What Type of Writer are you?

Last December I come to that point in my blogging career where I don’t know what to blog about anymore. Maybe it is because of who I am, or maybe I burned myself out after 7 years of constantly blogging. Either way, my lack ideas gave me a way out reason to take an extended vacation from blogging…and social media…and basically everything online except lurking on blogs and reading articles. During those four months I realized something. Actually I realized a bunch of somethings about myself, but I want to focus one of those here.

The Introverted Writer. 

This lead to thinking about the Extroverted-Introverted Writer and the Introverted-Extroverted Writer (Yes. There is such writers out there.) and how their marketing and promoting techniques would be different.

Every author/writer, just like every person, is different. Some of us aren’t made to interact in the world, at least not well and no amount of training help will change that. It’s not only uncomfortable for us, but it’s awkward and weird for others, and possibly detrimental to our careers. There are others out there, of which I’m not one, who are perfectly suited to be salespeople and interact with the populace at large just fine (Amanda Hocking?).

As self-published writers we are told that we need to market and promote our books through blogging, social media, guest posting, etc., etc., etc. Some articles tell us we have to do it, but give no directions on how to do it. And, yes, some of us need instructions on how to deal with the outside world. Others give directions on how they did it and why their method would work for you. Um…Usually it doesn’t help. While others tell you to do it, give directions and disclaimers, and unleash us on the world. I cringe at the idea.

Introverts and Extroverts

Writers for the most part are considered pure introverts. But that isn’t always the case. There are different levels of Introversion and Extroversion. You can be both an extrovert and an introvert.

Introverts are more likely to:

  • Be absorbed by their thoughts and ideas
  • Seek quiet and calm
  • Think before speaking and even over-think and not speaking
  • Draw energy from their inner world (ideas, emotions, and impressions), the external world drains them
  • Proceed carefully when meeting people and avoid crowds
  • Lose sight of what others are doing
  • Participate in selected activities
  • Not offer ideas freely and wait to be asked their opinions
  • Reflect and act cautiously

Extroverts are more likely to:

  • Talk out their ideas and thoughts
  • Energized by the external world
  • Seek out others to energize themselves
  • Love to meet and talk to people
  • Participate in the activities that offer
  • Rash and sometimes reckless (don’t always think through thought or actions)
  • Offer ideas and advice freely, without being asked

I’m sure some of you are looking at the lists and thinking, I do this and this but not that. This will help you figure what kind of writer you are, your strengths and weakness, and where your efforts would best serve you.

The Extroverted-Introverted Writer

This might seem contrary to what many people think when they think of a writer, but there are a few out there. My uncle just happens to be one of them. Rather be hanging out and doing things then writing, although he has his bouts of writing. The Extroverted-Introverted Writer has more extroverted traits than introverted ones.

If this is you, congratulations, the whole entrepreneur thing won’t be so hard for you. The business world of promotion will probably be easier for you to navigate and enjoy because you like to talk to other writers and readers about writing, publishing, books, and anything else on your mind. You’ll probably see the rewards of your efforts quicker. However, be wary of too much promoting and not enough writing. The next book is important. So balance your marketing efforts with your writing efforts.

The Introverted-Extroverted Writer

This type, like the one above, can be a great combination of writer and entrepreneur. Their list of traits are based more on the introverted side which can be a benefit with their extroverted traits. If this is you, you’ll probably be active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, blogging, trading emails, etc. Many of these writers are prolific writers and make money from their efforts because they balance the promotion with the writing. Long term they do better because they have the backlist to back up their promoting efforts.

The Introverted Writer

Most or all the listed traits on the Introverted list above and very few to none of the extroverted list apply to the Introverted Writer,  You might find little value or desire to blog or be active on social media, you might even be forcing yourself to do it. Promoting yourself is like pulling teeth and you tire of it easily. Being online is a drain of energy.

If this is you then a better use of you time and efforts might be directed toward writing the next books, with occasional updates to your blog and social networks. It’s a slower process, but one that might be more beneficial to you since the more books you have out the greater chance of being discovered by readers. You might also have greater success with website pages that show an inside look into your books rather than a blog.

