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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

#IWSG: Extrovert Writer Seeks Social Interaction


Time for the first 2016 Insecure Writers Support Group, the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. Join us HERE. Because it's a party every month!


Are you extroverted? Introverted? Somewhere in between?

Extroversion = an outgoing personality style involving thinking out loud, excelling at small talk, and drawing energy from social interaction

Introversion = an internal personality style involving deep, creative thinking and recharging by spending time alone or in small groups

We often stereotype writers as introverts--off alone typing their stories. But not all writers are solitary souls. Read about the benefits of both styles for writers HERE.

I'm more extroverted according to this brief, free version of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. (Check out your personality styles HERE.) I talk to people all day long in my day job as a psychologist. I never intended to become a solitary writer...until I found the social world of fan fiction.

In 2007 I was struggling in my psychologist job and came across the TV show Prison Break. The dark themes and conspiracies mirrored the darkness in my career at the time. I binge watched season one, then found a fan forum as I searched for season two episodes I'd missed. One section on the forum was for fan fiction. "What the hell's fan fiction?" I thought. "What losers are writing stories about the TV characters?"

You guessed it--soon I joined the ranks of losers and started writing my own fan fiction. My early writing sucked, but readers were so encouraging. Every time I posted a chapter online, readers would comment and cheerlead.

Fast forward 9 years and I've published six novels. Without fan fiction, writing and publishing can be a lonely venture for this extrovert. Thank goodness for:

1) my critique partner Nicki Elson. I send her one chapter at a time, just like my fan fiction days

2) the wonderful writers I've met through Insecure Writers Support Group

3) the amazing readers I've met in person and online


Another social writing outlet is writing challenges where writers see how many words they can complete in an allotted time. One Facebook Author Sprint group I've joined is HERE.

What about you? If you're an introvert, how do you handle social media marketing and book signings? If you're an extrovert, how do you find more social outlets? Or are you more of a flexible ambivert?

5 comments:

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks for the beautiful eCard! I have been working so hard these days as a rare blood courier that free time is almost non-existent!

I am an introvert but I can project an avatar of what I need to be as I did when a teacher and store owner. Being a counselor it was easier being an introvert.

I was abandoned by my father on a rough Detroit street and stayed lost for 6 weeks, championed by a street person. It was there I learned not to draw attention to myself, not to make eye contact, etc.

But I made it home to my mother ... still it left a mark. It is hard for me to market myself. Hey! Look at me! Buy my books! My days as a store owner help there. Still marketing and social media is hard for me to do.

I wish you high sales! And I wrote Xena fan fiction for an ill customer whose mother asked me to -- so I am a veteran of fan fiction, too. Happy 2016

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's awesome fan fiction got you started. And you have an excellent critique partner.
I am an introvert, so I've found marketing online much more my style than in the real world.

L.G. Keltner said...

Fan fiction is a good way to get started. I've read some fan fiction pieces written by truly great writers.

I'm the introverted type, so I struggle with promoting myself. That's an area I really need to work on.

Nicki Elson said...

Hooray for fanfiction losers! I'm such a loser that I actually wrote a novel length Harry Potter fanfiction before I even knew fanfiction was a thing! Was a happy day when I discovered other weirdos like me. :)

I tested Introvert on Meyers-Briggs, but was close to the center...which I guess makes me a high functioning introvert??

I LOVE our crit partnership, too, and am excited to soon be back to sending you chapters. :) VERY excited to be receiving new ones from you.

Cherie Colyer said...

I think I'm more of an introvert, but when I took the test it said I had a slight tendency to be more of an extrovert. Who knew?

Critique partners are great, and they do help make writing less of a solitary activity.

 


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