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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Introvert and the Not-So-Solo Writing of a Novel

Photo by Laura Bear
I'm an introvert. I say this with confidence after reading a recent post on social media about how to interact with an introvert: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/16/understanding-introverts-_n_5989656.html . According to this article, an introvert is defined not by who we are, but by how we recharge. I love that! It's true that introverted people don't dislike company. We do! It's just that it's draining and we need time alone, in our own space, to replenish that energy drain or we get grumpy, even nasty. Introvert, on social media? Actually, it's easy for an introvert to engage with other people over social media because there's no immediate demand. There's time to reflect. Reflection is important to introverts. We do a lot of staring at our navels, gazing at nature, sitting in the quiet. It seems like writing a novel would be an isolating experience--perfect for someone who needs to work alone. And while writing is often a solitary labor, it does require a certain degree of social interaction: with other writers, with readers, with editors, and, for some of us, working with a talented publisher. I relish those interactions. But, publishing comes with its own challenges. If you want to sell your book. If you wish to give other people the opportunity to read this thing that you labored over for weeks, months, years at a time, you must engage with fellow humans. And they are often delightful, but it still sucks the life out of me. And now there is an article explaining this to the extroverted people who are recharged by the very interaction that depletes us. A roomful of people is daunting to the introvert. On the other hand, the extrovert thrives on that same crowd. Let the party begin, right? I love a party, but I will need at least a day--maybe a week, depending on the party--to  recover in quiet solitude or one-on-one intimacy. Call me what you will, I know what I need to stay healthy and happy and to have enough energy to write. Wine helps, too, but not too much of it!

Many writers are introverts by nature, but I'm sure there are many who are not. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How do you recharge your energy" What do you love? What rubs you the wrong way?

Join me next week when I introduce you to a wonderful writer who blazed her own successful trail in publishing her books: MaryPat Hyland www.marypathyland.com . I can't wait to share her story with you! Recharge this weekend, in whatever way you need.