As always, I love to hear from you. If you want to add to the discussion, comment below, and if you liked this post, please share with others.

24 Comments

  1. I’m definitely extroverted-introverted, but I don’t think there’s no way to change your personality. People do it all the time, whether or not there’s therapy involved. Heck, my social skills are much better than they used to be, and that’s saying something.

    1. There is no way to change your personality. You are who you are. You can work on your weaknesses to make them stronger. Although first knowing your weaknesses and strengths are so you can work on them is helpful. Knowing what type of writer you are can help you schedule you day, be more productive, market/promote your books in a way that is more rewarding or during a time that allows you to write the next book, and even know when a suggested technique for writing, marketing, or publishing won’t work for you.

      1. What if you have a brain stroke? Personality changes have been observed with brain strokes.

        1. For those I’ve know whoever had a stroke, their personality doesn’t change as much as their mentality and maturity age. As chikdreb we are born with core traits, over time and with different experiences those traits may become dominat or dormant. with a stroke people can return to those core personality traits. I saw it happen with my next door neighbor and my grandfather. Yeah they change, but those core traits don’t. But I’m no scientist and my conclusions come from observations in life.

          1. Those are valid and helpful in their own way.

  2. lornafaith says:

    Thanks for this very informative post Stephannie 🙂 I think I’m the Introverted-Extraverted writer. I do like blogging and being on other social media sites…sometimes too much. But I love to create a good story…I’m not sure if I’ve figured out how to find a good balance between them all yet though;(

    1. 😦 Learning to balance can be hard. For those who like to socialize more I would suggest writing/editing/etc before you head online. Create a day goal such as word count, page count, chapter(s), and use the socializing as a reward for getting them done. That way one of the most important elements of being a writer are out of the way for the second most important one. 😀

  3. Sometimes I think I’m schizophrenic. LOL. Seriously, I find it hard to put myself in a category. Sometimes I’m introverted…sometimes I’m extroverted. I look at the traits listed and sometimes introverted ones apply and sometimes extroverted ones apply. It’s kind of a mood thing for me. I’m okay in crowds and “rubbing elbows” with people, but there’s a point where I’ve had enough and I want to chill. I do know that I’m pretty well-adjusted and calm, so I guess it really doesn’t matter, does it? 🙂

    1. It matters in the sense that right-handedness or left-handedness matters. Which is not much, unless your left-handed and trying to use tools for a right-handed person. It’s awkward. It can be done and there is nothing wrong with it, but having the right tools makes the job so much easier.

      As a writer, some of the things we use to help us write or promote our books doesn’t work for us like the do for others. A more extroverted writer would find planning boring and want to jump in already, while a more introverted writer wouldn’t feel comfortable until they has a plan. Writing by the seat of their pants for one doesn’t work for another. Like experts telling all writers that they should blog. Blogging works really well for some writers and is a waste of time for others who would do better doing other things.. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses as a writer helps you know what might work for you and what won’t.

  4. Sometimes I think that of myself, too. LOL!

    But basically I’m introverted, with a few extroverted tendencies thrown in.

    1. LOL. I’m a complete Introvert that has to force myself to interact with people most of the time. Though I do have a tendency to give advice without being asked. Guess that’s why I like writing articles. 😀

  5. everabi says:

    I’m a little bit of an introvert and a little bit of an extrovert. (A little bit country and a little bit rock and roll 🙂 But most of all, I’m a dreamer. I love dreaming, day-dreaming mainly.

    1. 😀 Nothing wrong with daydreaming.

  6. Great post! I am mostly introvert with a hint of extrovert… i go through cycles where I want people, and then i just want left alone and then… etc etc.

    1. Life has it’s many cycles. I’m pretty sure that extroverts have the opposite cycle. Want to be around people and then occasionally be left alone. 😀

  7. Great food for thought. Where energy is gained or drained is good measure I hadn’t considered.

    1. If something is draining energy from your life and stealing your joy, and you can do without it. Then it’s best to get rid of it.

