Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All By Myself...

There’s always been some debate as to whether most writers are introverts looking for a way to connect and express themselves to the world. Or extroverts trying to escape the world around them and spend some time in solitude; surrounded only by the landscapes and characters of their own mind.

So, are we introverts looking to be extroverts?
OR are we extroverts looking to be introverts?

That is the question.

I grew up in a family of five children. Alone-time was hard to come by and when I finally did get my own room- I could spend hours a day by myself. I LOVED being by myself. I could read, or write, or watch whatever I wanted on my very own fat-box television.

It was heaven.

Fast forward ten (okay, fine, – fifteen) years.  Now I’m a part of a different family with three adorable children and a doting husband. Going into ‘my own’ room and closing the door is no longer an option. I’m the mom. I have responsibilities. (one of which seems to be keeping every person in this family entertained every freaking moment of the day.)

*ahem*:)

But unfortunately, the ‘writer’ in me is still a wailing sixteen-year-old girl, pulling out her hair and begging for her own bedroom, slamming doors and yelling ‘Just leave me alone! Nobody understaaaaands meeeeee!’

Of course, if I actually were to give into the ‘writer’, my husband and kids would think I’ve gone batshit crazy (which, by then, I probably have).

That said, whenever I do get some time alone, I revel in it. I prepare ahead of time- Get my wip to a place where I know it will be easy to jump right back in. Get myself a bottle of wine or chocolate or popcorn or sushi- or all four. Download a few of the shows I know hubby would never watch with me in a million years and settle in for a marathon...

*sigh*

I pretty much have a Katie party for one.

Which probably puts me in the second category above. I know I’m extroverted- always have been. But I definitely need me some one-on-one time with just me, myself, and I to feel like a well-balanced individual.

What about you guys? Which category do you think you fall into and why? 

41 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I can see why you'd love the time alone. Can I be a third category. I'm really an introvert wanting to be an introvert. The extrovert part of writing especially book signings kind of scares me. Sorry to be different here.

Elliot Grace said...

...even if its no more than a few precious minutes before falling into bed, some quiet time in front of the manuscript makes for the perfect ending to a day. And without it, I've been told that I get moody ;)

El

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I have always thought of myself as an introvert pretending to be an extrovert. On the outside I am this life of the party type person, and on the inside I have this big lump in my stomach and have so many doubts and fears. I come from a large family and had a large family. Time alone meant long baths as that was the only place I could get away from everybody. We all need space, but really are so lucky to be surrounded by those that love us.

Sarah said...

Introversion-Extraversion is a continuum, and many people fall somewhere in the middle, having characteristics of both. I happen to be a rather extreme introvert, which means I simply need my alone time--and my family actually knows that about me! I'm going to BEA in a few weeks, and of course I'm really excited, but I also know it's going to exhaust me completely because I'll have to be "on" all the time, and I'll want to flee to my room and snuggle with my laptop.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I am definitely an introvert.

My idea of hell is being trapped on an airplane, sitting next to a stranger who wants to talk to me the whole flight.

In fact, I'm taking the class on a field trip today, and I'm trying to figure out if I can get a seat by myself on the bus and not sit with a chatty parent chaperone.

Because if nobody talks to me on the bus, I can get valuable THINK time.

Jessica Bell said...

To be honest, it really depends on my mood! I've definitely behaved extroverted in the past. At the moment I'm more introverted, but do sometimes get a hankering to be in a lot of company. I dunno, can I say I'm both? Maybe I have split personalities ... :)

Tony Van Helsing said...

I'm from a family with three brothers so it was always bedlam in our house. Now I live with my wife and three cats and am sitting here in blessed peace as I write this. I still like to occasionally let my hair down, though.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm definitely an introvert looking to be a little more extroverted.
And I really get a kick out of the phrase batshit crazy!

Christine Danek said...

I'm still trying to figure out if I wrote this because it's like you read my mind. The difference is I only have two kids and I was one of two kids (I could get more alone time when I was younger). I think I'm an extrovert trying to be introverted. I'm prepping for my two hours alone this morning. *smile beams* When I get time alone, it's like heaven. Love this!

Angela Felsted said...

I think I fall into "the kids are driving me crazy and I need to escape the noise" category.

Sandra Almazan said...

I'm like Natalie--an introvert longing to be an introvert. My son isn't quite five yet, and he's very extroverted. Sometimes the best part of the day is when Alex goes to sleep, my husband exercises, and I get some valuable alone time with my muse.

Anne Gallagher said...

Ha! I think to put it plainly, I'm an extroverted introvert. When I'm around people (which isn't very often) I can be bubbly and fun. But I would much rather be by myself for 18 hours a day. Thankfully, I have enough alone time now to compensate, but I remember when the Monster was small, I used to lock myself in the bathroom to write.

Dana said...

I'm definitely an introvert--no question about that. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm like Anne G. I'm an extroverted introvert. I need my downtime where I can write. Fortunately that's why school was invented, and why super supportive husbands were created. :D

Old Kitty said...

I think I emulate the Great Garbo's words " I vant to be alone"! I am social when I need to be or have to be but truly and seriously I vant to be alone even from family and friends!

Take care
x

jaybird said...

When I lived at home, with my extremely loud and gigantic Italian family, I always wondered about "peace and quiet" or "alone time". I couldn't wait to move out and enjoy these things for myself.

