This is a response to Juni's post, Confessions of an Introvert :)
When I was a Creative Writing student at Tabor college, we had a lecture by an Australian writer as part of our education in the world of writing.
We sat and listened intently as she spoke about how difficult it was to be an introvert writer in this extroverted world. There's just so many people pressing around you. Demanding your attention. Poking at you. It's just so hard to get away from all that noise.
I looked around. Everyone nodded their heads in solemn agreement.
I raised my hand.
"What if you have the opposite problem?" I said.
All eyes went to me. There were different degrees of confusion on their faces.
"I mean," I said. "What if you want to be with people all the time?"
She grinned. And then the entire class laughed.
"Gosh, I wish I had that problem!" the author said.
No, you don't really!
Introverts often think that we extroverts have an easier time in the world. But, really, we have our unique set of challenges, especially as writers! If you tell me, introverts have an edge over us in that profession.
I'm ENFP, and they like to describe us as the most introverted of the extroverts. (Frankly, I think we're ambiverts, but that's a whole other post.) Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert doesn't depend on your behaviour. It has all to do with how you get energy. Introverts recharge by being alone. Extroverts recharge by being with people or high-energy events.
Life must be so much easier for us in this extroverted world, isn't it?
In some ways it can be. But we go through tough times like everyone else. (By the way, the following points is based on me as an extrovert; I don't speak for all extroverts. Okey dokey?)
The challenges of an extrovert writer - in no order:
I get bored easily
I often tell people that I need something to anchor my attention so that I can complete a task - especially if it's a tedious one. I get bored very, very (10x) easily. When I write, I need breaks every 30 minutes and amuse myself with something else or else I'd feel drained.
My mind runs at 101mph
I have so many ideas, thoughts, and random bits of mental floatsom running through my head at such high speeds that it's nigh impossible to focus. Extroverts tend to exhaust introverts because we seem to be like ping pong balls bouncing from one topic to another. Worse, I get distracted by every shiny thing (whether it be objects or concepts) I come across. The thing is, people don't realise we too get exhausted by this. ENFPs, for one, are often said to have difficulty with sleep because of their restless minds. Which is why ...
We can't be still for more than 1.5 seconds
Meditation? Feels more like water torture to me, thanks. So resting is a challenge for me.
I need to be with people
Two hours alone and I'll be craving for a shopping mall. I don't need to talk to people all the time, but I would love to be surrounded with them.
So, I write in a place with people. It can get really expensive to use cafes as your writing place!
My biggest temptation: Parties!
You know you have to write 20k words this Friday, but then your friend calls you and says, "Liz! Movie tonight?" The words bypasses your brain and you say, "Yes!"
It's hard to fight that urge to be with people and get to work on a solitary exercise like writing a book.
I do need my alone time
Yeah, we confuse people that way. Hell, I get confused by this too. I will have seasons where I need to be alone to think deeply about my goals.
WE feel outnumbered by introvert writers
Not that it's a bad thing! Yup, there are lots of introvert writers. But us extroverts, we'd love to be with fellow writers who understand what it's like to be us. You know, it'd be so awesome to spend the whole day just talking about writing!
That pitter patter of frantic footsteps? That's the introverts running out of the room in sheer horror.
So yeah. We extroverts have our problems too!
Want to know us better? Here are some articles: