Why Introverts Make Good Writers


 

by J.U. Scribe

I return to blogging because I like to write. Never did it cross my mind that my keen interest in writing had anything to do with who I am on a fundamental level until recently. After you read this you’ll understand the connection I started to make with introversion to writing.

It is estimated that at least 1/3  of the population are introverted. For a significant portion of the population, including myself we felt largely misunderstood. We felt something was wrong with us. I may not have been able to articulate it during childhood, but I learned early on that being outgoing, sociable, and assertive were more socially acceptable than being reserved, quiet, and passive.

While introversion is still largely misunderstood and looked upon as a “deficiency,” today more people are becoming enlightened as to what introversion actually is and more importantly the inert strengths that introverts possess, largely thanks to Susan Cain’s book: Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. One of the many arenas introverts are making their mark on the world is literature.

This is not to say that extroverts can’t be good writers too. Writers are as varied as the number of books that are out on the market. From my own experiences I’ve come to see how my natural strengths that many other introverts possess can actually play in their favor when it comes to writing. Granted this won’t apply to every single introvert (there is great variation even among introverts) but the overall principles will apply to many.

Writing is their preferred method of communication. 

Typically extroverts tend to vocalize their thoughts. Introverts by nature tend to internalize their thoughts. From observation, my extroverted counterparts tend to be more vocal on expressing their thoughts and feelings vs. my introverted friends. For some introverts, speaking out especially to those they don’t know very well can be unnerving or awkward. Add shyness and anxiety to the mix and this problem is 10x worse especially in crowds.

Even if you aren’t necessarily shy, it can be hard to articulate the thoughts and ideas swirling in your heads when someone puts you on the spot. Many find it easier to express their ideas into writing because it allows them time to sort out their thoughts and choose the right words. As a result many introverts have become comfortable writing their ideas and over time writing becomes second nature.

We have rich inner worlds.

It can be joked that introverts live in their heads. Silly as it sounds there’s some truth to those words. I’ll recall a friend of my friend on Facebook quoted that the “quietest people have the loudest minds.” As an introvert, I can personally attest to that fact. Because we are constantly ruminating different thoughts and working out ideas in our heads it’s no wonder that many introverts are naturally creative people.

One of those creative outlets can be writing. With a creative mind you can brainstorm the plot of your next story from a single idea that popped in your head. You can imagine the setting of the plot, from the scenery of the world you’re creating. For the characters that populate your world, you can visualize everything from their physical appearance, down to their mannerisms and facial expressions. Once the ideas flow, the possibilities for the next novel are endless.

The need for quiet.

While this may not appear to many as a strength, our strength or energy comes from recharging alone. Quiet environments are the most conducive for this. Because long periods of quiet time doesn’t phase us as much (I actually welcome it) we can concentrate better.

This plays into writing because the longer you can spend concentrating on your writing, the more productive you will be. Not only will you increase your word count but the quality of your writing will also benefit when you take away the distractions and tune in to your inner voice as you read the story and see if things flow. High levels of concentration are especially needed for the editing and re-writing process which is essential if you want to publish a book.

Because introverts get their energy from being alone, spending time alone or engaging in quieter activities is ideal for us. Stereotypically you’ll find an introvert at home curled up in their bed or couch reading a good book instead of going to a social gathering. Again that’s not true of every introvert in every situation.

There’s times I actually want to go out and spend time with friends. A lot of times I genuinely enjoy myself when I do go. But there’s nothing more relaxing than unwinding after the event is over. A popular pastime particularly for quieter introspective souls is reading. Reading is indirectly related to the craft of writing because from reading you can learn from another author’s writing styles. Are they good at describing action scenes? Good at writing dialogue? Or maybe it’s believable characters. Without copying, we can emulate plot devices that work and avoid those that don’t in our own writing.

Granted, not every introvert will automatically excel at writing, but these three traits can help you in improving the craft. Like any craft it takes time and effort to perfect. And the good news is that these traits can be true of anyone whether you’re an extrovert, introvert or somewhere in between (ambivert). So if these traits are applicable to you, see them for what they are. And if your goal is to become a writer use them to your advantage in becoming a better writer than you were yesterday.

 

 

 

Guest post contributed by J.U. Scribe. J.U. is the author of Before the Legend and enjoys outlets such as blogging, drawing, painting, and graphic design.

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52 thoughts on “Why Introverts Make Good Writers”

    1. Thank you for sharing that lovely blog post. Hurrah for us inbetweener’s. I hadn’t thought there was such a thing as an ambivert. I can be social if I want but a lot of time I am content with my own company or the company of the book people I create.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. Glad you enjoyed this post. A considerable number of the population fall somewhere between the spectrum, so it’s reassuring to know that not everyone fits into neat boxes. You can be both depending on the situation.

