EMBRACE YOUR INNER INTROVERT

Moonday Madness

A Blog on the Craft of Writing

I’m please to welcome debut author Shelly Bell to Jessica Aspen Writes. Shelly is a fellow member of RWA and PRO and today she’s blogging on something that many authors sometimes see as a character flaw, but Shelly shows you how you can make it work for you. Don’t forget to leave a question or comment for Shelly and it counts as an entry in my contest (but you have to register it with the Rafflecopter widget HERE). Welcome Shelly!

EMBRACE YOUR INNER INTROVERT

by Shelly Bell

Stock Photography - Shy chicken © Photographer: Arnaud Weisser | Agency: Dreamstime.com

•••

I have hundreds of Twitter and Facebook friends. I’m an active member of my local RWA chapter and volunteer my services to the national organization. Everyone online may never guess that underneath my outgoing personality dwells a true introvert.

For years, I denied my nature. As a child and young adult, I spent most of my spare time on stage, acting in plays or singing the solo in our choir. I participated in a religious youth group, dated and enjoyed hanging with friends. Still, I was never more content than when I was at home reading a book.

I loved to act, because it gave me the opportunity to pretend I was someone else. I loved to sing, because it gave me an outlet to express myself using someone else’s words. Most of my theater and choir friends thrived on the attention they received. Not me. I disliked meeting the audience after the performance and usually hid backstage until the lobby cleared. Being onstage didn’t scare me, but face to face interaction caused my heart to race and my palms to sweat.

In college, my friends dragged me to parties and events. I hated every minute of it. Too young to understand, I chalked it up to shyness and body consciousness. It never occurred to me that trying to feel comfortable around strangers or even my friends sometimes, was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

While many, included myself, use the adjectives shy and introverted interchangeably, it turns out, we’re wrong. Introverts may be shy, but it’s not a requirement. According to Psychology Today, introverts are energized by solitary pursuits and drained by social encounters. I don’t know about you, but the definition fits me perfectly. To me, acting and singing was a solitary pursuit regardless that I was part of an ensemble. It was an internal rather than external process.

For years, I’ve searched for others like me. When I walked into my first RWA meeting, I found them.  They welcomed me with their smiles and instantly offered their assistance.

These are the characteristics of an introvert:

  • Energized by time alone
  • Private
  • Keeps to self
  • Quiet
  • Deliberate
  • Internally aware
  • Fewer friends
  • Prefer smaller groups
  • Independent
  • Not socially inclined
  • Enjoys solitude
  • Thinks before speaking

According to Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, an executive coach, introverts make excellent leaders because introverts think first, talk later; focus on depth; enjoy writing; and embrace solitude (Forbes, Why Introverts Make the Best Leaders, 11-30-09). They are the same characteristics we need as writers. Authors spend hours of each day alone, plotting and writing.

Just because you’re introverted doesn’t mean you’re not outgoing. In fact, many introverts find it easy to socialize and have an empathic nature. Still, they’d prefer not to. At least now that we have social media, authors no longer have to work in complete solitude. We can reach out with a simple email or tweet. These venues are perfect for authors. It provides a means not only to market our books, but to create relationships with individuals we might not have had confidence to approach in person.

My advice is to embrace your inner introvert. It just might make you a better writer.

BIO

Shelly Bell, author

Shelly Bell

Shelly Bell started reading at three years old. In elementary school, the librarian gave her books to test out for the school library. As a teenager, she spent her allowance each week on romance novels, enjoying both young adult category romance, young adult paranormal and single title books, and adult romance.

Practicing law since 1997, she specializes in corporate, environmental and employment law as In-House Legal Counsel for a scrap metal company in Detroit. On the side, she dabbles in horseracing and crematory law.

Shelly and her husband have two children and reside in the metro-Detroit area. A member of Romance Writers of America, she writes both women’s fiction and paranormal romance.

www.ShellyBellBooks.com www.twitter.com/ShellyBell987

www.facebook.com/ShellyBellBooks

Available at Amazon now, A Year To Remember:

Romance Book:  A Year To Remember

A Year To Remember

After her humiliating toast becomes a YouTube sensation, she permits a national morning show to chronicle her search. With the help of best friend, Missy, she plunges head first into the shallow end of the dating pool.
Her journey leads her to question the true meaning of soul mates, as she decides between fulfilling her vow to marry before her thirtieth birthday and following her heart’s desire. But before she can make the biggest decision of her life, Sara must begin to take her first steps toward recovery from her addiction to food.


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14 Comments

Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania

14 responses to “EMBRACE YOUR INNER INTROVERT

  1. Wow, Shelly, you described my 20 year old daughter to a “T”. We’ve always said she’s anti-social. Yet she could go to a party and have a ball, and then hurry back to her lair. And she did drama for four years, too. Funny. I never thought of her as introverted. Very interesting post.

  2. What an interesting premise, Shelley. That being shy and being introverted are not the same and that you can be one and not the other. Sort of describes me at times. I do love people but need, absolutely NEED time to myself. Good luck with your book.
    And, Jessica, another round of good luck wishes for your fresh out of the starting gate “Little Red.”

  3. Shelley, I went through your list going, “Check, check…check.” 🙂

  4. Looking forward to reading this book. All the best with sales and future projects.

  5. Shelley,
    For years I’ve lied to myself about being an extrovert. I partied in college with friends hung out but would rather hang alone and read a book. I still lived in deception until last year when my younger sister forced me to realize I was indeed a true introvert. Now I embrace it and relish time alone and time away from people.
    Enjoyed your post!

  6. Shelly, congratulations on your release. So nice to meet you. Any friend of Jessica’s…

    Wow, what a great explanation. I am shy, but I am also an introvert. Yet, I can get in front of a crowd of people and share my work, or host an event, or express disappointment in a board’s actions.

    That ‘think first, talk later’ point is causing a bit of a hiccup, though!

  7. Great blog, Shelly!

    My whole life, I was your text book introvert: shy, quiet, preferring to be with only people I knew. Somewhere along the line all that changed. Now, when I describe myself as an introvert, people look at me like I’ve got two heads! But I still am… I just keep that introvert bottled up until I get home!

  8. I am 100% an introvert. I think writing must come naturally to introverts because even when we are in groups of people, we tend to create a wall between ourselves and the crowd, and observe what’s going on rather than actively participate in it–the perfect combination for collecting character traits and overhearing conversations.

    This is such a great reminder to all of us to be exactly who are. We all play our roles in life and there’s nothing wrong with any of them. 🙂

    Great post!

  9. Shelly Bell

    It’s nice to know how many people feel the same. Thanks for coming out and leaving a comment.

  10. WONDERFUL article, and congrats on your release. I enjoy time alone, but believe I am an extrovert. I draw energy from being around others and “chat up” complete strangers because their stories interest me.

    Oh, if only my brain to mouth filter worked is it should…

    As for embracing your inner introvert, I agree. Actually, EMBRACE your inner YOU isn’t a bad one either. Unless, of course, your inner YOU needs work on being kind, considerate and sharing.

  11. Interesting. I too, am an introvert who did lots of theater as well. As for thinking before I speak? Let’s just say I’m working on it.

  12. Connie Cockrell

    All the same here, an introvert. Best of luck on the novel.

  13. Great article. You described me to a T, although, I never considered myself an introvert. Congratulations on your novel.

  14. Pingback: Love Your Introvert Within

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