What Type of Writer's Personality are You?
I get that a lot of people believe writers as a whole are stereotypically known to be introverts. We’re supposed to be locked away in room with a computer, researching, writing or reading a book. Being a writer myself I can confirm that we do spend a lot of time doing all of those things, but a social element is also needed to be a writer. Well, a successful writer anyhow.
The days of shutting yourself away and letting your work do the talking for you are long dead. Between conferences, book fairs, and other networking engagements, we writers are constantly faced with social challenges. As in all things in life some people are better at this than others. Yes, that means there are writers that are extroverts and love the mixing and gathering of people and their ideas. However just because a person can small talk with the best of them doesn’t necessarily mean they’re extroverts.
There is a third category of those who strike a balance between these two extremes. They’re called ambiverts. Hi, my name is Alanah and I am an ambivert writer. It’s nice to have a name for what I am. Defective extrovert just doesn’t have as pleasant of a ring to it.
Anyone that knows me also knows I’m a sucker for balance. So I should be quite thrilled with being a mixture of an introvert and extrovert. As other fellow ambiverts will agree, it’s not that easy being us. Of course I’m going to explain why. I should start with a list… Lists are always good.
1. Are better listeners
Since the last thing an introvert wants to do is carry a conversation, listening is one of their strongest suits, which is also a great plus for writers (and a must for biographers).
2. Need more personal time and space
Introverts thrive in solitude. Their good mood depends heavily on having enough time alone. Being natural homebodies, they allot extra time for writing.
3. Have deeper emotional responses towards themselves
They have to do something besides writing with their precious alone time and self-exploration seems to inevitably happen. And how can you know anyone before really knowing yourself? I don’t believe you can, but that’s my opinion.
1. Have a larger exposure to people and their stories and/or experiences
Socializing with lots of people predictably leads to meeting various kinds of personalities.
2. Have a higher probability of direct knowledge
Extroverts are known to embrace whatever comes their way more readily than their counterparts. Direct experience gives them more material for their writing arsenal.
3. Are more flexible
No, I’m not talking about physically flexible. However extroverts are able to write anywhere, in all kinds of conditions, instead of looking for isolation to get the juices flowing. When you’re able to work under any condition, you’ll be a more productive and prolific writer.
See, pluses to be had for all and mixing the two can be very helpful for a writer. However I’m sure you can see the negative aspects when the two types of personalities are mixed as well. When ambiverts are “on”, we are sociable, and friendly. When we’re “off”, we hurry home to recharge in solitude.
In general people seem to notice our outgoing side more readily. Lots of people will assume we're extroverted because we don't have any problem introducing ourselves to perfect strangers. What they don’t realize is our social batteries are drained very quickly. It can suck to be the cool girl that turns into the ice queen by the end of the night if we don’t leave when our social juices run low. Here’s the basic who-is-who when dealing with people like me.
1. Need alone time before and after socializing
My social energy has an expiry date and recharging is a must. If I don’t have enough time to myself between activities, I feel irritable, exhausted. Writing conferences can either be great or miserable because of this trait. If you are like this, make sure to fit some “you” time between events to get lost all by your lonesome.
2. Are very selective with their social calendar
My friends complain about this all the time. Some people even think that I’m flaky. But I know I only have so much energy for socializing, so I have to use it sparingly. That does allot more time for writing though.
3. Make new friendships easily, but have trouble maintaining them
When ambiverts are in social mode, they find it easy to make new friends. But sustaining those relationships is something quite different. Ambiverts find it hard to disperse our energy between lots of people, which make networking engagements pretty darn painful in the long run.
Does this sound like you?
If it does just know that you’re not alone and everyone has their cross to bear: introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts alike. Given enough time and effort we could all find our way. Happy Saturday everyone!