types, and because I go into chameleon mode, I experience all the different personality types I’m with and can accurately portray them in my novels.
Weird, I know, but it’s true.
~ ~ ~
So being an extroverted writer isn’t all difficulties.
Now if only I can focus and tear myself away from people now and again to actually write… Ahem.
But you know what, guys? I WILL ALWAYS WRITE. Yes, it can be extremely challenging being an extroverted writer who is cursed with not being able to write with people around. But writing is my LIFE. Perhaps I fail at focusing and need to set aside more time to work on it, but my goal is to make a career out of writing one day, and I don’t plan on stopping.
Besides, writing doesn’t always hinder my extroverted needs. It can often aid them.
It gives me new experiences. Currently I’m not able to travel all over the world and experience it like I’d love to do, but with writing I can. Not only can I explore anywhere in the world, I can explore places that don’t even EXIST. (And, let’s be real here, those are my favorites. #FantasyWriter)
PEOPLE. Have I mentioned I love people? Well, when I can’t get my “social fix” I can always, always immerse myself in endless amounts of people via writing. Often, when I write and spend a ton of time with beloved characters, I get nearly as recharged as I would having lunch with friends or something. I get to be with people in writing and ANY and ALL the people I want to! IT’S THE BEST.
Excitement! Extroverts (or at least this one) want excitement in their lives. It’s often the stereotype (and sometimes accurate stereotype) that we’re full of energy. Well…I have health problems that make me physically not full of any energy most of the time, even though mentally I want to be. I’d love to go skydiving or mountain climbing or hiking across Middle Earth to destroy the One Ring but HAHAHAHAHA. No. I’ll never be able to. But that’s okay because I have BOOKS. If I want an experience, I can just write about it! It’s magical.
DISCLAIMER: This post is not to try to stereotype or try to claim one type of person can write better than another. We are ALL unique individuals with strengths and weaknesses. And the beauty of that means we get a wide range of different types of books which is the BEST. (Who wants all novels to be the same? Ewwww!) I don’t for one second think introverts don’t have these traits. In fact, I know a couple of introverts who are masters at understanding people. Because *gasp* we’re not all defined by stereotypical labels! WHO KNEW? Introverts and extroverts can also come to the same conclusion, just with different approaches. Such as an extrovert may learn something by experiencing it, and an introvert may learn by observing.
What’s funny is I do have quite a lot of introverted tendencies. I do like to be alone sometimes and I’m often so quiet people mistake me for an introvert. (Which is kind of a funny story. I hate being quiet… I loooooove to talk. But see, I’m just the rare extrovert who’s the worst at coming up with or carrying a conversation. So I stay quiet even when I desperately want to talk. I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAAAAY. D: It’s very frustrating!) But I am charged up by people and can get depressed if I’m home too much.
But the main reason I write is because I can’t not. God gave me a passion for it and, yes, I have my struggles. But we all do. Writing is hard, grueling work and we ALL want to just go marathon a TV show or be out with friends instead of focusing on writing sometimes (okay, a lot of times). That’s just part of the #WritersLife. But we write anyway. Because, introvert or extrovert, when we are given the passion of writing, there’s no force on this earth powerful enough to keep us away from it forever.
We write because we love it. And that’s all that matters.
Okay, my beloved writers, SPILL IT. Are you an introverted or extroverted writer? Somewhere in between? Do you relate to any of these traits? Do you have any writing stereotypes or any things that completely break the stereotype of your personality? What’s YOUR number one writing struggle? And what’s your writing strong suit? LET US CHAT ALL THE THINGS.