Sometimes I feel like I have multiple personalities: can you be both extroverted and introverted?
I am a friendly person. Too friendly if you ask my children–they hate it when I strike up conversations with strangers in the grocery store. I like working with others, chatting with co-workers (back when I worked in an office) and going out for lunch with friends. You could drop me in a strange city and I’d have a network within the day. And if you knew me as a teen, you’d say I was the biggest flirt ever. I am definitely outgoing but it’s a lot of work to be “on” for the public.
So where does the introvert come from?
I love working from home, sitting in my pajamas with my dog, Jack, at my side. No worrying about putting on makeup or doing my hair. I can spend hours curled up with a good book. I think taking myself out for lunch with something to read is even better than meeting up with friends. And people watching! I love watching the crowd go by, imagining what’s going on in each person’s life. That’s the writer/observer side of me coming out.
I guess it boils down to who is the real me–the outgoing social butterfly or the quiet wallflower. My guess is the wallflower because when I’m stressed out and need a break, I need to be alone. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my friends and family, I simply get my energy by being alone. To a point, of course, then I get lonely and need to talk to another human (thanks for calling me last night, Patrick)!
Does this make me a better writer? Maybe, because I can spend hours behind the keyboard without pulling out my hair in boredom. But in order to create lifelike characters you need to actually interact with people, engage in conversation and make friends.
I’d say I’ve got the best of both worlds.
What works for you? Are you a people person or a loner?