Sarah Brentyn – Guest Post


My life as an Introverted Writer


coffee-1848899_960_720.jpgI’m an introvert. Always have been.

I need time to recharge after major events. Hell, I need time to recharge after answering the door. (When I do. Sometimes I hide.)

I’m definitely not a people-person. It’s not that I don’t like people, just that I wish they wouldn’t come near me. Or talk to me. Or look at me.

Personal space, you know?

I’d say, instead of a social butterfly, I’m more of a social spider. Creeping away from commotion, scrunching into dark corners, hiding behind a web. (I completely just grossed myself out. I’m wicked arachnophobic and compared my people-skills to those nasty 8-legged critters. Now I’m itchy. I hope the analogy was worth it.)

When I was little, people used to be nice about my introverted nature and call me a “homebody.” Now it’s like, “Holy crap, woman. When’s the last time you left the house? You need to put your books down and GET OUT.” A bit rude but, alas, they’re not wrong.

Once upon a time, I had a friend who consistently told me how much happier I’d be if I went drinking and partying with her. I wouldn’t have been.

However, heading for a walk, strolling through a cemetery, watching the ocean…these things make me happy and I don’t indulge in them nearly enough.

So, we’ve established I’m a loner. And that’s okay. Really. It is.

But.

You knew there was a “but,” right?

Here’s where, as a writer, I get into trouble.

I can go from hermit to recluse in 60 seconds flat. I know. It’s impressive. One minute I’m an introspective introvert, the next I’m a shut-in.

Writing is a solitary pursuit. It lends itself to introversion.

I live in my head, constantly writing, narrating, and stowing away encounters for future plotlines or dialogue.

I can bounce ideas off other writers, get beta feedback, and network all I want but, in the end, it’s me and my laptop.desk-602975_960_720.jpg

Though my characters are hanging out here keeping me company, they never ask me to get a beer or tell me to go outside for some fresh air. Never suggest I leave the keyboard to see the sunset.

While I’m content with who I am and love what I do, this life can be isolating. Writing doesn’t force me to leave the comforts of home. So here I stay.

Writer. Introvert. Recluse.

With this combination, I need to be careful. It sucks. It literally sucks the life out of me and my writing. Because leaving the house not only helps your mental health but gives you fodder for stories. Both of which I need.

I have to work a little bit harder than my extroverted friends to get out of my world, into the one outside, have some adventures, and return a little richer in all the ways that matter. Like Bilbo Baggins: There and Back Again.


Author Bio:


sarahbrentyn profile picSarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.

She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.

When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.
She is the author of Hinting at Shadows, a collection of short fiction.


Hinting at Shadows_COVERContact Information (blog, website, etc.):


Amazon: Author Page

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blogs:

Lemon Shark

Lemon Shark Reef


Twitter, Google+, Website


106 thoughts on “Sarah Brentyn – Guest Post

  1. First time ever I’ve read someone saying they sometimes hide following a knock at the door and an arachnaphobe. I could have been talking about myself. Actually I can go out, my brother takes me shopping at the weekend quite early to a 24 hour supermarket and he intervenes if anyone talks to me directly, and like you I can walk outside to a place deserted by people because of time or perhaps weather.
    I spend an inordinate amount of time on the computer tweeting blogs or commenting so I do interact with people, just not when they’re there. Since I gave up writing I can be here 16 hours a day sometimes. I tend to sleep very little at night so have time for a little TV and some reading too.
    One day I may wish to write again so something will have to go but I doubt it will be my tweeting for others or commenting, after all I wouldn’t want to be called unsociable.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

    Liked by 8 people

    • Yes, well, answering the door is highly overrated. And spiders? No.Thank you. I can go out, too, and I do. It’s just that it takes a bit of effort and it’s easy to get stuck in here with my thoughts, my books, and my writing. Also, the amount of time to recharge is a lot longer than I would like. Going out to the store very early (or very late) is a great idea. I actually do the same when I can. Blogging and social media are fab for interacting but it is SO nice to get out walking at the beach or in the woods where it’s not bustling with people. Just you and the sun, sand, and trees. I do hope you start writing again… No pressure. Thank you, David. Hugs right back at ya! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am thrilled to see my little introverted self on your amazing blog. Thank you so much for this oppotunity – for allowing me to guest post. You’re the bee’s knees, the cat’s pyjamas… Thanks, Jenny. 💖

