I googled that question today after teaching two classes, writing a few blog posts, counseling a student, and editing an article. Facing the prospects of a shift at a retail job to finish off the day’s work schedule, I am on the verge of collapsing into the couch and burying my head deep under the pillows.
People exhaust me. I am clearly an introvert, and I have never taken a test to prove it. I know it. However, whenever I confess to this most trendy of trends…”You know you’re an introvert if…” being an introvert, people are amazed. “But you’re a teacher and seem so social.” Both are true. I am a pleasant person, courteous at least, in the company of others and am certainly a teacher. I love teaching. But neither of those facts make me less of an introvert.
I hate to be the living cliché, but I believe most writers are introverts, living inside of texts, which are quieter and less demanding. People require attention, not only of the mind but of all the senses. They must be heard, seen, sensed, smelled and sometimes…touched. It’s all too much by the end of the day.
While I am among the masses, however, I do not feel sapped of energy. It’s when I hit the quiet of the late afternoon, sitting in the sun’s windowed reflection under the ticking of the clock punctuating my solitude among the table and chairs, tablecloth and armoire of my kitchen/dining area that the absolute exhaustion–a bone weariness of the mind and spirit–overwhelms me.
An aphid burrowing into the cells
homing the pulp of me, crawling
the synapses ablaze with centipedal
feet by the hundreds across attention
span and heat of the moment glee of
questions answered and asked, again
ticking off to-do’s of the do-nothings
but ply, ply, ply; it’s my trade, my cue,
my plight, but in the end, husked,
devoured, twisted, torn and teeth-
marked, me, hollow, me, cocooned
in respite of the dark, silent sap of
the dead thickening thinned linings
undressed, undermined and stripped
swollen, aching in whispering dawn.
4 Replies to “Are All Writer’s Introverts?”
We are pretentious introverts. We talk to the masses through our words, asking them questions, giving them answers. We are the best friends of a person who flips our pages, we tell them more, much more, than any friend or colleague can in their lifetimes. A good friend is unparalleled to a good writer, but a writer doesn’t want anything in return, that’s the difference.
I agree, though I believe a writer does want a return on his or her words: recognition, readers, conversation, exchange, communication, appreciation… Otherwise, we would all just journal.
Don’t know about all, but assume a high percentage. Makes sense, as extroverts would prefer to be around people, and introverts are happy reading or writing.
Been poking around your blog a bit, some good food for thought.
Thanks for stopping by. And yes, not only anecdotal evidence points to the obvious–introverts like solitary, quiet-ish activities–but also psycho-sociological studies echo that consensus.
Of course people are not static. We speak in tendencies. Sometimes I get energized by writing in crowded noisy places and other times in quiet solitary ones. I think it comes down to how you get your batteries charged, in downtime or with people.