Most of you know by now that I am an introvert and a writer. Since this is a favorite time of year to talk about scary things and fears, I am going to discuss one thing I fear as a writer.
In short, my fear is missing what matters. As I said, I am introverted. That's a life tendency. I also seclude myself a lot which is a writer tendency. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who does this. It's only natural with how I was created and what I have been called to do, so please don't take this as me bucking who I am. I love being an introverted writer! But even something so wonderful to me can be toxic to a certain degree.
This should be fairly self-explanatory. When you're an introvert (for those of you who don't know), everything happens inside of your head. The emotions, reactions, speculations, observations . . . very little of it ever shows on our faces or comes out of our mouths. At least, that is very much the way my personality works. Thus, we are often labeled as callous individuals. We internalize such remarks as well.
The drawback to being someone so hard to read is that it can be hard for people to connect to you if you don't give them anything to work with. And if you're an introvert, often times you think you're just as well off without people . . . most people at least.
As a writer, productivity often requires silence and seclusion. (If you're an introvert; extroverts can work in Grand Central Station.) So I am often in my room with my laptop or a notebook trying to eke some things out.
But every now and then, while standing by myself (quite happily) or writing a chapter in the quiet, I decide to join people. Why? Because there's some part of everyone's humanity that craves relationship and relationships are hinged on interaction to say the least. I am terribly afraid I am going to miss what matters most in life, and it's not having my alone time. It's relationships.
Think about your relationship with God: for it to really work, you have to put some effort into upkeep. Why? Because it's a relationship. While wrapping up Beth Moore's study Stepping Up on the Psalms of Ascent, she stressed how important it is to be there for our fellow pilgrims. Then she proceeded to read some data on the physical and spiritual health benefits of having true friends. In summary, individuals who had people that they regularly connected with live longer. They recover from health complications quicker. Meanwhile, a perfectly fit and healthy recluse has a better chance of dying first. I think it all comes down to: those with relationships have more reason for living.
Today we live in the world of pseudo-relationships. Your Facebook friends and blog followers are amazing people! But unless you are connecting to them in a real way, you're not going to be satisfied with them, even as an introvert.
All of this is to say, don't make all the mistakes I have. Put down the notebook and have that healthy conversation. Turn off Spotify and have a prayer time. We can afford to delay writing; it will wait. Relationships won't.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who struggles with this! My next post will be on how what I've learned about social media. Hopefully it will save you some time and give you more to put toward real relationships. In light of NaNo coming up, don't forget to live a little in November even amidst the writing ;)