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Extremovert: the Confessions of an Extroverted Writer

I absolutely love parties. Any kind. You wouldn’t know it from my career choice, but I am tremendously extroverted. I most definitely identify as a social butterfly, although I am in favor of changing the term to “social moth.” It’s not nearly as pretty, but let’s face it: the most intense social interaction tends to happen on Friday and Saturday nights. The sun goes down, and we extroverts start flocking towards the warm glow of parties for no discernible reason other than to be close to each other in a bright place.

There are a lot of things that circulate on the internet: “10 signs you’re extroverted” or “You might be an introvert if…” explaining how the two breeds are radically different in the ways that they perceive and process social interaction. As with any quick-guide you find on the internet or simplified article circulating on Facebook, you can only trust their definitions and information so much. Personally, as much difference as there is between extroverts and introverts, I think there is every bit as much difference within the two groups. It’s a spectrum, and anything but binary.

I have never felt the need to “recharge” after social interaction. What was that line from Maime? “In the past two weeks she’s had thirteen cocktail parties” (Thirteen? Why not fourteen?) “One night the gin-maker was sick.”

I’m absolutely happiest when I’ve got social plans for everyday of the week. It’s so easy to fall into patterns with your work and hobbies, anything that you do by yourself has an element of sameness to it because you are the only person involved. I like other people because they are spontaneous and unpredictable. Memories are easier to form, keep, and cherish when you have faces to connect with them. I feel so much more alive around others, and honestly, I think that I only ever live in the moment when I people there with me to keep me in the moment.

By myself, I am almost always speculating about when I’m published… or someday, on a book tour…I get caught up thinking about the past and mooning over scrapbooks and Facebook photos too, but mostly I plot out my pipedreams or take action to fulfill them, not really stopping to smell the roses. Sociality is my roses.

I feel like a good morning’s sleep is more then enough to recharge me and prime me for the next big day. Of course, I’m aware that I can’t do this all the time, so my sociality tends to come in spurts. The rest of the time I regulate myself to a much more strict (and yet nebulously undefined…) schedule of writing and working. I turn down plenty of invitations to go out, but because I need to write, not because it doesn’t sound fun.

Given how much pure joy I have at parties, I think it’s surprising how deeply I can enjoy spending a solid week staring at my computer, only leaving the house to go for walks and keep my head clear. There’s a certain live-wire feeling to creating art that I think is very similar to being at a hopping party, but writing is just about as asocial and introverted an activity as you can get.

I guess the moral of the story is just that I’m an extremovert: either dress me up, turn on the music, and dance with me (I’ll figure out your name later) or leave me alone and let me write a novel.

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