On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Introvert/Extrovert -- Eyes Glazing Over

One last note about the RWA conference (and no, I'm not going to get mired in the controversy). I appreciate RWA, and for many, the chapters taught them to write and they are passionate about RWA. RMFW taught me how to write, and that's the organization that has my heart. I volunteered in a minor capacity for RWA last year, and don't ever anticipate volunteering in a major capacity. RMFW can call on me as needed.

Back to the conference: Mary Jo Putney (who wasn't at conference this year) said that RWA is 2,000 introverts pretending to be extroverts. Now there ARE extroverted writers, I've met them. I envy them because I think they are the most successful in promoting themselves in person , doing signings, speaking, etc. But most writers I know are introverts. On the Myers-Briggs personality test I am an INFJ -- introverted, intuitive, base my decions on feeling and decide quickly (or feel better about a decision after it's made rather than before) as I recall (yes, that's a qualifier, not good for serious writing -- "almost" is a qualifier I use too often in my writing, so I do a word search).

So walking out of the door of my hotel room, means I must be "on," professional, charming. No grumpiness in the mornings, and definitely no whining!

But there is the "eyes glazing over" factor. I'm among other writers and I enjoy talking to them and listening to them about WRITING. That means I can hold a conversation on the topic with someone for more than three minutes without their eyes glazing over. If they tell manuscript stories, I get to tell manuscript stories. Sometimes I can even talk business and publishing for an hour or so before MY eyes glaze over.

Love to all,


Blogger Gena Showalter said...

I'm one of the introverts who pretends to be an extrovert. Hardly anyone believes me when I say that, but it's true. Sometimes I'll be sick for hours before I paste on a smile and head out of my room to meet and talk to people. But then, I start to feel comfortable and become a talker unlike any other. Great post, Robin! And it was so wonderful to see you at RWA!!

9:09 AM  
Blogger CE Murphy said...

I don't think anybody who knows me would imagine even for an instant that I'm an introvert, although I do have some introverted tendencies. It does not bother me at all to go hide in a cabin and work for days with no human interaction, and I tend to not look forward to hosting events or sometimes even going out to them, but when I /do/, I always have a blast and am glad I went and do not come back from it drained or worn down. I like being with people and find it invigorating. I think I'm pretty lucky in that, as I do know so many writers for whom it's a real challenge to put on the game face and get out and play with others. :)


10:13 AM  
Blogger moonhart said...

Okay, I am an extrovert. I blame it all on my community theatre background. I don't fake it, I love people. Ilove interesting (and often amusing) takes on life. You should have seen me in action last week in Disney World. 30 minutes on line for Space Mountain? I will have your entire life story including your mother's maiden name and your wedding anniversary by the time we board the ride.

I can schmooze with the best of them. I defuse anger with humor (use this in my job ALL the time)and am not afraid to poke fun at myself.

Some may consider me the life of the party, but in contrast, I have few "close" friends -- those that I would depend on when life gets really tough. I am okay with that.

I am also perfectly happy to have gobs of solitary time. Solitary time is what started the voices in my head, its only lately that I have written those voices down.

So, I am type A and will gladly walk beside you Robin, and deflect all the attention my way. You, however, STILL get the kudos.



4:39 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

LOL, only for a while, Moon, you'll get your chance, I'm sure. Meanwhile let me know when you're going to RT or RWA...

Gena, I wondered where my stomach upset came from...

Catie, GOOD FOR YOU!!!


7:58 PM  
Blogger Jeri said...

It can be a matter of more than just I/E-troversion. I recently came across the concept of the "Highly Sensitive Person." It was a godsend--I no longer feel like a freak for needing time by myself every day to stay sane. Here's the site if you're interested.

The psychologist who writes about it says that most creative people are highly sensitive, so it's a blessing as much as a curse--I mean, challenge. It gives us greater awareness of everything, which helps if you're a writer. And 30% of HSP's are extroverted, so it's not a matter of being shy or asocial, even though it gets labeled that way.

-Jeri (INFP--I'm so "P," it's astonishing I can write a complete sentence.)

11:46 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Jeri, I came across Highly Sensitive People last year when I was researching for a book. I'm glad you take care of yourself.


11:19 PM  

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