Writing and the Introvert

The Top 5 Reasons why being an Introvert is good for Writers

I am an introvert. I’m most content when I’m alone, and the one sentence in life that is guaranteed to instill the most discord to my being is, “Tell us a little bit about yourself.”

I strongly believe that, while not necessarily hereditary, introversion is a mix of nature and nurture, so I’m not at all surprised that all of my children are, to some extent, introverts. Unfortunately, despite there being so many of us, society isn’t very well equipped to deal with people who aren’t gregarious and extroverted, so each of my children cope with their quietness in different ways. My eldest excels at everything he does, a straight A student who’s graduating college this year top of his class. My other son has a wicked sense of humor, and uses it to hide his awkwardness, while my youngest son quite simply disappears into the sanctity of his own mind when things get too loud. My youngest daughter is the voice of my teenage daughter, allowing her to open up on the pretext that she’s doing it for her sister.

Any introverts reading this will probably have already seen themselves in these descriptions, but then there’s my 13 year old daughter. She epitomizes the introvert. When she started school at age five, she had the reading and spoken vocabulary of a teenager, but I wasn’t surprised when I was called into the Principal’s office to discuss her ‘learning difficulties’ (she never spoke). Last year she was given detention because, when the teacher finished her class ten minutes early and asked the students to work quietly on their homework until the bell rang, she did. The teacher decided this was ‘suspicious’ because everyone else took the opportunity to talk. Putting my introverted daughter on the spot and asking what she was up to resulted in a typical introverted response – silence!

But I digress – another introvert trait. We always get to where our thoughts are going, we just typically choose the winding path rather than the direct route. My kids jokingly tell me I take the scenic route every time I’m telling them something!

While not all writers are introverts, many introverts find themselves drawn to the arts, so here are the top five reasons why being an introvert will help you be a great writer.

Introverts are great listeners

You’ll always listen to what others are saying, making mental notes before you join in a conversation so you’ll be confident in your response. Listening to others helps you apply their personality quirks to produce great fictional characters.

Introverts are masters of their emotions

You’ll find yourself reflecting over a situation or circumstance, replaying what was said and done, how it could have been handled differently, until you understand fully how different people reacted differently to the same words. Writing is all about leading your readers to react to your words.

Introverts are focused

Whether you’re writing a brief article, or a full length novel, putting words into a readable form that others will find entertaining, or at the very least, useful, takes focus. Introverts, by their very nature,  pay close attention to everything that’s happening around them. While words often tell part of a story, non-verbal clues enrich it, and the most successful writers manage to incorporate life’s non-verbals into the pages of their written words.

Introverts are observant

You probably notice even the smallest of changes in life, like an acquaintance’s slightly different haircut, or your mother’s new potted plant in the kitchen. Introverts are aware of everything going on, and take notice of even the smallest of details. Not only does this help a writer add relevant, and often poignant, substance to a piece of work, it’s also incredibly useful when it comes to editing what you’ve written.

Introverts are the masters of ideas

One of my favorite introvert quotes comes from self-proclaimed introvert, Michaela Chung, who says, ‘Introverts dislike small talk, but we are fluent in the language of ideas and dreams.’ Yes, yes, and yes! Every single thing we write begins with an idea, the foundation on which to lay words and sentences, to build something others can not only look at, but immerse themselves in. So if you’re a writer you should relish your introversion. It allows you to say so much more than the most vocal of extroverts.

Don’t forget to take a look at Reborn, my first novel in the Reborn Trilogy.

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