One of the main reasons why I spent 6 months thinking about having a blog but not actually starting it was this fear: that it’d be lonely.
My God, is my blog turning into the “how to avoid loneliness” blog?
Anyhow, the consistent doubtful thought that prevented my blog and I from coming together was precisely that I’m too extroverted to be a blogger– or any type of writer for that matter. I’m already finishing up my Bachelor’s degree online, and it’s hard enough to not go crazy with all of the solitude that it entails (although I am so grateful for the speed and convenience with which I am able to complete my studies). I already spend enough quality time with my computer, I thought; I didn’t believe it would be a good idea to add more.
And so my blog went unwritten, my thoughts trapped in a washing machine cycle and my creativity lost in my school deadlines and doubts. Finally, I collected some old essays along with some new material I mustered together not because of any romantic artistic breakthrough, but rather because I started looking for writing jobs and figured it’d be a good idea to have all my work in one place.
The blog went live, and I copied and pasted its URL into my job application.
In the process, I’ve started to remember how much fun writing and blogging is- and I feel back in the creative flow. The more I write and post, it seems, the more ideas come to me.
It doesn’t feel like my schoolwork, in which I’m sentenced to read boring academic articles for hours by myself (okay, sometimes they’re interesting- but why do social scientists find it necessary to write their findings in the driest way possible? Why not spice it up, guys?). In my blog, I’m able to write about deeper and personal issues that effect me and hopefully connect with others.
One of my posts even opened up a conversation with a friend who lives in another country whom I hadn’t spoken to in awhile. I’m starting to remember again how rewarding writing and blogging is and why I love it in the first place.
Some say that introverts are the best writers because they spend lots of time in reflection and observation. However, I would argue that the skill extroverts bring to the page is our life experiences. With lots of conversations and interactions with others- particularly if we do so with people who come from different backgrounds than ourselves- we are ripe full of material.
There are also ways to combat the inherent solitude that does come with writing. For instance, I’ve recently joined a weekly study group of Master’s and PhD students who were also struggling with feeling lonely whilst writing their theses. In the group, we get coffee in the morning to discuss our goals for the day, then go to the library to study for a solid chunk of hours, then have lunch together, and then continue studying. It is great for having social interaction in addition to being held accountable to getting our work done. If you are an online student and/or working on a thesis, you could see if your city has a group like this- and if not, start one!
I have also started going to an English poetry group, which allows me to meet people of similar interests and forces me to write- even when I am not “feeling inspired.” Again, you can look for writer’s groups in your city or start one!
Finally, I try to spend time with friends who also don’t have traditional work schedules. Such people could be remote workers, for instance, but they can also be people who work in retail or in the service industry, for example, and thus work later in the day or at night. For instance, I have a friend who starts work at 12:00 P.M., and we sometimes get breakfast together in order to motivate ourselves to wake up early.
It’s not always easy to be an extroverted writer, but the concept definitely doesn’t have to be a contradiction. We can use our unique perspective to our advantage and even use platforms such as blogs to connect with our fellow humans- in real life!
Are you an introvert, extrovert, and/or writer? Leave your comments below!