The stereotype goes that writers are introverts – lonely, secluded souls who spend their days exclusively with their words. As much as this holds true for many, it doesn’t cover the whole bunch.

Whereas some need to travel away and shut themselves down in order to focus on the project at hand, others thrive in  environments full of people, jotting down their thoughts in cafes and bars.

There is, however, a third category for the luckiest of all – those who strike a balance between these two extremes. They call them ambiverts.

introverts, extroverts, ambiverts, writers, secluded, lonely

Photo by David Mican

Nowadays, when a writer is supposed to be a public figure, a marketer, a speaker and a promoter at the same time, being an extrovert is becoming valued far more.

But this isn’t something you can force on yourself easily. Personality is difficult to change; one’s nature is innate and a result of one’s early development.

You have to wonder occasionally what it is like to be different and which one is the preferable option. Obviously, both have their advantages and disadvantages:

Introverts Explore Depths

1. Better listeners

It’s a great talent to be able to listen and it goes to the introverts. Listening to someone’s life stories is a fantastic tool for writers.

2. More time for writing

This isn’t to say that extrovert writers devote less time to writing, but in general introverts spend more time alone and have the option to use their time differently to extroverts. Rather than going out in a bar, they can read, go for walks, and yes – write.

3. Deeper sensibilities

When you spend more time alone, you inevitably explore yourself, which carries you to unknown depths. Using this quality in your writing brings an irreplaceable value.

Extroverts Have Direct Experience

1. Larger exposure to people and their stories

Socializing with numerous people inevitably leads to meeting various kinds of personalities and provides an exposure to people’s stories – an important writing resource.

2. Higher likelihood of direct experience

If you’re open to experience like an extrovert, you’ll embrace whatever comes your way. Getting out there means action, rather than intention and passivity. Direct experience gives you more material to write it.

3. More flexibility

Being able to write anywhere, in all kinds of conditions, instead of looking for an isolated retreat brings flexibility that is needed in day to day life and work. When you’re able to work under any condition, you’ll be a more productive and prolific writer.

Whatever you are, one thing is for sure: You and your unique sensibility make you the idiosyncratic talent that you are.

Over to you: Is there a better and worse on this issue? Where do you find yourself and do you ever wish you were at the other end of the spectrum?

PRACTICE

For fifteen minutes write about yourself as the opposite personality self. If you’re an introvert, write about an imaginary extroverted self; if an extrovert the other way round. When you’re done, post your practice in the comments.

As usual, support others’ practices by giving them a feedback.

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).