Every writer must acknowledge that he has given himself a life sentence in solitary confinement. ~ Peter Straub
He says that like it’s a bad thing.
I am an introvert married to an extrovert. That has its challenges. My wife gets re-energized by being with people. People wear me out.
It’s not really that I don’t like people. I just don’t like a lot of them together.
Last weekend was particularly exhausting. On Friday, I ushered for a performance of Hair at Firehouse Theatre (it’s been extended, rush to see it). Saturday, we spent the day at Kings Dominion with about 29,000 other people. No, seriously, that was the park’s count. Then Sunday evening we were hanging out with a few thousand people at the food trucks and KOS concert.
A friend stopped by and saw me on my phone. He asked me what I was doing.
I told him I was introverting.
By the end of the evening, I was in knots. I was exhausted. I needed quiet.
Quiet is sometimes hard to come by. There are four humans and two very in your face animals in this house.
I’m not sure I’d change anything. Although if the cat is going out in the middle of the night, it wouldn’t hurt him to take the dog.
Of course my whole introvert label is based on a long ago taking of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test, which, according to Joseph Stromberg is “completely meaningless” and is based on unproven theories.
I’ve spent so much time believing myself to be an ISTJ only to find out I may not be at all? I’ve spent all of these years in that upper left hand corner and now you tell me that the Myers-Briggs is about as accurate as a Facebook quiz?
Labels or not, I still appreciate the quiet. And like the quote above says, that’s when I can write.
I have all the distractions I need right here in my office, but I know that if I turn on the next season of Dexter, then I’m going to watch the next season of Dexter and not get much writing done.
Stephen King says he blasts rock and roll music while he writes. That explains a lot, doesn’t it?
I sometimes will crank up the tunes depending on my mood. Some days it’s country, some days gospel, some days 70s rock and roll and some days (don’t judge) Broadway. Most days it’s none of that.
In an ideal world, I have several hours on the beach every morning and then come home to write. As it is, every year I get that one week out of fifty-two. But let’s not kid ourselves, there’s precious little writing that goes on during beach week.
But, there’s a good amount of quiet.