Tag Archive | introvert

For introverted writers: Can you find success by tapping into your inner extrovert? Take a free online test and find out!

 

Edward Munch

I’ve always considered myself an introvert, and I suspect the majority of writers would characterize themselves the same way. How else could we spend countless solitary hours at the computer, spinning tales from our imaginations? Yet sending our creations out into the marketplace in hopes of finding an audience requires a radical change of roles. Now and then, like it or not, we have to don the masks of extroverts.

Tonight (sic – see note below) I’m psyching myself up to be a raconteur. The Friends of the Albany Public Library have chosen me as Author of the Year for my suspense novel Eldercide, and tomorrow they’ll be honoring me at a luncheon, after which I’ll give a half-hour talk followed by a Q&A and hopefully some book sales. Speaking in public isn’t a problem for me; it’s a skill I’ve cultivated over the years. In my former lifetime as an art therapist, I taught and gave workshops, and for many years I’ve been a member of the Mental Health Players, an improvisatory theater troupe that performs before and interacts with a wide variety of audiences.

I enjoy fielding questions about my writing and tossing off zingy one-liners that make the audience laugh. But I positively loath what follows: sitting behind a table and a pile of my books, smiling, chatting, and hoping my dazzling (or sometimes pedestrian) performance will translate into sales. Even when I succeed in selling books, I generally come home from these events utterly drained, and spend the next few hours vegging out in my trusty old recliner, slugging down wine and watching TV with my two cats on my lap.

The aforementioned dysfunctional behavior is a dead giveaway. We introverts may put on a good show, even genuinely enjoy socializing and selling up to a point, but putting ourselves out in the world saps our energy. True extroverts, on the other hand, thrive on social interaction. It replenishes and energizes them, while what energizes me is creating in isolation, whether it’s writing, painting, or playing the piano.

Renoir

Our personalities are endlessly complex, of course, and most of us have the ability to shift from one role to another as the occasion demands. The spectrum between introvert and extrovert is only one of many. One way of exploring your temperament more deeply is to take a test based on the Myers Briggs Personality Test, which in turn is derived from Jungian theories. Several are available free on line. I took one several years ago, but I wasn’t sure I remembered the results correctly, so I took it again today, answering 60 yes/no questions at a rapid clip, trying not to overthink my responses. I came out exactly the same: I’m an INFP. Those initials stand for introvert, intuitive, feeling and perceiving.

According to educational psychologist David Keirsey’s widely used Temperament Sorter, I’m an “idealist healer.” My type “can seem shy, even distant around others. . . Because of their deep-seated reserve, however, they can work quite happily alone. . . They have a natural interest in scholarly activities and demonstrate, like the other Idealists, a remarkable facility with language. They have a gift for interpreting stories, as well as for creating them, and thus often write in lyric, poetic fashion.”

Wow, I like that! It’s even better than astrology, and it has some genuine scientific validity behind it. Maybe I’ll enlarge the description and paste it above my computer.

What type are you? Why not take the test and find out! Here’s the link: www.humanmetrics.com. To learn more about the four temperaments and the 16 personality types, go to http://keirsey.com. After you have your results, it would be great if you post them here as a comment, and let us know if you think the results are accurate.

Note: This post originally appeared on Jane Kennedy Sutton’s blog, Jane’s Ride, on November 16th as part of my blog book tour. She describes her blog as a “journey through the ups and downs, ins and outs and loop the loops of the writing, publishing and marketing world. Go check her out – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

By the way, my honorary luncheon went very well. I had my game on, sold more books than ever before, enjoyed myself thoroughly and came away energized. The fact that my husband handled the sales table helped enormously, of course.

I’ve received almost two dozen responses from writers who took the Jung Typology Test, and so far, every single one has scored as an introvert. Are there any extrovert exceptions out there? I’m still collecting responses, so why not take the test and post your results in a comment here if you haven’t already done so. The experience is easy and fun, and I guarantee you’ll learn a lot about yourself. Once again, the link is www.humanmetrics.com. I’d love to hear from you! After I get a few more responses, I’ll write a post about the results.

 

 

Are all writers introverts? Are you? Take the Jung typology test and find out!

Munch street scene

Edward Munch

Attention all introvert writers: Can you find success by tapping into your inner extrovert?

That’s the question I’m posing today in my guest post on Jane Kennedy Sutton’s excellent blog, Jane’s Ride. I provide a link to a site where you can take the Jung Typology Test. Answer 60 yes/no questions, and the site will tell you which of 16 personality types best describes you. So far, five of us writers have taken the test, and we all score as introverts. What about you? Go to www.humanmetrics.com and find out. Post the results in your comments on Jane’s blog, or you can leave a comment here. I’ll tabulate the responses from both blogs. Then, needless to say, I’ll blog about it.

If you’re not a writer, please take the test and post your results anyway, along with your line of work or anything else you want to share. We need a control group too! 

The test tells me I’m an INFP. Those initials stand for introvert, intuitive, feeling and perceiving.

According to educational psychologist David Keirsey’s widely used Temperament Sorter, I’m an “idealist healer.” My type “can seem shy, even distant around others. . . Because of their deep-seated reserve, however, they can work quite happily alone. . . They have a natural interest in scholarly activities and demonstrate, like the other Idealists, a remarkable facility with language. They have a gift for interpreting stories, as well as for creating them, and thus often write in lyric, poetic fashion.” 

I love that description, and unlike astrology, there’s even some scientific validity to it. Maybe you’ll love your type too! Again the test link is www.humanmetrics.com. To learn more about the four temperaments and the 16 personality types, go to http://keirsey.com. After you have your results, it would be great if you post them here as a comment, and let us know if you think the results are accurate. 

On Jane’s blog, I described myself as an introvert. Friday night, when I wrote the post, I was psyching myself up for my Author of the Year award luncheon on Saturday, writing about how I enjoy talking about my work but dread the one-to-one interactions at the signing table later, when I have to put on my perky face and try to sell books. As it turned out, I had a great time Saturday. During the talk, I disregarded my notes and improvised. I was at my hypomanic, extroverted best, and more people bought my books than ever before. No doubt my mood and my image were enhanced by the presence of my husband, who handled the books sales, my daughter Stacey, and my granddaughters Kaya (ten) and Jasper (three). Kaya videotaped my talk, and maybe I’ll figure out how to post it on You Tube one of these days.

CocktailParty Anon painting Wash PostAfter the luncheon, we spent some quality family time at the New York State museum, including a couple of spins for the kids on the vintage merry-go-round. Then Stacey and the girls headed back to Woodstock, and my husband and I headed over to some  friends’ house for a gourmet French dinner party we’d purchased at a silent auction at our Unitarian Universalist church. Atypically, rather than feeling drained and ready to retreat into silence after doing my author bit, I stayed in full-throttle extrovert mode for the rest of the evening.

It just goes to show that, as I wrote on Jane’s blog, our personalities are endlessly complex, and most of us have the ability to shift from one role to another as the occasion demands. I hope you’ll go to www.humanmetrics.com, take the Jung Typology Test, and share your results with me.

I’m heading for the home stretch on my Blog Book Tour. Tomorrow I’ll be on Toni Andrews’ blog. I’ll post her link and the last three later. Right now, though, I’ve got two blog posts to write before I drive over to SUNY-Albany for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the NYS Writers Institute. Mario Cuomo and Doris Kearns Goodwin are the featured speakers, so I’d best get there early! These events are free, and they tend to fill up fast. Waiting in line, I’ll have plenty of time for networking, so I’ll bring my books and rev up to play extrovert once more.