Some of you may be thinking “you’re an introvert? So what?” Now, before I get into this, let me begin by saying that I’m certainly no expert on the psychological research of introversion and extroversion. All I have is personal experience.
Firstly, what is an introvert?
According to Meriam-Webster:
: to turn inward or in upon itself: as
a : to concentrate or direct upon oneself
b : to produce psychological introversion
Okay, but what does that mean? I can show you what it means to me by example.
As an introvert, I sometimes have a difficult time being around groups of people. I have trouble speaking in front of groups of people. It takes me longer to get used to new situations. I don’t openly speak my mind. I keep to myself a lot (i.e. I enjoy my privacy).
Alright, now that it’s cleared up… Still, so what?
Well, this affects me as a writer. Often times writers are seen as people who hole themselves up in their offices with only their mind, a pen/pencil/paper/computer, and a cup of tea/coffee for hours at a time, frantically scribbling down stories and ideas. This is, essentially, a fact. However, after publication (mostly), these writers must lurk in the outside world, talking about their books and their ideas. This is easier for some people (extroverts) than others (introverts).
In my opinion, extroverts have the easy life. They take charge, they’re not afraid to shout to the world and interact with people. I wish I could do that. However, when I have an author talk or book signing scheduled and I know I have to interact with people, it terrifies me a little. As an introvert, I’m afraid that the whole world will hate anything and everything I write (probably the part of me that wants me to just keep to myself). Then there’s the part where I’m afraid to waste people’s time. I’m afraid to ask people to do things for me, or to sometimes ask for input because I’m afraid that they have better things they could be doing than to be bothered with me. Now I don’t mean that in a self loathing kind of way, or that I don’t have confidence in myself, but that I’d rather please everyone else first, and just slink around under the radar doing my own thing. I’m perfectly content with that. But how am I supposed to sell books that way?
That’s what I find difficult, I guess. Putting myself out there. Contacting people whose time I may be compromising for my own personal gain.
I’m not saying this to get you all to feel bad for me. I’m saying this to help everyone get a better understanding of introverts, and I guess to get a little perspective on myself. Perhaps I’m not like other introverts, but I’m still one of them.
What about you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you do some of these same things, for feel a similar way?