Read Part 1
I have some introvert tendencies
So why do I want to write a book so badly? If I'd rather be out collaborating with people, why not just teach, drum, and be satisfied with my life? Because I have introvert tendencies. Namely, I'm a bookworm.
The other weekend I went to my in-law's cabin with my husband, his parents, his siblings and all their kids. Do you remember the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Yeah, his family is like that. Big. Loud. In your business. And loving, of course! My family is quite small in comparison, and when we get together, we usually keep to ourselves and/or do our own thing.
While at the cabin, I decided to pull out a book and read. Someone asked if I was unhappy. Had I been offended? Hardly! I just wanted to read! I felt very similar to Susan Cain who did the same thing at her summer camp when she was 9. Her camp director questioned what she was doing and encouraged her to be more outgoing, so Susan Cain put her books away. She says, "I felt kind of guilty...as if the books needed me somehow, and they were calling out to me and I was forsaking them."
I wasn't being anti-social when I decided to read at the cabin, I promise. I love my husband's family... our family. I just wanted some reading time. Thinking time. Alone time. Extroverts do that, too, you know. We don't crave it as much, maybe, but we enjoy it every once in a while.
As quoted by Susan Cain, "Carl Jung, the psychologist who first popularized these terms, said that there's no such thing as a pure introvert or a pure extrovert. He said that such a man would be in a lunatic asylum, if he existed at all." (emphasis added)
A little bit of both is normal
When I was an RA, a psychologist talked with us about all this introvert-extrovert stuff. As counselors, we'd have the tricky task of mentoring and solving problems with the residents that lived in our hall and collaborating with each other on projects. Naturally, we'd need to learn how to work with introverts and extroverts. We'd also need to know which we were. (This is where I learned that I'm mostly an extrovert.)
In fact, some circumstances have forced us into using our non-dominant personality so much that we've become quite strong in it.
Learning to be a better introvert
As mentioned, I love collaborating and talking with people. It's where I get my best energy. When I was in 5th grade, my mom decided to go back to college. I was the youngest, so my siblings were all in junior high or high school. Dad had to work, so when I got home, I was alone. I hated it at first. I was bored, lonely and wanted someone to talk to. Like the good Hermione Granger I was, though, I decided to get my homework done while I waited for my sisters and parents to get home. It worked out great! I got my obligated-introvert-work out of the way before they got home, and then I'd be free to bug them!
I also started reading and writing more, just for fun! I always liked reading. Dad read to us when we were little. And I liked making up stories with my friends, so I probably had read and written stuff before this, but I think being forced into an introvert situation made me better at these hobbies.
Bringing it full circle
Like Susan Cain, I believe both personality types are important. One isn't more superior than another. There's value in doing extrovert and introvert things. Life would be pretty boring if we all were the same. So this is where I bring my musings full circle, back to how this all affects my writing.
Susan Cain says, "when psychologists look at the lives of the most creative people, what they find are people who are very good at exchanging ideas and advancing ideas, but who also have a serious streak of introversion in them." If you asked my close friends, they'd probably tell you that I'm pretty creative. Of course, creativity is like a muscle. It must be exercised.
So, I'm going to get back into my bathtub now and start rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. It's not the most comfortable thing for me. It's like an introvert speaking in public, really. But I can do it. And the more I do it, the better I'll get at it.