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Good morning Sarah (and Jenny!) This is a wonderful piece, beautifully written. I’m sure lots of us out here in Blogland can totally relate to your feelings. Thank you for sharing them. Keep the words coming Little Miss Spider.
    Juliet

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wow… I’ve been called a lot of things in my life. This is a first. I suppose I asked for it. 😉 Thank you kindly for the lovely comment, Juliet.

      Sincerely,
      Little Miss Spider 🕷

      *shudders* *checks floor* *puts boots on*

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hi again Sarah, I was actually thinking of Little Miss Muffet and then realised that she was just afraid of the spider and was not the spider itself.
        ANYWAY, excuse my tendency to find nicknames. You are very welcome to the comment. I love your style, tone, wit, words. I’ll stop there before I get carried away…
        Juliet aka The Spider Remover (nominated by my daughters, who can’t sleep if one is seen lurking in their bedrooms)

        Liked by 1 person

        • No, Little Miss Muffet was definitely not a giant spider who was sitting and eating curds and whey. But thank you for that disturbing image. And who could sleep when a spider is spotted in their bedroom? Gah! No one! No one, Juliet Spider Remover! (Nicknames are fun and thank you for the compliment. 🙂 Spider references are almost forgiven now.)

          Liked by 1 person

  4. This was very entertaining! It took me a minute to see it wasn’t Jenny (she IS a people person but that spider thing… I’m starting to think writers are all cut from the same cloth).

    But, well done! I enjoyed reading this and would reblog it but I don’t want to further the notion that writers are a bunch of shut ins. Maybe the condition is more prevalent than I thought.

    Ah, what the heck. Writing is entertainment.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Why thank you. Aside from the cliché (nobody likes a cliché…actually nobody likes an absolute…ever) where was I? Oh, yes. The clichéd introverted writer. Nah, there a lots of extroverted writers out there and lots of introverted non-writers.

      We are all cut from the same cloth, no? It’s just a multi-colored cloth. We’re like a quilt. I’m going to stop torturing you now.

      Glad the post was entertaining (and coherent) as, apparently, I’m unable to keep that up in the comments. *slow clap*

      Liked by 2 people

        • What I liked about it was learning that there seem to be different levels of being an Introvert, and that much as I enjoy folks, I also very much enjoy my own time.

          This afternoon by the time I got home, I wanted so badly to be away from the world it was unreal.

          Just felt way over-stimulated, and I never understood that it was OK to be that way.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I have a friend who wrote an essay like that as well. It was about a man she knew who was an extrovert and his young daughter who was an introvert – and how the man could simply not grasp not wanting to socialize. He was so concerned about his daughter, and my friend had to explain it’s normal, she’s an introvert, she’s OK. Kind of funny to read. Doesn’t sound like it, but it was.

            Like

  5. Pingback: Sarah Brentyn – Guest Post | Campbells World

  6. You’ve such a great sense of humor in your post (and a lot of truth)! I also need time to recharge after answering the door – well, 95% of the time I don’t actually answer it. Yes, I’m a fully grown woman, but it is what it is!

    Liked by 4 people

    • This much truth requires a bit of humor. And, honestly, who can expect you to answer the door all the time? Pfft. People and their ridiculously high expectations. Who can live up to that? You’ve got me thinking of Men at Work’s “Who Can It Be Now?” That’ll be stuck in my head all day… Eh. Could be worse.

