Dear Introvert | Script Revolution

Dear Introvert

As an extrovert, one of the most insightful books I've ever read is Quiet; The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. It taught me a lot about how the other half find social interaction impacts their energy levels. Catherine's following article does a great job of explaining the every day life of the introverted writer and details many of the benefits that come with it - CJ

Dear Introvert,

However interesting and dynamic the world is do you sometimes feel like you live on a planet full of loud boisterous crowds, meaningless opinions, and information overload? Do you long for silence? Do you long for time? You know, time to stare out a window or into a mud puddle or ponder how snow sounds, feels and smells? Do you long to write, preferably alone, inside with a candle at night, or outside under a tree during the day? I do. Sometimes I hate to Google because of the amount of stuff that appears on my screen. I don’t know about you but a preview of sites like Simply Scripts or Reddit (the blog world of screenwriting and everything else) gives me the heebie-jeebies, websites that scream “no-one-will-ever-find-my-script among this mess. One glance, one scroll and I can feel my inner contemplative grid shutting down. I have the urge to abort, hit the red-x, get out. I know I’m heading into sensory and soulless overload.

Let's face it we introverts are a misunderstood minority. We can often appear arrogant and strange because we are so quiet. Sometimes we can seem downright invisible, especially when we are mowed over by louder voices, attention whores, or righteous know-it-alls. I happen to know we introverts live amazing and rich internal lives and our external ones can be pretty awesome as well.

I bet you introverts reading this little blog love research as much as I do. I love sitting in a coffee shop (alone) writing and or Googling some esoteric field and adding it to my notes or into my script. I love a trip (alone) to the library to I pick up a book or check out the DVDs.  I love opening a dictionary (again, alone) at the kitchen table. I have a big, blue, bought second-hand Webster that works great and its faint smell of paper and ink makes me feel nostalgic and good. We introverts prefer a slower and simpler pace of life. Research adds depth to my writing as I’m sure it does for you.

As indicated, we introverts like to work all by ourselves. In a meeting we hang back, waiting for our turn, which often, is never given or when it is, no one cares. Let’s face it we would rather sit quietly and turn ideas over in our heads, allowing our minds to wander.  Did you know, “Decades of research have consistently shown that brainstorming groups think of far fewer ideas than the same number of people who work alone and later pool their ideas,” according to psychologist Keith Sawyer.  Another thing, constant praise, gold stickers, and shout-outs, although nice, are not particularly something we need or seek. If we’re working hard, we’re drawing motivation from within. We tend to exhibit strength through being the one who remains calm despite the drama surrounding us at home or at our day job. Further, while we like to be alone that does not mean we are lonely.

We “quiet ones” tend to have more empathy. We find chit-chat boring. Instead, we’d prefer a good talk with a long-time friend. We are attracted to quality not the quantity. We like the idea of deep time. We want to know about you. How are you really? We love to experience emotional truth, connection and intimacy. In general, we listen more than we talk and think before we speak. We choose our words carefully because we know that once said, words can’t be retracted or easily forgotten, if at all. No surprise, but some of the best writers are introverts. 

To be clear, not all writers are introverts. A quick Google search (I’m afraid very western centric, so if you are not, please make your own list from writers that you know) indicates that Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Vonnegut, Anaïs Nin, and Mark Twain are thought to have been extroverts. However, many writers do self-identify as introverts (and most screenwriters I am told do too), such as J.K. Rowling, John Green, and David Guterson. Other famous introverted writers are thought to include Agatha Christie, Charlotte Brontë, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Homer, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, George R.R. Martin and Ayn Rand, to name a few. Show business has its share of introverts including Shonda Rhimes, David Letterman, Harrison Ford, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elton John, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks, again, just to name a few.  While introverted leaders include Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and Bill Gates. So, celebrate your intervertness! You are in good company!

Another thing, did you know there is a World Introvert Day? https://www.introvertday.org/  It’s a way to honor us “quiet ones” once a year, although I prefer to celebrate us every day. So, remember if you come across someone who is not interested in you, shake it off. They’re not your kind, anyway. Write your story and don’t worry that it’s not a shooting script. Anticipate re-writes and suggestions. Get out there. Good people want to help, they are looking and want to find your script. Remember people are just people, and you’re awesome. So, dear introvert, persevere and stay in the game, hit the red-x if you need to but do keep submitting those wondrous stories created out of your rich and quiet mind.

About The Author

Catherine Cole Rogers's picture

Catherine Cole Rogers is a MFA graduate from the University of Washington, Seattle. She was published in InterSections 2007 for a short story called Concrete Desert and was the recipient of an Artist Trust Grant for a theatre play, Stalking Rainbows. She was a reader for the Seattle Review in...Read more

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