Saturday, October 22, 2016

My Fear as a Writer

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 ;)

22 comments:

  1. You're definitely not the only one who struggles with this. I struggle with this so much because I don't have any friends I see in real life so I often get quite lonely. Yes, there are people out there in my college (or Pre University) but not people I can relate with. So I'll try to make some friends if I find a job and when I start 'proper' college.

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    1. It's good to know I'm not alone, but you gotta make yourself some friends, girl! 'Tis true, it will be easier when you get into a job or college where people are there due to common interests :) Prayers <3

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  2. *nodnod* This is a super great and though provoking post, I totally get what you're saying and YES IN PERSON RELATIONSHIPS ARE SUPER IMPORTANT. :D ('extroverts can work in Grand Central Station' << ALSO THIS WOULD BE ME)

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    1. Gracias. :D Ugh, in person relationships. Both the joy and bane of my existence, which pretty much sums up my post :P Sweeeet! Glad to have an extrovert verify my ((totally researched)) facts!

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  3. Ohmygoodness, YES! This is my first time visiting your blog (I followed the link in Mary Horton's post) sand we already have so much in common!

    I am also introverted and love writing. Its almost a bad combo??? As an introvert, I would rather be alone. But being a writer amplifies that so much more! Because I need to be alone to think and brainstorm... So then its okay, like I JUSTIFY my inclination to seclude myself.

    And that's not good.

    Also a good point that you made is that we're introverted, so NATURALLY don't like being around people - but after a while (for me anyway) I came to feel like I didn't NEED people. Because I've been doing just fine without them for all these years, right?

    One thing I've been doing recently that really helps is surround myself with writing buddies. Just so we can all chat about our various projects and other randomness, but helps me rely on others and see the value of getting others' oppinons, you know?

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    1. I'm so glad you found me! And on a post that spoke to you, too ;)

      True, you get double the seclusion personality with that combination! Ugh, lovely justification. Just a fancy word for excuse making (in most cases)!

      Right, I can feel like I don't need people, too. Like I never choose to be around them, so obviously they're not necessary. And then other times I want to just go somewhere and see a familiar face. Or it surprises me how much I enjoy hanging with someone and it refreshes me. I've been doing some chats with writing friends recently as well and that has certainly helped me. And I got to see one of my friends home from college on Sunday and that was amazing! There are those few people I KNOW I can't live without ;)

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  4. Great post, Abi! This is definitely a problem for me as well. I have a really hard time finding a balance between living life and writing. I either swing really far to one or the other extreme. It's such a difficult thing for sure, but you are certainly right to say that relationships are more important than our writing. Spot on post!

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    1. Thanks, Emily! Yes a balance, gr. That is the sticking point :P I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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  5. Love this so much, Abi! You're definitely not the only one that feels this way sometimes- probably all of us do at one point or another, whether we're introverted or not. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm glad! Yes, I was hoping this was more of a human problem than just an introvert or writer problem, but ya know ;) Of course!

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  6. I do this a lotttt, yes! Fantastic post!

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  7. I agree, Abi!! I have been convicted of this in my own life as well. It's so easy to abandon your real relationships for your computer friends. Internet friends are amazing, but you can't forget your family - those who will be with you through thick and thin! I have seen how amazing it is to have Christian friends...they have changed my life and influenced me to be a stronger believer in so many ways! Relationships are so very important, even for us introverts. =) *hugs* I'm with you, my friend. How vital it is for us not to forget the most important relationship with our best Friend. ♥

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    1. Yay! Yes, true flesh and blood friends can give a lot more and this world is such a trap for fake relationships. They just don't satisfy. Knowing that at a young age spares you a lot though, I think ;) YES <3 Another issue in our culture. We lost God and then we lost people. Apparently the entire human race stinks at relationships XD So glad to have you along :)

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  8. Oh my goodness, YES, Abi! This has actually become a bit of a problem for me lately. I feel like I should use the moments with my family + friends God gave me and not write instead. It's a struggle for sure, and I'm not sure if there's a concrete solution.

    But I love to write (and feel called to it) and my family is excited for me about it, so considering that, I do write. :)

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    1. I'm glad you were able to relate! True, there's no cookie cutter answer here, I don't think. Finding a balance is the goal. Am I going to play a game with my siblings or write that next chapter? It usually depends on (a) my mood and (b) what I've been doing for the rest of the day. I can only go so long doing one or the other before I begin to feel guilty. I think it's good to just ask God to help you find balance, because he obviously intends you for both! It's so lovely to have the support of your family behind something you're so passionate about!! <3

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  9. I have been trying to balance work and relationships too, it's so hard. I try to always choose God and my family over everything, and then friends. It's hard to pull myself out of my solitude.

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    1. Yes! And sometimes if I try to force one (say relationships) when I want to do the other all that ends up happening is that I get frustrated. It can be very hard, but sometimes I think admitting that it's a struggle is half the battle. Hang in there! :)

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  10. YES YES YES!!! I totally get this!! :D I struggle with forming real, lasting friendships sometimes. It can be hard. ;)

    Thanks for the reminder, Abi! Amazing post. :)

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    1. Yay! Glad it made sense. Not that I'd necessarily wish this predicament upon people, but I think it goes along with being human ;) It surprises me sometimes what relationships continue after classes or whatever you were doing with the person end. God knows what He's doing! You're very welcome. Glad it could bless you :D

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  11. Yes yes yes and yes. Much yes. All the yes. *is hiding away in room now* #oops

    I WILL PEOPLE. SOON. XP Thank you for sharing this. It is something I have struggled with a lot lately. <3

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  12. Oh my goodness, I agree! And I'm an extrovert!

    But... I'm not sure I could work in Grand Central Station. I would be far too nervous that someone would try to kill me, and I would people watch, and I get distracted easily, so... ;)

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