I get really excited every time I begin a post and have no idea why.
HELLO TO THE PEOPLE!
I just got back from the ocean! It was awesome and ocean-y.
We all know at least one.
I am one.
As an introverted writer, there are things that do not come easily for me. I'm going to list them and cross my fingers and hope and pray that I'm not the only one who has these struggles. FEEL MY PAIN WITH ME! I DEMAND IT.
I don't. Be happy and make some cupcakes. Send me some, and I might be your friend forever.
1. Gathering character information.
Google is a gift to humanity, but it can only do so much. There are times when you must speak to an actual human to gather information on a certain character. And not only must you talk to them, you must initiate a conversation and not bore then to death or take up their precious time or bother them with your questions or put them to sleep with the story idea that you think is really interesting but they must be so bored by now. Talking to people is HARD. It's REALLY REALLY HARD. And as a writer, YOU HAVE TO DO IT!
2. Sunlight and the outdoors in general.
My bedroom is in our finished basement. It's my Hobbit-Hole, cave, den, whatever. All you need to know is I only go up the stairs for food, a shower, and to see my family once and a while when I'm required to communicate with other life forms. I mean, I suppose I could go write outside, but.......whyyyyyyyyyy......
In my defense, it is a REALLY AWESOME BEAR CAVE. There are very few things which could bring me out of my bedroom.
It doesn't have to be a bedroom though. Introverts are notorious for shutting themselves up in small, dark places. Unless they're claustrophobic, but then they just shut themselves up in larger, lighter places. This doesn't usually directly affect writing, but I have discovered that when I do go for a walk in the woods or spend time with friends, I feel more creative afterwards.
3. Writing workshops and conventions.
Don't get me wrong, there's something really magical about walking into a large room and seeing it filled with writers. Knowing you're not the only person who struggles with plot development or internal conflict is fantastic.
But then there's the whole problem of it being a convention. With other people. Lots of other people. And you're supposed to "hang out" with them. And "mill about". And "talk to them". And "be social". I don't know about you, but I'd much rather stay in my bed and read, even if I do end up missing out on conversations with other writers.
My mom is awesome and encourages my writing, but she's an extrovert, and her way of doing that is to tell me about all kinds of conventions and retreats I should go to. They sound great in theory, but the more I think about them the more I realize I'd probably shut down on day two and just be trying really hard to fake excitement.
4. Writing extroverted characters.
Extroverts don't always find it easy to understand introverts, but the same is true the other way around. Extroverts are confusing. Are they social butterflies who are loud and outgoing at all times? Or are they like us, just...more excited about social events? Now I did a blog post about the care and keeping of extroverts a while back, but it's one thing to know one in real life and another thing entirely to create one. I can understand the thought processes of an internal processing, introverted, and generally hedgehog-like character. The bouncy, people-loving, life of the party? Not so much. It's hard to wrap my brain around the fact that being by yourself can drain your energy, and that someone might actually REALLY REALLY ENJOY the writing convention I decided not to attend. They don't just to go parties because there's food, and they don't instantly make friends with the cat. Although if you're like a certain extrovert I know, the second an animal comes into view they must talk to it for a few minutes...at least.
And when it comes to writing, well, lets just say that sending an extrovert on a solo trek across an empty desert may not go so well. Neither would hiding out for long periods of time, or moving to a new location and not having many friends. Although extroverts tend to remedy that pretty quickly....
SEE THIS IS WHY IT'S HARD!
5. Promoting yourself.
I don't know about you, but I'm rubbish at promoting my skills. It involves talking to people, being the center of attention for a moment on at least a small scale, and coming up with reasons why people should focus on you. All of which are absolute torture. This can apply to writing, music, or anything that involves self-promotion, and it is the one thing about publishing a book that I am REALLY not looking forward to.
6. Telling people about your writing.
This kind of goes along with the last point. While I love it when people want to hear about what I write, the fact that I actually have to tell them is...well, it's a bit intimidating. Verbal communication has never been my strong point, which is partly why I have this blog, so when I try to talk to someone about what I've written, things go a bit pear-shaped. I've mentioned this once or twice before in previous blog posts, but I feel like it's worth mentioning again and again.
And then, when you've been sitting there for two hours and you're only halfway through the story, you suddenly realize that you may in fact be really boring that person. So you stop. And then you think, but wait, should I stop? or should I finish the story? But that's got more to do with anxiety than introversion.
So there you have it. I hope you can relate to this as much as I can (being as I made the list...it would be pretty sad if I made a list I couldn't actually relate to at all...). Let me know in the comments if there's anything I missed!