  8. Barb says:

    Funny, you should mention this. I was wondering if the blush was fading from blogging, or if it was just me.
    I find myself hitting the delete on my email in-box on those bloggers who post each day. I wonder how they have so much time and then I wonder why spend that much time? But I’m an introvert so I probably don’t get the fuel out of blogging that others do.

    I think you nailed it when you said if social networking doesn’t bring joy, then expend your energies elsewhere.

    1. I thinking blogging and readers of blogs depend on the people themselves. I started blogging 7 years ago because marketing gurus told me that that was what I needed to do. Over that time I’ve learned I’m not a blogger, while I have no storage of ideas I also have no passion for it. I’m not interesting enough to attract enough readers to make it worth the time and effort. After looking at my website/blog stats, I’ve realized I’m better off with pages then posts.It’s why I say to look at what you are doing and focus on the efforts that help you rather than what people tell you have to do to succeed. Everyone is differnet and there isn’t a set path to marketing, writing, or publshing.

      I’m finding for myself that social media is a waste of time and accomplishing nothing. It’s not something I enjoy and it even sucks the life out of my writing. I personally see no benefit from it and in the four months that I’ve been absent from it, it hasn’t affected my sales. So it makes no sense to do something that doesn’t work just because a guru in the author marketing deparment says I need to be doing it.

  9. I have a blog, but only occasionally do I mention my books on it. The covers are there, and links if anyone is interested. I mainly have a rant or talk about anything funny my animals have done. I found this has drawn people, mainly those who like a bit of fun. It’s not a serious blog, and is just a way for me to have fun. I do get tired of blogs that do nothing but have guest authors and books. I’m not being mean, just that most authors (me included) basically have the same thing to say about their writing! I’m more interested in the book. If I want to know more about the author, I visit their website and read their bios, and maybe follow their blog or just check in now and again. Yes, I admit, I don’t read many blogs.

    I tried Facebook, hated it. I work full time, so writing time is precious. (as I know it is for all of us). I have my blog for fun, my website for writing, a monthly newsletter via yahoo (for readers interested in it), joined Goodreads and discuss books I’ve read and enjoyed, and belong to some yahoo readers groups, ensuring I mostly chat (when I do) about other books, not my own. Nothing makes you more unpopular than joining a reading group and doing nothing but go on about your own books. You need to be seen as a READER as well as an AUTHOR. I have my signature line in my emails, basic – my name, website addy, and maybe my latest title. That’s it. Most groups don’t like long signatures on emails.

    This is all I do. All I have time for! LOL

    1. Sounds like it works for you. I don’t follow many author blogs either.I rarely look at their websites, although if I really like their books I might sign up for their New Release Newsletter.

      I find that I buy books by browsing the virtual shelves in my favorite genre and reading the samples of the books, not from suggestions by book bloggers or even friends. If I enjoy the author I buy more of their books. I don’t want to know more about them then what is in their bio. Afterall I didn’t buy the book because I liked the author. I bought the book because I liked their writing voice and the premise of the book.

      I don’t seek out the writers on social media or blogs because envitably they’ll say something that will piss me off and ruin the reading experience. Which has happened before with a writer that I enjoyed after she got bad review on her book. Her anger wasn´t directed at the reviewer but everyone who didn´t like her book and she was insulting about it. I respect her right to express herself, but not the way she insulted her fans.

      Sometimes I wonder if it wasn´t better for writers when we could just write.

  10. Amen Stephannie! By the time you finish the list of things you apparently must do to promote your book, you don’t have the time to write it! One blog I did read was by a bloke who said he tried everything, and the best thing he did was continue to write and get more and more books out there to be seen. I took part of my cue from this, I thought it was great advice. I just picked a few things to do, and that was it. Maybe the secret is in picking a few promo things that you ENJOY doing, and devoting the rest of the time to writing. Works for me so far. Mind you, I’m also still working for a living LOL

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