Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shyness


I just read a blog about shyness vs. introversion and discovered I’m neither Well, I guess I knew I wasn’t shy. But I did think of myself as rather introverted, but it turns out I don’t really fit the criteria for that, either. I was sort of figuring I had to be because I was a writer. Which is silly. Did I think all writers had to be introverted?
I should have know better. About writers and about myself. When I was still able to go to conferences, hadn’t I volunteered volunteered to be on panels--and even be a theme speaker sometimes. Yet, at the same time, I did feel more comfortable in the company of writers I already knew and liked.
I was like an only child in that my brother was nineteen years older than I was--in college when I was born. I think not having brothers or sisters to grow up with does isolate a child, but
in my day every kid played outside, because that’s where the fun was and I was eager to go out and participate in it. I did learn to like to be alone, though. This, even though I do like most people I meet.
It’s true every writer spends a certain amount of time alone by definition, or a book would never get written. That’s if you can describe a writer as being alone when she or he has windows mail constantly pouring in and needing to be at least scanned for anything that requires immediate attention.
So what’s the point of all this? I guess it’s that writers, though they may be physically alone, are really not in many ways. This electronic age makes it hard to isolate yourself. And yet we do really need to be alone to be able to write. Alone in the sense that we’re not paying any attention to what’s going on around us. It has to be a lonely business in order for us to get a book finished.
I’ve heard many writers describe themselves at being amazed at what was happening around them when they “came up for air.” It’s happened to me as well. But literally being in another world when we write doesn’t make us shy or introverted. Kinko, our calico grandcat knows I go someplace else when I’m at the computer, so when she wants something, she reaches up and puts her paws on my upper leg. If I don’t say something to her, she digs a claw in, just to remind me she’s there and in need of attention,
So do some writers consider themselves introverts or shy ? I wonder how many of us do.
Book news: Ellen put Taken In, Book 1 of the Dagon House Trilogy, up on New Year’s Day!
Blurb for Taken In:
With a hit man in pursuit, Gail flees after witnessing a murder. Secret agent Jason finds her first. Eluding the hit man causes a crash. Gail and Jason escape the exploding car just in time, but when they take shelter in Dagon House they face a far worse danger… And now I’d best get back to writing Where There’s Smoke, Book 2 in this ghostly trilogy.

Jane

2 comments:

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Only a few writers are shy. During interviews, however, they can become tongue-tied, inarticulate. I agree most writers have isolation down to a science. It helps to be an only child or like you have 19 years between siblings. When the space program began, only one of the original bunch of astronauts was a sibling. Isolation is extreme in a spacecraft.

Performers, on the other hand, are usually shy – which is surprising considering their bombastic behaviors. They are also left handed. Next time you watch a movie, see how many are left handed. Maybe 51% or more.

Ute Carbone said...

I'm actually quite shy. I was very shy as a child, though I've learned to overcome it to a certain extent as an adult. I don't think it has a lot to do with writing, though. I'm an only child, too and that may have more to do with my becoming a writer. I like my own company (most of the time) and though I like people and being with people, I also treasure my alone time. That, to me, seems kind of writerly trait.