      You’re right. It is what it is. We are who we are. Everything and everyone needs recharging. It’s all good. Thanks for the fab comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol. You know the other thing I can’t understand? Why do people phone when a text is perfectly fine? It’s like a medieval torture device. And those from blocked numbers? Who are they kidding? I’m never going to answer those! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

        • Medieval torture device! 😂 Those things should come with warning label. Holy crap, they ring without any warning and startle the hell out of you. You could get seriously hurt! And then to see it was all for naught? A blocked number? ROAR!

          Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, yes. The “arrive late, leave early” plan. I know it well. 🙂 Big events… I try to avoid them or limit time there, like you said. Small groups are more tolerable but I still need time to recharge after those. (I have kids, too, and am forced to leave for obvious and various reasons. Being forced out… I guess that’s a mixed blessing.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • When I worked for 2-1-1 Contact Concern call center, I used to purposefully schedule my shifts so that I’d have a valid excuse to leave a gathering early.

        The hardest thing for me, is that when I go to something at night, on the weekend, or out of our Bus Service zone, I rely on someone else to bring me to, and take me back home.

        Those are the hardest. I’ve gotten so I try and ride with my father when I can because he likes leaving early too.

        The other great thing, I have this dog with me, and I can if I work it just right say that he needs to go home because of some routine thing that we need to do. Because he’s a service animal, I get by with it most of the time.

        At the very least he gives me an escape to go for a long quiet walk, or to go out with the kids. I love being with kids, they don’t care how you are, and there’s no pressure.

        Like

  7. I love this. I’ve only recently (as in the past five years) come out of the closet as an introvert. Spent most of my days pretending to be an extrovert because, you know, extroverts are the socially acceptable ones and whatnot. It is so encouraging to me to “meet” folks – especially writers – who are aware of, fully understand and embrace their own introversion. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, I’m fully aware of my introversion. 😀 I accept that’s who I am (or how I process the world) so I guess I do embrace it. That’s a pretty cool observation. Thanks, Julia.

      It’s awful to read about someone finally admitting to being an introvert. I’m sorry you went through that. Pretending to be an extrovert must have been twice as draining as an ordinary experience. Which is pretty draining…

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Well no one sees me as introverted but, hey, what’s in a definition? I hate those parties when you are confronted with a sea of faces, I detest going to a group where I may not know anyone, I’ve been known to turn round and go home from a talk I booked to see and really want to see in case I have to talk to someone. I think that’s why I like going to sports games; I have no problem being with others, even huge crowds, just so long as there’s no expectation that you may have to chat. Thank goodness I’m British and the British reserve still works. Not sure what that makes me. Confused?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Introverted Geoff. Hmm… Let me think about that one. Let it sink in a bit. And…no. Really? I’m shocked. So what does that make you? I guess it makes you a great guy, author, husband, dad, and dog-loving person who can go to places with huge crowds as long as he doesn’t have to chat with people. Indeed, it’s a good thing the British reserve still works. (Perhaps you’re a bit confused as well but I’m not entirely sure that has to do with this particular subject.) 😉

      Like

    • Think there are lots of varying kinds of people out there like this.

      My biggest nerve racking events are with family.

      I can handle strangers, but family Woo!

      Liked by 1 person

    • You caught that, did you? I don’t know why I do that but always have. It’s a quirk. Or… Maybe we’re just super nice, polite people. Let’s go with that. (“it’s wearing a coat – it could be a person.”) 😂

      Thanks, Anne.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Now I am itchy too. Thanks, Sarah 🙂 Luckily my more extroverted friends gave up on me a long time ago and no longer even go through the motions of trying to guilt trip me into going out with them on the spur of the moment. Not that I mind going out, I just like to know about more than two weeks in advance so I can mentally prepare myself and plan accordingly. Lovely guest post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t mind going out. Even the day of an event is fine, as long as I have a couple real good hours to get ready.

      Unless it is over-night. Then I must plan and plan.

      I like trips like what I am getting to do right now.

      I’ll be catching my public transit shortly, making a quick trip to my fave deli, have a sandwitch, and come home.

      I’ll see people, get some lunch, and come back home.

      Most likely something interesting will happen along the way and I’ll blog about it.

      That’s fun to me.

      My friends think I’m weird. LOL!

