Our new Writer in the Storm, Orly Konig-Lopez, is taking on Jenny Hansen in our latest throwdown: Introverted vs Extroverted Writer. Next Monday, Jenny will offer arguments, er… uh, gentle persuasion on the Extroverted Writer.
by Orly Konig-Lopez
Loyal followers (and you’re all loyal followers, right? Right!) know that Writers in the Storm has a fun tradition of taking a topic and ripping it in half. And since we all have opinions — some louder than others — there’s always the opportunity for a fun Throwdown over which half is the right half.
Well, my “hello world, it’s me the troll” blog led to a Throwdown idea—and I’ll give everyone a wild hairy guess which half of the Introvert vs. Extrovert debate I grabbed and ran to the cave with.
First, I have a confession. Two weekends ago, I came out of the cave for a workshop—the fabulous Margie Lawson gave her Empowering Characters Emotions workshop at my local chapter meeting. And … shhhh … it was fun interacting with other writers.
But before anyone gets the crazy idea that I’m ready to convert, I’m happy to report that I’m safely back in my troll cave! AAhhhhh … it’s so much nicer in here.
Okay, okay, I’ll admit that sharing ideas with other writers and soaking up the creative mojo that flows in a room of wonderfully talented people can be stimulating. But as an introvert, I find it equally exhausting. I mean seriously, all those people talking. And talking. A troll can get whiplash trying to keep up.
I’m most comfortable when I have control of my environment. I prefer to observe and absorb. I crave the solitude of working with my (mostly) silent writing buddies. And yes, I sometimes need the safety of hiding behind the keyboard.
I’ve tried writing in coffee shops. Noisy. I’ve tried editing while tracking email and Twitter. Distracting. I’ve even tried brainstorming during writing workshops. Intimidating.
When I write (or edit), I prefer to retreat into my own little world.
Depending on what I’m working on or the weather or just the mood du jour, I’ll pick a spot in the house—some days it’s the sunroom, others my office; or maybe the kitchen table or the couch by the fireplace in cold weather; or if it’s nice outside the front porch.
I always have my favorite giant mug next to me (coffee, thank you). I’ll close out email and shut down my browser. The only “people” I want to chit chat with are my characters.
I can easily go an entire day with only a few words to the cats (no, it’s not time to eat yet; no you can not have my coffee; did you really think flopping on my keyboard was the best idea?) and only a handful of emails or tweets or text messages sent. Those are my rejuvenate days, my find-the-peace-within days, my I’m-so-going-to-kick-this-manuscript-in-the-butt days.
What about research, you’re asking? Sure, I could make phone calls, talk to an expert, visit a facility similar to one I’m writing about. But why? Those require interaction.
A few well-chosen search words and I have all the information I need (okay, maybe not ALL, but a lot). Hey people, Google was created for a reason (just remember to be thorough and not believe everything G tells you). Not to mention the fact that I lot of those experts you thought I should talk to wrote books on the subject. And we love books!
Once in a while you have to come out of the cave. Even the most introverted troll gets that. But at the first opportunity, it’s back in. Hello happy writing place!
What about you—do you prefer to snuggle inside the cave or play with everyone else?
Don’t forget to check back next Monday when Jenny talks about the life of the extrovert writer. *waving as I back into my cave*