Introverts are great! Don’t overlook your introverts! Introverts have advantages too!
Whatever. Take it from an introvert: living and working as an highly introverted writer is tough.
“WHAT?” You might be thinking. “Aren’t writers supposed to be introverted? How could it be tough if you like your alone time?”
Easy. Only a minuscule part of successful writing occurs in a vacuum. As I’ve starting learning, writing is a social business. Networking is how you find clients, editors, agents, and peers. Want to be published? Get ready to interact with your readers to build an audience! Prepare to talk with an endless cycle of agents and editors!
All things which are painfully awkward when you’re introverted.
I can count how many writers on one hand that I know more than their name and where they live. Approaching new people is stressful. What do you talk about? How do you gracefully enter and exit a conversation?
Still, through recent experience I’ve learned I need to know more of my peers. I must put myself out there. I’ll never make writer friends if I don’t try to find other writers.
The other problem is accepting feedback. I’m one of those that hate to discuss my projects. I’ve got to practice pitching my projects. Toughing critical feedback is part of becoming a successful writer.
I did recently take a big step towards meeting peers. I went to a local writer’s networking event at a literacy center. Between sipping a plastic cup of pinot noir, I managed to have decent conversations with three people. I don’t feel like a made a real connection, but I understand this takes time. I’ll have to keep working on it.
To the world: if you’re a writer, looking for more writing buddies, please say ‘hi!’ I’m much more active on Facebook than Twitter. Email is my friend. Introverts, I promise this one doesn’t bite.