Finding the Middle Ground: An Answer to a Question
Day #23 of my "30 Hubs in 30 Days" Challenge
Recently, elayne001 posted the following question on Hub Pages: "Are you and extrovert or an introvert? What gives you energy-- people or solitude?"
On a Personal Level
Personally, I'm an introvert. A simple list of my favorite things to do-- reading, writing, small crafts, gardening, and movie watching-- confirms this statement. Every single one of these activities are ones that can be done alone (and usually are in my household). I prefer solitude-- especially when I'm working on a project. The quiet allows me to organize my thoughts, brainstorm, and then transform those ideas into something constructive. Sometimes the result is a written story, other times it's a hand painted craft project. The list of possibilities is endless! But, I need that quiet in order to think. If I'm surrounded by loud noises, I find it hard to concentrate; and I really hate it when people interrupt me when I'm trying to work! Therefore, I definitely get my energy from the solitude (not people)!
I think that, as writers, it's necessary to be an introvert. I say this because crafting a story requires a great deal of time and energy. A writer needs to be comfortable working alone and spending large amounts of time with the fictional characters that live in our heads. I've found that when I'm writing a novel (or even a short story) it helps to block out the real world. I'll shut myself away in my office with only a notepad of scribbled notes, my computer, and a never-ending supply of hot tea. I try to immerse myself completely in the fictional world that I'm creating. Only then does the story really come alive on the page. I can't do that when I'm being interrupted my phone calls or people are stopping by to visit. I need that space between myself and reality to create a good story.
The Middle Ground
On the flip side, part of writing stories is creating realistic characters. I've heard other writers suggest going to a public place-- like a park, coffee shop, or mall-- and people watching. Bring a notepad to jot down the things that stand out to you. For instance, study the mannerisms of the people you see. Study the way they interact with other people. Pay close attention to their language, the way they dress, everything!
Although I believe that being introverted is necessary during the writing process, I think that observing the outside world or making an effort to be extroverted can be helpful while you're researching a piece of writing. It can help you to create more realistic characters once you're ready to sit down and write the piece. Besides, if we're always cutting ourselves off from the outside world then we start to lose touch with it. As a result, our writing can suffer-- especially if you're writing about a contemporary character. It's hard to sound convincing when you're addressing a 2012 audience with a character that you've dressed in parachute pants and a neon green leotard who uses slang that was popular in the 1960's.
So, long story short, I think that in order to become really great writers we need to be able to find that middle ground. It's important to be extroverted while researching a story. This includes taking the time to study people (and the way they talk and act) in order to write convincing characters. However, I believe that it's necessary to become introverted while writing a story in order to really focus on it and block out all other distractions. The really good stories are the ones where both the reader and the writer can completely immerse themselves in the fictional world and block out reality for a while.
The Original Question
- Are you an extrovert or an introvert? What gives you energy - people or solitutde?
Listing of the answers to the question: Are you an extrovert or an introvert? What gives you energy - people or solitutde?