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  1. I love everything about this.. I tend to weave in and out of introvertism (maybe it’s a split personality thing, who knows lol) but I definitely do my best writing when I feel the need to shut out.. so many aspects of this ring true to me personally… great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really appreciate the positive feedback. I’m glad to hear that this post resonated with you. Introversion/Extroversion is a spectrum so it’s highly doubtful someone is 100% of either one. The fact that you can weave in between introversion probably means you’re somewhere in the middle (ambivert). Like you, I need to shut out outside distractions to help me concentrate on my writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Introverts unite… Separately in our own homes.

    I have to say this description is pretty accurate for me. I do like finding a nice quiet place and read or play games. Interesting, I thought the “constant ruminating” was the result of ADD. Good article, thanks for sharing.

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  3. “Even if you aren’t necessarily shy, it can be hard to articulate the thoughts and ideas swirling in your heads when someone puts you on the spot. Many find it easier to express their ideas into writing because it allows them time to sort out their thoughts and choose the right words. As a result many introverts have become comfortable writing their ideas and over time writing becomes second nature.”

    This is exactly why I usually end up expressing myself late. Like when someone puts me on the spot with all the questions, I usually end up making a note or letter just to express myself and I’m glad it is appreciated by that person. 🙂 I’m re blogging your post. Thank you from one introvert to another.

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  4. Reblogged this on The Coffee Bean Brain and commented:
    “Even if you aren’t necessarily shy, it can be hard to articulate the thoughts and ideas swirling in your heads when someone puts you on the spot. Many find it easier to express their ideas into writing because it allows them time to sort out their thoughts and choose the right words. As a result many introverts have become comfortable writing their ideas and over time writing becomes second nature.”

    Like

  5. Very interesting…both the post and the following comments. I relate to so much of what you’ve written. However, I am generally an extrovert and much of my writing is in a sense social. I’m writing to someone…especially on my blog but also in my general writing. In a social situation I’m the classic life of the party type and I’m a real social networker.
    However, my situation has been bombarded by two severe medical conditions and it can be quite difficult for me to get out at times. Over time, this has enabled me to enjoy my own company more and the Internet has been a God send both in terms of blogging but also having so much research at my fingertips.
    Since becoming more settled in myself, I have noticed the number of people who just talk and talk and talk. I don’t think I can call myself a listener because I can’t take it all in, and sense they mainly need to vent. I do, however, have to make sure I don’t agree to do something when my daughter does this. I can unconsciously agree to things if I’m not careful.
    Thanks for such an interesting post.
    xx Rowena

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  6. Love this. Couldn’t agree more. And thanks for stopping by my blog! I’m classified myself as introvert-extrovert (if that make any sense at all). And have to say the introvert part pull me back to writing and to my blog greatly. With life being all crazy out there, being introvert gives me this space for myself to feel contained

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  7. I love this post. The qualities ring so true to me. I find writing helps me sort through the noise and gain perspective I might not have seen. Writing helps me make sense of the world, and I can tell stories that reflect my opinions and viewpoints. I love to create characters that are so different from me and put them in situations I couldn’t possibly imagine happening to me, even though I don’t write sci-fi or horror.

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  8. You have got me thinking. I just took up writing via my blog -https://unbreakablejoy.wordpress.com/. I’m learning that writing helps me know myself. It also helps me access and communicate a deeper part. I consider myself ambivert but prefer the deeper internal communication and the quiet you need to make sense of the process. I’m sure the focus writing takes is preferred because in a social setting there is so much background noise (I hate that!). Anyway, I’m going to ponder your words and learn more about writing via your blog. :>

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  9. This makes me feel so happy to be an introvert. Thanks for this article. As much as I love going out and socializing I do love my quiet time. So aptly pointed out.

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  10. What a fantastic post. You raised so many points that really resonate with me. I particularly love your friend’s quote that the “quietest people have the loudest minds.” So much of my life is lived in my head, so I fully appreciate where the observation comes from. And as someone who enjoys being alone, I definitely understand the desire for solitude; I’m constantly craving uninterrupted peace and quiet, because I don’t get nearly as much as I would like, especially when I want to write.

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  11. Always good to play up your strengths. I stopped being a total introvert in high school, and while approaching a room full of strangers can be daunting for every, I find strength in creating deeper characters by meeting or watching other people. Sometimes personal ticks of other people are a good fit for stories, because they add something to the character development.
    It’s definitely good that you can see your personality clearly, and use that perception to make the most effective use of what people consider “strengths” or “weaknesses.” We’re all unique, and sometimes finding the pieces we are good at is a good start toward using them effectively to enrich out stories.

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  12. “Many find it easier to express their ideas into writing because it allows them time to sort out their thoughts and choose the right words.” I love this! IT’S SO TRUE FOR ME! Awesome post, loved reading it.

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  13. This post depicts precisely how most of the introverts feel like when it comes to express themselves. Since they’re not always comfortable with talking, writing helps them not only to convey their thoughts but also a mean of relaxation. Very nice post. I enjoy it a lot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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