I am not a fan of “this or that” choices. Am I an extrovert or an introvert? Left-brained or right-brained? A planner or a pantser? A writer or an editor? Option Three, please: All of the above!
How can one be both an extrovert and an introvert? Good question! When asked, I’ve come to tell people that I am an extroverted introvert. What? How is that possible? Perhaps it comes out better to say I’m an outgoing introvert.
My dad thinks I’m a born extrovert who learned to survive by being an introvert. There is some truth to that statement. But I also think we as a society have come to put too much emphasis on the “this or that” of personality. I have more than just a left side or a right side to my brain; I’m whole-brained. *gasp!*
That being said, it is helpful to know how I tip the scale, so I have a better idea how to join my craft and my personality. For instance, I tend to write best in a coffee shop. Why? Well, that could be its own post. But a large reason is that it puts me around people (extrovert) without having to interact with them (introvert), and that combination helps me to focus on my work. Attending a conference energizes me while I’m there (extrovert) but drains me and makes me want to shut myself away from people for a week after (introvert). Knowing these tendencies helps me to organize my life in a way that suits me best.
When trying to understand myself, I often write in a journal. Recently, though, I’ve started what I call a “walking journal,” where I can verbally process into a recorder while I walk outside. Getting my body moving also helps me move my thoughts.
Nota Bene for Writers: Check out Brandon Sanderson’s lectures on creative writing. I love how he approaches characters with sliding scales. Characters, like you and me, are full of varying competencies and traits making them uniquely them. If you glean nothing else from this post – go watch Brandon’s lectures. He feeds my writing soul.
In my next post, I’m going to look at planners and pantsers. Not sure what that means? Come back and find out!
So, how do you typically identify yourself? Introvert or Extrovert? How does that fit into your working world?