      Like

    • Also one of my most favorite things to do is to go out in the afternoon to somewhere like Fatz or Applebees, and sit at a corner booth, and just listen to all going on around me while having a light lunch and couple 3 drinks.

      Like

    • Apologies for the crawlies. Eew. Now I’m itchy again. Moving on. That’s seriously awesome you have extroverted friends who understand you. Or, at least, respect who you are/how you operate. Preparations and planning are key to a successful event. You can have an escape route all mapped out. Just saying. And, thank you, Allie. You are the one who alerted me to the Scribbles Challenge. 💖 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • You have REALLY got me thinking about this. I don’t feel like I handle online stuff all that well yet… I don’t know. Uh oh. I’m getting all philosophical again. What is the “social” in social media? In what ways does it differ from real life social situations? What is the meaning of life? Why is the sky blue? Can I trust my perceptions? Is my “blue” the same as the “blue” you see? As far as making everyone laugh…that’s debatable. 🙂 Thank you, Diana.

      Liked by 1 person

            • It took me a couple years to find my place on FB.

              There are a lot of horrible people out there. People who live for drama gossip, and hurt.

              Thus one of the reasons I like my dog best.

              Anyhow, after a while I met some really awesome people other than the ones I’d known for years, and now, I have a large and most awesome support system on FB.

              When I was in hospital for a month, which I blogged about constantly to keep my sanity, I found out just how important that social media could be.

              I like people, they have their place. Just, not in my face!

              Liked by 1 person

                • My Campbell is on Social Media. He posts with me. LOL!

                  I have to share this. I think you all will understand. I was not always so much of an introvert, so maybe I don’t really qualify, but over the years, I’ve been so hurt that I have slowly just learned to find happiness within myself.

                  Now, I’m going through something that has hurt me in ways I cannot understand.

                  I’m posting what I posted a moment ago on FB. This is why people should be avoided, especially if they share your jean pool.

                  I cannot keep this inside.

                  I have to talk about it.

                  My uncle died this week. We weren’t extremely close. None of me and my family are close. That’s partly my fault, partly there’s, but at this moment that is not important.

                  At this moment my entire family is at his funeral. Everyone but me!!!

                  I was not told when services were. When I finally found out, there was no time for me to get ready. No time for me to get a ride.

                  Not one person asked if I wanted to go. Not one person considered my feelings. No one considered the fact that I might want to pay my respects, and see family that will be there that I’ve not seen in a long time.

                  Now, this was to be a big funeral with lots of people, so I imagine part of this reason was because of Campbell.

                  Did anyone think to ask if I’d leave him at the house? No! I would have, but no one bothered to give a care to ask.

                  Hurt doesn’t qualify me. I am devastated. Absolutely done with my family! Done! You understand me!!!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • So sorry for the loss, Patty, and the heaped up hurt on top of it. I hope that someone in the family reaches out to you and comes to understand how much their neglect to include you broke your heart. Sending you hugs ❤

                    Like

                    • Things have been this way for a long time, and very doubtful anyone will care to even think to call.

                      I was recently in hospital for a month, and nearly died, but they did not come to visit, O wait my dad came but when he could not control everything he caused a scene and security had to escort him out.

                      Anyhow this is not the place for me to go off into tangents, I just had to get it out somewhere, and I felt yall would understand.

                      I don’t know but I think some who are introverts are so because they don’t want to be crunched up by the hate of the world, and that is me.

                      Liked by 1 person

      • The best thing about social media is, when I turn off my Laptop, or close the app, they’re gone, till I want them back. I get to control things.

