How Do Introverted Versus Extroverted Writers See the World?
There is a perception that most writers are introverts who enjoy spending their days with only their writing to keep them company. But what does this really mean, and does a writer’s personality type really matter? Do introverts and extroverts practice reading to write in different ways? Do extroverted and introverted writers have different world experiences that influence their writing?
Many of us already know these concepts, but below is a short explanation for those who might still be a bit confused about these terms.
What Are Introverts and Extroverts?
These personality concepts became known through the work of Carl Jung and represent the opposing sides on the personality scale.
If you’re an introvert, you usually enjoy working alone. You find interacting with people draining and usually need time to recharge. You work more successfully when you think things through in your mind, instead of discussing them with others.
Extroverts get their stimulation from interacting with other people. If you’re an extrovert, you probably enjoy working with other people and sharing ideas. You also get ambiverts, who fall right in the middle of the personality spectrum.
How Different are Introverts and Extroverts’ World Experiences?
While Introverts often have to shut themselves away to focus on the project at hand, Extroverts can work in places full of people and don’t have a problem writing down their thoughts in busy restaurants and coffee shops.
These days it could be to your advantage to be an extroverted writer, especially if you self-publish. A bubbly personality will help you if you have to be your own marketer and public speaker.
The Advantages of Being an Introverted Writer
Introverts usually write deep and meaningful stories. Other advantages of being an introverted writer include the following:
- Introverts are better listeners and will clearly remember the details of a story someone told them.
- Introverts usually spend more time reading and writing than extroverts.
- As you’ll spend more time alone as an introverted writer, you’ll have more time to explore your thoughts and emotions, which will add depth to your work.
Being an introverted writer can also affect your writing style in the following ways:
- You’re more inclined to use a brainstorming, outline process before you start writing.
- You need to be able to concentrate and usually write alone.
- You can find it difficult to ask for feedback.
- Some introverts don’t need to write many drafts because they create multiple drafts in their heads before writing anything down on paper.
- When you receive feedback, you need time to process it.
The Advantages of Being an Extroverted Writer
Extroverts tend to meet more people and are exposed to more personalities and stories, which can help their writing. If you’re an extroverted writer, you’ll also have more direct experience to write about.
Extroverts are usually more flexible when it comes to working conditions and don’t necessarily need an isolated place to be able to write. For this reason, they could be more prolific writers than introverts.
Being an extrovert can also affect your writing style in the following ways:
- You’ll find that you generate your best ideas when talking about them.
- You need breaks to get stimulation from other people.
- You can write well without planning much.
- You’ll discover what you want to say as you write.
- You value feedback on your writing.
- You’ll need to take a step back when you revise your writing. Your document might be unfocused, and it could be a good idea to outline it to see where you need to make the revisions.
- You prefer to talk about your ideas rather than receive written feedback.
- After writing your first draft, you find you need to slow down and think about possible revisions.
It’s best to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer, but you may even find that your writing style agrees more with that of the opposite personality’s supposed style.
If you want to tutor writing, it’s important that you know how the different personalities can influence writing style. For example, it won’t work to drown extroverted writing students in prewriting and outline writing exercises, especially when all they want to do is talk about their ideas.
Advice for Writers
We provide some tips for introverted and extroverted writers, but most authors will benefit from these ideas, which can help them make their respective writing journeys more productive.
Tips for Extroverted Writers
Writing can be lonely, especially if you’re an extrovert and you self-publish. Connecting to a writer friend can give you the motivation you need to keep going. You can chat about the writing life, swap writing as alpha-readers, or do word challenges. Even introverts may find that connecting to another writer gives them the boost they need to keep going and improve themselves.
Joining a writing group can give you people to bounce your ideas off. You can encourage each other and have fun together. You could either have in-person meetings or have a virtual meeting group.
You could get involved in a good online writing forum, something that should also interest more introverted writers. A forum is a great place to talk about your writing projects.
If you’re an extroverted writer and you’re having trouble writing on your own, go to a coffee shop, the library, the park, or a restaurant. You’ll probably find that you’re better able to focus with others around you.
If you can’t go out to write, you can try recreating the atmosphere of a café in your study. Make sure you have plenty of background noise going while you work.
Don’t start doing too many things at once. It can be tempting to just jump into everything, but you might end up with burnout. Focus on what works best for you. Remember that writing a blog, starting Facebook and Instagram pages, and joining Twitter and Pinterest could all take a lot of time. It could help to create a plan of action with different steps so that you don’t end up feeling overwhelmed.
If you’re just starting out on your writing career, learn to prioritize what’s important to you, especially if you’re an extroverted writer. There’s the possibility that you might end up doing too much at first. You may also find it difficult to say no to potential clients, opportunities, or when friends want you to do something for them.
It’s vital to be able to say no in a firm, respectful way when you need to do so. If you get a request to do several jobs in two days, you will have to say no to some of them. The best idea would be to consider which jobs will be the most financially viable to you. You need to keep to your priorities, even when you’re under pressure.
As an extroverted writer, you may be good at connecting online, but you need to be aware that you also need to protect your privacy. Do what makes you feel comfortable; use a pen name or don’t show your face in photos. It might also be a good idea to keep your family social media accounts separate from your work accounts.
Get to know intriguing and fascinating people. This might be one of the most fun parts of the writing job for extroverts.
Discover your strength as a writer and hone that skill. Don’t worry too much about existing stereotypes for writers. You have a better chance of making a name for yourself if you do things your way. Don’t waste your time by trying to fit into a mold or following rules that will help you write a bestseller. You need to find your own writer’s voice and discover what makes your writing stand out. Don’t be scared to take advantage of your natural skill as a writer, and don’t feel that you have to be everything for everybody.
When you decide to write, do your best to focus on your writing. Self-published authors usually have a lot to do and can easily become distracted. Resist temptations to use social media or chat to your friends until you’ve met the goals you’ve set for yourself for that day. It might be a good idea to keep a notebook so that you can write down thoughts that come into your mind during writing time.
Tips for Introverted Writers
While extroverts are at an advantage when it comes to promoting themselves, it’s not a bad thing to be an introverted writer. You’re the only one who can write down your unique ideas, so appreciate your talents.
Don’t compare yourself to others and ignore negative self-talk. Expect rejections, but don’t feel like nobody will ever give you a chance. Dealing with rejection is part of the writing profession.
Make sure your ideas are unforgettable because this is the way you’re going to sell yourself.
You might have to overcome the barrier of painful shyness. For example, you can join a writer’s group to get used to being part of the writing community. You can also consider going to a small, local writer’s conference. When you attend a conference, you don’t have to talk to anyone at first. Watch and learn and gradually become more involved. When you gain enough confidence, attend more conferences and discuss your ideas with other writers.
Now that you know what different types of writers there are, ask yourself which type of writer you are and how you would like to approach your future as a writer. Remember, whether you’re an introverted or extroverted writer, you’re unique and creative. You’re a deep thinker with an innovative vision. Cherish yourself and work towards making the most of yourself as a writer.
As a writer, you should always be learning and growing to make the most of your abilities. A lifelong learning mentality will help you excel in the writing trade. There will never be a stage where you can stop learning, as writers also need to continually evolve to stay relevant in the competitive publishing environment of today. Learning all you can about self-publishing will also open up a whole new range of career opportunities for you. In the end, it doesn’t matter what your writing personality is. As long as you have the drive to keep learning and developing, you will succeed.