Skip to content
May 12, 2012 / Andrea Wenger

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.

Sources:

Write from the Start by Ann B. Loomis
Writing and Personality by John K. DiTiberio and George H. Jensen
What Type Am I? by Renee Baron

Related posts:

ENFJENFPENTJENTPESFJESFPESTJ ESTP
Introverted Writers: Thinking It Over
Sensing Writers: Down to the Details
Intuitive Writers: What a Concept!

About these ads

2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. V.V. Denman / May 25 2012 11:52 am

    I’m more of an introvert myself, but often when I’m stuck, talking it out with someone helps SO much. I do this with my husband often. He’s not a writer, or plotter, and he knows nothing about story structure. Maybe that helps, I don’t know. But he can give a tiny bit of feedback which will put everything in perspective and line up the plot. I suppose he pulls me out of myself just enough to help me see the big picture.

    • AndreaJWenger / May 26 2012 1:17 pm

      That’s good advice, V.V. Introverts often prefer to talk things through later in the process than extraverts, after they’ve had a chance to mull over their ideas. Also, introverts generally prefer a one-on-one approach, whereas extraverts are comfortable in a larger group discussion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,254 other followers

%d bloggers like this: