6 Reasons Why Introverts Make The Best Writers
I’m not saying you have to be an introvert to be a writer. In fact, some of the best writers I know are also incredible socialites and fantastic public speakers. However, if you are an introvert and a writer (like me), you can use it to your advantage. It’s a trait you should be proud of. Let’s take a deeper look into why and how you can make this part of your personality work for you.
1. Introvert writers are aware of emotions in others.
It’s true, we introverts spend a lot of time in introspection, but we also spend a great deal of time aware of the emotions of other people. Many of us “quiet ones” -- especially if we’re also highly sensitive -- pick up on small nuances and subtleties that other people aren’t aware of. Some might call it a curse, but if used correctly, it can be a huge benefit in a creative capacity.
For example, some introverts can hear what someone is telling them but know right away whether it’s truthful in its meaning based on eye contact, hand movements, voice tone, and other little physical clues. These are all things that can be used within their writing to make their story more authentic and to appeal to a larger audience. Because of this, they can write characters who are multi-faceted rather than static.
2. Introvert writers look within themselves.
Because we are so aware of how we navigate through the world in a physical sense, we introverts tend to know ourselves deeply. We feel every emotion with an intensity others don’t understand. Let’s take a fearful situation as an example. Extroverts might be a little nervous in this scenario, while we introverts are trembling-hands-knocking-knees-heart-pounding nervous. We don’t just think. We feel. Knowing ourselves so well will have a big impact on creating real characters that others can relate to. Have you ever read a story where you’ve thought, “I know that feeling,” or “That happened to me”? That’s because the writer is creating characters with real depth and emotion.
3. Writing comes more naturally to us than speaking.
It’s no big surprise that many introverts hate public speaking. We find it overstimulating and overwhelming to have all that attention on us, whether it’s speaking to a large audience in a lecture hall or simply to a group of family and friends. It doesn’t mean we don’t have anything good to say, and unfortunately, some of our greatest stories are never told.
We introverts need a different way to express ourselves. According to Dr. Marti Olsen Laney, author of The Introvert Advantage, brain pathways related to writing seem to flow more fluently for introverts than pathways related to speaking. It may have to do with our preference for long-term memory over active memory; you can read the science here. So, instead of speaking our stories, we can write them -- and the world can finally hear what’s been inside us all along.
4. Introvert writers like being alone.
“I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it. The darkness of the room was like sunlight to me.” –Charles Bukowski
Writing means sitting alone for long stretches at a time, which can be a daunting task for a lot of people. It’s why some people prefer to work in an office environment where they can have maximum contact with other people. For us introverts, writing is a way of being creative without having to interact with anyone else but the characters we’ve created. This means sitting in front of our computer to write can be an exciting task, rather than a daunting one. Just this alone can have a profound impact on how much work an introvert writer gets done on a daily basis, compared to someone who strongly craves the company of others.
5. Introvert writers enjoy meaningful conversation.
Introverts are usually not a fan of small talk. It’s a situation we feel uncomfortable in and something we generally try to avoid. That doesn’t, however, mean that we don’t enjoy talking at all. We do. However, unlike extroverts, we can be selective about who we talk to and what we’re talking about. Deep meaningful conversations with the right person can make an introvert seem like an extrovert to the person on the other end of the exchange. These meaningful conversations can be used in our stories to create an exchange that is long lasting on the reader’s mind -- and make sure that it’s never too succinct and robotic, but rather interesting and memorable.
6. Introvert writers thrive on creativity.
“It’s your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” - Rumi
Again, I’m not saying that all introverts are creative, but there is definitely a large community of people who benefit from putting all their pent up inner thoughts to good use. We introvert writers can use this creative space as an outlet because we already have such an enigmatic inner world just desperate for the opportunity to be released. We’re creative, and our written stories become a way to showcase this.
Introvert writers can be natural storytellers, because we spend most of our time creating stories and worlds in our own mind. While many introverts see themselves as being stunted in a world built for extroverts, this doesn’t have to be the case. There is a place for everyone on Earth. It’s not a case of one being better than another, but rather a case of using what you have to your best potential. As Susan Cain wrote in Quiet, “Everyone shines, given the right lighting.”
If you’re not a writer, think about how best your introvert nature can serve you. You’re more than likely already innovative, creative, and empathetic. In a world of too much negativity and selfishness, this trait can go a long way.
If you’re a writer, don’t feel bad about not fitting into the world. Instead, carve out a space all your own. Continue observing those around you, keep dreaming, and then write the story that’s already in your head. You don’t need to fit in -- but you don’t need to stand out in an overtly extroverted way, either. You just need to be you.
Article written for Introvert, Dear