No, no, keep your shirt on. I’m not asking about your bellybutton. I’m asking about your disposition. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Or, perhaps something in between?
I came across this interesting thread on AW: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=242906 in which the OP asked if most writers were introverts. I haven’t read the thread, so I don’t know what the pages of discussion cover–but it does have a poll attached. Which is great. The numbers are continuously shifting as more people weigh in, but as of this posting 70% of the writers polled claimed introversion.
I absolutely consider myself an introvert. I prefer to work alone, and have always taken jobs at strange, low-traffic hours. I’m very personable, but I’m not much of a people-person.
I also spend copious amounts of time in my own imagination. It’s hard to focus on all the stories in your head when you’re always around other people, so writing does lend itself to solitude. I’m perfectly comfortable spending hours–even days–without seeing someone else. And when I am out and about, I’m not usually one to strike up a conversation with a total stranger. Instead, I observe.
So, it doesn’t surprise me that a lot of writers think of themselves as introverts. But I think it takes a certain kind of introvert to be a skilled writer. The kind that’s interested in individuals and human nature, despite desiring low-levels of interaction. Just being alone with your own thoughts won’t cut it.
Skilled extrovert writers have to be the opposite, after their social hours they need to be able to center themselves and focus inwards.
So, what do you consider yourself? (I keep saying consider because I know a few people who think I’m an extrovert–I’m guessing it’s because I’m rather outgoing in a large group of people I know or am supposed to be getting to know. The difference to me is that I don’t seek out people on my own. 85% of the time I’m probably happier by myself. The other 15% is typically satisfied by just seeing my husband every day. Ergo, I’m an introvert.)