The Art of the Introvert

When you’re a writer, being an introvert is a natural, accepted quality. Actually, it’s encouraged, even celebrated. But while being a writer is often synonymous with being an introvert, there are subtle differences and nuances. Here are some introvert essentials, applied to writer-hood:

Don’t be alarmed: we aren’t avoiding you because we don’t like you.

Writers like to write, and being with you, talking to you, and engaging in social gatherings is time spent not writing. You can’t meet up tonight after all? Awesome! We are not sad or lonely. We are having a great time on our own.

Recharging our batteries requires solitude, and being social is exhausting.

Extraverts recharge in company while introverts recharge in solitude. Introverts find crowds draining while extraverts find them energizing. For writers, writing is a self-charging activity. Being creative and crafting our spinning brain fog into a story, poem, etc., leaves us feeling both empty and full at the same time. It requires great energy, and it is energizing. Expending that energy on a social gathering is nowhere near as exciting. Sorry.

You are great material.

When we do venture out into the three-dimensional world of real people, there will be, at some point, a word, phrase, or character quirk that sparks that homing beacon in our brains that is never turned off and seeks something to write about. Parties are like anthropological buffets of words and actions. Anything you say can and will be used.

Internal monologue is endlessly interesting.

I’m sorry, was I staring off into space? Were you offended that I wasn’t paying attention, or were you concerned I was having a stroke? Apologies. My imagination was saying something really interesting, and I didn’t want to miss it. Please continue.

Reading is not “doing nothing.”

Reading is fuel. It fills the word tank. It also points our above-mentioned over-active imaginations out of our own brains for a while.

Science:

Scientific studies are funded and implemented on the introvert/extravert question. What causes this difference in personalities? Why do introverts find excuses to go hide for a while at a gathering of people they really do like? According to The Science, introverts and extraverts are in very different places on the spectrum of neocortical arousal. Right, that still doesn’t explain anything. To boil down a very complex hypothesis, introvert brains are more alert, more responsive, and function on stimulation over-drive. So, when we’re surrounded by external voices, personalities, and demands, it’s just too much. We need a break. A long one.

For writers, this doesn’t bode well for our dance cards, but it means great things for our creative efforts. We have friends, and we like them, and it’s okay that some of them are imaginary.

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