        Right now I’ve messenger messages waiting, and guess what? They will wait!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. You know, I never get asked to go out for a beer, but I think that has more to do with people don’t want to be seen in public with me, than it does about me being an introvert. Actually, I think I’m right on the border of introvert/extrovert. I get easily flustered when I’m in an area with lots of people. But I can handle a group of about 10 if that number includes myself. Unfortunately, lunch with my family+parents+brother’s family = 16 people, so I always end flustered. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • There’s a thing people have decided (or maybe it’s been around for a long while, who knows…) and it sounds like you: ambivert. I have a difficult time picturing you flustered by pretty much anything. Gah! 16 people AND family…I think that might throw anyone into the “flustered” category. Just so you never say never, I have to ask, “Would you like to go grab a beer?” 🙂

      Like

  11. I can really relate. The outside world requires a lot of effort and and then a lot of recharging. But I certainly know that once I’m in that spiral of not going out, I can lose touch with life. And stories need life. So sometimes I indulge in giving myself a day or two without people, but most of the time, I try to get out just even for half an hour.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You know, that’s the thing. It requires both effort as well as recharging. So, prior to an event AND after an event. No wonder it’s draining. It’s good that you give yourself time alone but then realize when that time is becoming too much. 💖 You’re so right… Stories need life.

      Liked by 1 person

    • We work harder than extroverts to interact, engage, even go in the first place but that’s okay.

      Your comment makes me quite happy, Nadine. You could relate to this post but it also made you chuckle. 🙂 We’ve got to laugh about it, don’t we? Also… You’ve got good (understanding) friends. That is key.

      Like

  12. Pingback: My Life as an Introverted Writer | Lemon Shark

  13. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    J.A. Allen hosts Sarah Brentyn on her blog and Sarah shares her life as an introvert. I have a dual personality.. extrovert when I do get out, but very happy behind electronic gates and not seeing anyone else for long stretches of time. That is two barriers to intrusion. Are you an introvert or and extrovert or a mixture of both? Head over and let Sarah know.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve been known to avoid the door also – especially if I’m not expecting anyone. And I agree with you – I have a much better evening with my books than going out and partying. Strolling through a cemetery or watching the ocean sound wonderful. As I’ve said before – you and I would get along just fine, Sarah. Maybe you could educate me on Buffy?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Very relatable, Sarah. You have a way of bridging universal truths in your writing and for introverted writers, this post is truthful. Just a few moments ago the UPS driver showed up at my daughter’s place where I’m camped out at her dining room table, writing, panicking because I don’t want to answer the door and relieved when how simple left the box. On behalf of introverted stay at home writers, thank you UPS Driver! And thank you, Sarah for this post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • OH, yes, I do love when drivers leave the boxes outside. (Especially when the box has books in it.) Introverted writers, unite in celebration of UPS drivers who don’t make you answer the door! 😀 Thanks, Charli.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Okay, your turn. Have you been spying on me? What you wrote so eloquently is me, to a T. Whatever that means. Occasionally I’ll force myself out of my comfort zone and, oh, go networking in a noisy room full of strangers. I’ll stay to the point where I break out in a sweat, feel slightly sick, or my back goes into spasm. All three happened last night. I just want my books!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I believe we’ve covered this, Diane. I read minds. (Wait…was that what I said? Something like that.) We are a lot alike, lovely lady. It’s funny (pun intended) that introverts tend to be humorous about their introversion. There’s this one really funny woman…let me think who…um…oh, that’s right. 😉 Go out, be social, return home, rest with your books. There and Back Again.

      (“To a T”. Well, perhaps dotting i’s and crossing t’s. I’m making that up. No idea.)

      Like

  17. I relate to so much you’ve written here, Sarah! I’m quite proud of my introversion these days, and that of my kids. I’ve raised a family of introverts, but at least we can all co-exist together, all happy doing our thing, all by ourselves! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      • I do too, think that is awesome. Usually there’s someone everyone thinks is strange, who is avoided.

        Wait, that’s me. Well, nice to know I fit into some category.

        Like

  18. Oh I identified with this so very, very much!! Last year when I was planning my move home to Scotland, I considered finding somewhere in the country, then realised that I would literally never see any human beings ever and would finish up wandering a wee cottage wrapped in a blanket drinking whisky and throwing things at the postman if he tried to come near…

    I bought a flat in the centre of Glasgow, for the good of everyone 😂

    Liked by 3 people

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