Episode 010 - Are All Writers Introverts?

Guess what day it is...and if you say Monday, you are wrong! Well, technically, it is Monday, so you're actually correct, but I'm talking about something else.


It is the final day of NaNoWriMo and I want to give a quick shout-out to all my fellow writers that are smashing their word count goals and giving it all they've got for this last go round. Kudos to you guys for hanging in there for 30 days and getting the writing done. You all deserve a box of cupcakes with extra sprinkles!


On another note, I have a question for you. Are all writers considered introverts? Why are writers considered introverts? Okay, that was two questions.


Today, we're diving into a hot topic among the writing community, and that's Introverted writers.


If you're a writer, then this may be something that you have thought about or have even had a discussion on.


I did some research regarding the matter and I’ve found some interesting findings to share with you. I also want to get to the bottom of this debate and try and answer this question for myself.



So what did I uncover?


My Experience With Introversion


Well, let's go back, way back in the early 80s to my childhood. And I should be careful, as I'm doing a great job at telling my age here!


Ever since I can remember, I have always been an introvert (more on the ambivert spectrum, but for the sake of clarity, we'll just leave it here as introverted) before I even understood the meaning of the term, I just assumed that I was shy, but as I entered into my teenage years, I was blown away to discover that being shy and being introverted are two entirely different things!


All throughout my childhood, I was reminded of how shy I was, and thinking back to it now, I've always had homies, maybe not a whole bunch, but I did keep a selected few girls in my circle to run with. I wasn't shy, I just appreciated my space and couldn't tolerate everyone. That just came off shy to people because they really didn't understand me. Some of my own family members weren't able to get this about me.


An introverted person appreciates their alone time. They can spend time with others, however, they get emotionally drained by this and desperately need to recharge before functioning normally, and by normally, I just mean talking.


A shy person on the other hand, may not choose to be alone (contrary to what others believe) but they're just too scared to interact with others.


A Shy Encounter


I remember working as a day camp counselor years ago, and maybe a month after camp started, there was a new girl that joined the class that I was in charge of.


When I tell you this little girl spoke no words, she uttered no sounds! The girl was so mute, the staff would even forget to take her attendance because they thought she wasn't present in the class half the time! She would get beet red ANYTIME one of the other kids called her name, and it wasn't that she couldn't speak, she was terrified too. Poor little girl, you could see it all in her eyes, she wanted to play with the other children, but she couldn't get over the fear of making friends.


That is shyness, well in this little girl's case, she was painfully shy. I just remember her laying her head in her arms on the desk, sobbing. It bothered her so much that she cried often about it, during class!


Now what in the world does this have to do with introverted writers?


Well, I wanted to first distinguish the difference between being introverted and being shy because for some reason, and I get it, but people tend to think these two mimic each other when in fact they really don't.


One is a trait, which is a distinguishing quality or characteristic. That's introversion. The other is an emotion, which is a state of mind deriving from circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. That's shyness.


So now that we have a clear distinction on what an introverted person is not, let's take a closer look at what actually makes an introvert.


Disclaimer


Before you continue reading, I would just like to put it out there that anything that I talk about in today's episode is of my own research, opinion and experience.


I am in no way, shape or form an expert in human behaviors and don't pretend or want to be. I'm just a writer that’s been through some stuff and I choose to use my platform to speak on the stuff I know.


So don't come for me : )


Now back to regular programming.

What Is An Introverted Writer?


So what exactly is introversion? In a nutshell, persons with this personality trait enjoy focusing on what's happening to them internally rather than what's going on externally.


In the writing world, we would equate this to A story and B story, and if you outline using beats, then you can see how introverts would play as perfect B story characters. (That's a little inside joke for all my Save The Cat! Writer's out there! Hey guys, heeeeeey!)


Introverts are actually social and they appreciate spending time with people, however, they can only tolerate one or two persons at a time, maybe three and that's on a really good day. Like a reaaaaaaally good day.


Asking an introvert to mix with a large group or crowd is a hefty task.



You may be an introvert if you…

  • prefer writing to speaking

  • feel drained after being around people

  • work out problems using your imagination

  • have fewer friendships

  • are reflective

  • enjoy being a homebody

  • take your coffee black


Just kidding on that last one. I actually need cream in my coffee. Lots of it. Perhaps too much.


Answering The Topic Question


How then, are writers connected to this trait? And are ALL writers introverts?


I took this question to the hardcore virtual streets of Instagram and the numbers were staggering!


All you 23% of people that answered yes to this question are crazy! Y'all are bugging! No, I'm playing around, to each his own, by the way, about 77% of people answered no to this question and I don't mean to be so tense about the outcome of this but... I'm with the 77% on this one.


Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain are both thought to have been extroverts!


Now granted, they don't make up the vast majority of writers ever to write, but all writers can't possibly be introverts! Like every last writer on planet Earth? I don't think it's a possibility. I personally know some extremely extroverted writers and I'm currently trying to understand where they find the energy and time. I need to take a page from these people because I am not about that lifestyle!



I have moments where I need to hide, away from EVERYONE, even the kids. I get an overwhelming urge to break away from all human contact and seclude myself in my own bubble. I just need my time, I need my space, I need a break.


I think introverts take comfort in writing because it gives them that seclusion they so desperately need.


Writing allows a way to escape and think. It allows one to express all the ideas held hostage in their creative little mind and quite frankly, the average introvert enjoys doing this.


But does this mean that you have to be introverted to be a writer? Nope.


Allow me to explain.


One of the most beautiful things about being a writer is that YOU as the creator of the written word, can write however you like, sharing art in your own unique way, and the best thing about being a writer, you can be introverted, extroverted or even a combination of both (remember that ambiverted spectrum I touched on earlier? That is it.)


Writing can be done by anyone and everyone. It doesn’t require prerequisites to practice the craft, Anyone can become a writer.


All you need is an idea or several ideas and some useful tools to help you flesh those ideas out and voila! You’re a writer!

All writers are capable of sharing unique ideas and stories. No matter what level that writer may be at, all writers can bring something intriguing to the table.


What are you bringing to the table?



Reflection And Recap


Let’s briefly recap what we learned here today:


  • Being introverted and being shy are two separate things, and really should be acknowledged as such. One is a trait and that is introversion, while the other is an emotion, shyness.

  • Introverts more than likely enjoy writing because it allows alone time and provokes thought and creative expression.

  • All writers are not introverts, in fact, many extroverts enjoy the art of writing as much as any introvert and literally anyone can do it! You just need an idea and some tools and you're good to go.


The End! You Made It!


Well look at you making it all the way to the end of this blog post!


I hope I was able to make you laugh a little, or even smile. Smiles are excellent during these critical times and if you can at minimum find a moment to smile through all of this, then, you'll be alright. Just hang in there.


Take some time today to give a virtual hug to all those that you cherish and why not even send a hug to someone new?


Show your loved ones you care about them by telling them just that and don't forget about your pets. They need love too. Give them an extra treat today. They deserve it.


I leave you with the words of my 8 year old son...Mommy, why can't we all just move to Mars and start all over again?


Till next post,

Happy writing!


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