Writers: Push Introversion Aside for a Day
Hello writers! I’m not the only introvert here, am I? I thought not. Extroverted writers exist – and in fact, I know quite a few! – but they’re less common than introverts.
That’s because writing is a solitary sport. For that reason, it’s not really a big deal if writers are introverts. In fact, it’s a career that really fits introverts well.
However, there are some cases in which introverted writers must, well, try to be extroverted. And I know that sounds impossible, but hear me out …
It’s Hard Being an Introverted Writer
I’m an introvert who likes experience everything I do before I do it. Since this is impossible, I’m not really one for trying new things. Even when I do try something new, I want to have done my research before hand—and prepare myself mentally, especially if this “trying new things” involves dialogue.
Talking to people is hard.
This year I was given an opportunity to attend a writer’s conference. As an Indie author who is prepping to pursue traditional publication, this was a fantastic opportunity for me.
However, it was also somewhat scary. Thankfully, I had a lot of opportunities at my fingertips for learning more about this.
I was attending with a veteran friend, which was nice, and I am a proud “YDubber” (member of the Young Writer’s Workshop) who had access to several lessons on the subject and experienced mentors ready to advice.
So I did all the preparation for the event that I possibly could. I even steeled myself to possibly meet with editors or agents to give a pitch. I thought I was ready for anything!
At the conference, I decided to push myself one step further and make an appointment with a “mentor.”
Now, I had absolutely no idea what this was going into it. All I knew was that I had a appointment at 2:30 on Tuesday to meet with a more experienced author and … talk? About what, though? I was quite confused.
Of course, I was intensely awkward going into this conversation. Thankfully, the mentor-person (Karen Barnett) was quite understanding and sweet.
We didn’t spend the whole thirty minutes being super professional. We talked about favorite authors and genres and other things relatable to writing, which was nice.
However, I did learn glean some valuable tips from this meeting, especially as relates to attending conferences, making connections, and pursuing traditional publication. I was also given some much-needed encouragement.
It Helps To Be Extroverted Sometimes.
I won’t go into all the details of this meeting as it isn’t relevant here, but I do want to say this … almost every time I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone as an author, it has been rewarding.
I’ve learned new things.
Become more confident.
Writing is a introverted business. We outline by ourselves, draft by ourselves, edit by ourselves, blog by ourselves, and, as Indie authors, publish by ourselves!
Yes, we’ll interact with other folks on the internet, but that’s not quite the same as face-to-face … and even on the internet there are things that are difficult for us introverts!
It can be hard to introduce yourself to a new Facebook group. Maybe not after a couple times, but the first one or two? Daunting.
What if you sound painfully awkward? What if you say something wrong? What if you’re breaking the rules? What if you don’t fit in here? The questions pile up, your anxiety won’t let you answer, and you don’t do it at all.
And you miss out on that first connection.
So Push Yourself!
Look, introverted writers. I get it. I’m an introvert! But sometimes you have to make a decision as to which one is more important … your introversion or your writing?
What? you grouch. I can’t just switch my introversion off! It’s a part of me!
Well, you can’t … and you can.
I know it may seem impossible, but sometimes you need to type up something quickly and push “publish” without thinking.
Stumble into a meeting room and talk to an agent and not look back.
Bring up your writing around the family dinner table.
Maybe the first couple times you’ll have to do some prep to get to this point.
Pace up and down the room a couple times because you post on that Facebook group.
Think out carefully what you’ll need to say before talking to that agent.
Hem and haw a few times before getting to the point of things at the dinner table.
But Keep Trying!
I’m willing to bet it’ll get easier with time! After all, “practice makes perfect.” You will never stop being an introvert—and there’s nothing wrong with that!—but you will get better at doing what you need to do as an introvert.
Until then, hang in there! Being an introvert is hard when much of writing—from marketing to getting feedback to making all those important connections—is extrovert work.
However, it can be done—and you’re just the writer for the job!
Things I Need Help With
Before I go, let me bring up a couple of things I need readers, bloggers, etc. for!
I already discussed this a ton in this post, so check that out if you want more details, but I need reviewers for Goldfish Secrets!
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Are you introverted or extroverted? How does this affect your writing endeavors? What’s one time you’ve had to push yourself to be extroverted (if you’re introverted)?
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