Does an Extroverted Writer Have the Advantage? Maybe Not
I’ve read a lot of blogs lately by introverted writers pointing out how hard it is for them, nowadays.
There are probably more introverted authors than extroverts. After all, it’s darned near a cliché – the writer living in seclusion, typing away in obscurity. That’s all you see in movies: As Good as it Gets, Something’s Gotta Give – even, dare I mention, The Shining? Misery? (don’t throw tomatoes, I’m not judging!)
As an extrovert, it’s killing me that the introverts get all the press, even though they shrink from it!
But there are extroverted writers. The obvious ones that jump to my mind are: Kristen Lamb, Chuck Wendig, Jennifer Weiner . . . I’m sure you could add to the list.
Before I go farther, you know the difference between the two, right? In the simplest terms, an extrovert is a person who is energized by being around other people. An introvert is energized by being alone.
But which writer has the advantage– the extrovert, or the introvert?
Seems obvious, right? The extroverts love the promo, the press, the spotlight! They have it easier.
Not so fast. I’m here to point out some of the disadvantages the extroverts deal with.
Oh look! A bright shiny thing!
Since extroverts get their energy from the outside, we have a hard time putting in the solitary hours to write. It’s lonesome in that writing cave!
Tools to cope:
- Write in public. The library, the coffee shop, the mall
- Make your own company. Write with the TV on. Listen to talk radio. Write in the kitchen, with the family around you.
Since we love to hang on social media and engage others, it’s easy to get complacent – to forget that we’re not having a conversation with our friends only. The world is reading over our shoulder. And making judgments about us and our writing, from the way we present ourselves.
Tools to cope:
- Don’t forget why you’re there. It’s not to reveal your political bent, your religion, your opinion about alternate lifestyles.
- Never miss a good chance to shut up. If you’re typing, and have that little tickle at the back of your brain, making you think twice – DON’T post!
- Remember mom. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Yeah, I know big-time authors who don’t follow the above. But I’m not yet a big-time author. Are you?
We LIKE Twitter, FB, Linkedin, Pinterest, email, Goodreads, Google, and . . .
I’ve done marathon sessions only to wake up four hours later, my butt aching. The only reason I stopped then was because I was about to wet my pants. Literally
Tools to cope:
- Set an alarm – and then stop. (I can ignore it, too.)
- Schedule phone calls, appointments, etc. to break up your computer time
- Software to focus: Write or Die, Internet timeout software
- Old school – go in the back yard, to a park, and take a pen and paper. Yeah, that still works.
See? Being an extrovert can be as much a disadvantage as being an introvert!
Which are you? What’s your biggest stumbling block with your type?
I think I fall into both categories. And having self-diagnosed ADD—because why should I pay a doctor to tell me I can’t pay attention—makes navigating the internet even harder. It’s ADD’s dream! I write better alone with Celtic music playing, the curtains open to the empty field next door, and lots of coffee. I did find an app for my Mac that will block access to webpages I choose for a timeframe I choose, and that has been a gift.
Jamie, then I think you have the best of both worlds! Take advantage – it sounds like you’ve found some great tools to help you. Write on!