My life as an Introverted Writer
I’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.
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.
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.
Sarah 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.
Contact Information (blog, website, etc.):
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