Extraverted Writers: Talking It Out
Writing is generally considered a solitary pursuit. But extraverted writers lose energy when working alone, and gain energy when interacting with others. So what can extraverts do to adapt their writing process to their personality?
In an earlier post, I wrote about the importance of following your natural tendencies when writing a first draft. Then, while editing, you can go back and fill in the elements you missed.
Natural tendencies of extraverts
Extraverts like to jump in and write using a process of trial and error. They often develop their ideas by bouncing them off other people. It can be helpful to record these discussions, since extraverts may move quickly from one idea to the next. They tend to understand better if they hear ideas spoken aloud.
The first draft of an extravert tends to be conversational in tone. They may find it easier to write in an active environment. The noise of other people energizes them. However, they require quiet for the final draft because they’re easily distracted. During these quiet periods of writing, they may need to take frequent breaks to connect with others. Seeking external stimulation helps restore their energy.
As they mature, extraverts become more contemplative. Their tone becomes less conversational and more insightful.
Filling the gaps
Talking about a subject gives you a broad perspective. You’ll need to narrow your piece into workable chunks, and cut information that may be interesting but not closely tied to your subject.
Reflect on the topic to generate new ideas. Consider what you may have missed during brainstorming. Conduct research if necessary.
During revision, seek quiet to avoid distractions. If you feel like the walls are closing in, listen to music. Even banging on the keyboard can help. Take breaks and talk to others to renew your energy and tease out ideas. Adapt your tone to the needs of the audience or the requirements of the publication.
If you’re feeling blocked, put the work aside. Let it percolate in your unconscious mind for a while. Sometimes, talking to other people can make you lose sight of your own goals and vision. Honor your natural extraversion, but draw on the tendencies of its opposite to take your work to the next level.