In a world where I have always been very outgoing, I have never really understood someone’s decision to become or stay introverted.
I mean why if given the choice, would you chose to spend time alone versus time with friends and family? Having people around tends to lead to laughter and a general sense of well being in opinion. I have spent most of my life being told that laughter is the best type of medicine.
I never had to worry about going out to eat by myself. I never gave thought to going for walks by myself since I had an endless supply of people to call that would accompany me. When I was home alone I quickly got on the phone with a friend or blared music and danced around like an idiot.
As a reader, even when no one was available to hang out or talk on the phone, I always had a different dimension of friends. I would open a book and fall into this alternate universe where I was not bound to the chains of my little town. I would find joy, love, peace, sadness and anger within the chapters that I hungrily plowed thru.
When that didn’t interest me any longer, I began writing my own. First it was short stories, normally about a young girl like myself finding the love of her life and living happily ever after. When things in my life started to not look so bright, the stories felt the same treatment. The more often I wrote, the more often I wanted to write. Soon I would lose hours a day into these characters that I would make up, causing my friends to think I was crazy.
The books got longer, more complex, less romantic. That’s when I started to notice another trait about myself. Strangely for such a confident person who was loud and crazy, even on stage in front of a crowd, I couldn’t share my work. I became fiercely protective of it and would bite people’s heads off for trying to catch a glimpse.
When I finally started to share any part of my writing I noticed it was similar to trying to tell someone my deepest darkest secrets. The biggest problem here I think is that if the person I shared with had ANY negative thing to say about what I had written, I hated them for it. It wasn’t friendly criticism in my eyes. They had betrayed me. Fiercely. I had no idea how to handle those feelings.
It started to get to the point that I would let someone read it, to spell check or edit it, and then I would receive it back and throw it in a drawer. I wouldn’t look at it for weeks, months even. I am positive that I still have some laying around in totes that I saw too many handwritten notes on my beautifully typed manuscript.
I still write, pretty often actually. I have gotten no better at handling people’s opinions on these stories that I make out if pieces of me. I have never brought my writing anywhere to have someone outside of my family edit it, which I like to blame on money but I trully believe is just plain fear of rejection in any form.
This blog is meant to help me overcome the fear of other people reading things I write. This is my middle ground at attempting to believe in my own writing.
Side note to all of this, is that as I have gotten a little older I have become more introverted myself. I now have found it awkward to hang around big groups of people and have noticed my own social circle has deflated quite a bit. Some by choice, some by disagreements that were too powerful to ignore, and others by death. I finally have learned that the good side of spending time alone is the ability to get to know your own self.