But I have to confess, those first few months when I moved out and had all the quiet I desperately craved, it unnerved me. I had to blast the radio or the tv just to fall alseep. LOL

Today, I am quite content either way. I love to get some quiet time to think or write uninterrupted, but I also love that my house is the place where everyone hangs, because it is always full of people, good food and lots of noise/fun!

TC Avey said...

I'm a mixture. I love being around others, but I sure do enjoy my alone time.

Becky Mahoney said...

I'm definitely a people-loving introvert! I enjoy social time and hanging out with my friends, but if I don't get my alone time to recharge, I get verryyyyy cranky. :)

Linda Kage said...

I'm definitely in the introvert category. But being the mom and wife really do completely take away my happy alone time. **wails and pulls her hair**

mshatch said...

Definitely an introvert. I don't mind social gatherings as long as they are few and far between. Maybe growing up in a family of 7 had something to do with it...or maybe it's just the writer in me.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

We all need 'me' time, I think... When my kids were at home, the only time I got to myself was when in the bathroom! So I started staying in there longer and taking books etc with me!! Now I don't have that problem and sometimes I just crave company... Funny creatures aren't we??

Matthew MacNish said...

I can fall into either category, depending on my mood. In general, I'm an introvert, and like to spend my time alone, but every once in a while I come out and play.

Rick Daley said...

I'm an introverted extrovert. I love to be the center of attention, but only if there is a line of separation, e.g. if I am on stage, apart from the audience.

Put me in a crowded room at a party and I slink off to a corner. I'm not good at mingling or small talk.

BTW...you say party of one, have you seen The Muppets? Amy Adams kills it singing a song about her party for one (Me Party)!

Linds said...

I'm an extrovert with social anxiety/ odd quirks. Sound funny, but it's true. Writing is one of those things where I don't have to have [as much of] a filter because I'm the one writing it. If others don't like it they don't have to read it.

shelly said...

Well, I like to be alone. But I like to be around peeps. So that puts me in the 'I don't know category.'

Cassie Mae said...

I'm totally with you! I just wanna be left alone for just a little bit. :)

Trish said...

I'm an introvert who happens to be really good at being an extrovert. I prefer to be alone and in many cases I would rather be home, but once I get out there and surround myself with people, I love being super social. I don't think I have it in me to be that extroverted on a daily basis, so I guess that would make me more of an introvert. I think.

Talli Roland said...

I LOVE being on my own. I'm in my own all day, pretty much, and I adore it. Last week when Mr TR was in Sydney, I had six days straight of hardly talking to everyone. That might have been a bit much... :)

Talli Roland said...

Oops - TO ANYONE. Can you tell I'm brain dead?

Meredith said...

I definitely love my alone time, which makes living by myself absolutely awesome. Though I'm still fairly extroverted, much more than I used to be.

Padded Cell Princess said...

I am completely an introvert trying to be an extrovert. It doesn't seem like that to my friends but I also have social anxiety so I don't do well being around a bunch of strangers...except if the bunch of strangers are bloggers because then it's a given that we are all probably a bit 'strange' and will most likely get on just fine! ;)

Gina Dickerson said...

Love this! I just read this to my husband who thought I was actually talking about myself - so I guess I'm kind of similar to you, Katie! I'd always considered myself an introvert but Husband pointed out that, with my fashion choices, I am slightly extroverted...can I be both depending on which mood I'm in?!

Cherie Reich said...

Yay for alone time!

I'm the introvert type of writer. :)

Laura Pauling said...

I have to say I must be an introvert. Although I love being with friends, I cherish the time spend alone and don't go stir crazy.

Lydia Kang said...

Most of the time, I'd like to be alone but I need the socialization to keep me happy in between times.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I've always required alone time. Like you, it was a precious commodity growing up in a family of 9 kids.

Hubs has learned, through the years, that Sia, without some alone time, is not pleasant.

I do make time to talk to kids and hubs but they know there are times I'm going to disappear and to leave me alone. Just for awhile.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm very introverted, for various reasons. Being social and introducing myself to complete strangers doesn't come naturally to me, and I still prefer people to introduce themselves to me and make friends that way.

Liz Parker said...

Oh man. I'm so social that I'm hands-down an extrovert. But like you I crave, need, and sometimes have to wrestle for my alone time. I love the rare weekend days when my husband has to work and I have the house to myself.

A Beer for the Shower said...

See, I don't fall into either. Because I love my alone time (how else would I get any writing done?) but if I don't get out of the house and socialize, I get stir crazy and my writing quickly turns from "elegant prose" to "pounding the keyboard in anger."

Leslie Rose said...

I'm a faux extrovert. Since I'm a teacher I always have to put myself "out there," but what I love is a quiet house with nothing on the schedule.

4utea said...

I used to churn out manuscripts in two months. Nothing kept me away until I was done. But the last two have had starts and stops. I'd like to think I'm more thoughtful now and have cleaner rough drafts.

Is it that you're not sure how to write the next scene? Two manuscripts ago, when I was busy or wasn't sure what to do next, I had big gaps where I didn't write at all. For this last one, I worked on other projects in between inspiration. But then when I got rolling, I wrote thousands of words a day--especially at the end.
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