Thursday, 15 July 2010

A Writer's Personality

I've always assumed that apart from being happy to spend large amounts of time in your own company, and a certain selfish streak that allows you to do so without feeling too guilty, all writers were like myself - outgoing, talkative, confident, and nosey. How else do you feed an overactive imagination, come up with story plots, and get your work published?

However, I recently met a writer who appeared almost the opposite to what I, wrongly, assumed all writers must be like. This writer seemed painfully shy, uttering only a few words over several hours. She asked no questions, and after the event, one of the organisers thanked me for looking after her. I offered my email address so that we could stay in contact, but this was politely rejected.

I'm ashamed to say I was quite shocked when I did elicit what type of writing she did, to which she replied "horror”. I don't know what I expected her to write, but horror was not what I pictured at all.

I now realise how wrong my assumptions have been, because she has had, like myself, some success in publishing her short stories. She may have appeared shy, but she was confident enough to submit her writing for publication. Perhaps listening is as important as asking, and, in the end, it is what we write that does all the talking.


  1. I think that's a very good point that our writing does the talking. I've met all kinds of people through writing groups and events. I don't know if there was anything much in common between them - except sharing the urge to write. Nosiness is a definite advantage (she says while peering out of the window to see why there's a Police car opposite).

  2. what a great post!
    Funnily enough i imagined horror writers to be quiet and introverted

  3. My personality can change depending on what mood I'm in. I was recently at a writing workshop and was put off by the other people aggressively competing for the attention of the author conducting the event. Needless to say, I probably looked like the shy introvert on that day.

    As far as your horror writer . . . aren't the paralyzingly shy ones always the people who "crack" and commit the horrors? :)

  4. She rejected your email? Yikes! That's kinda... well, not very nice.

    I've just come back from the RNA Conference, where everyone was SO friendly. But there are quite a few shy writers out there too, from my own experience.

  5. Joanne - police? Hope they haven't come for you!

    Jenny & Janel - it's always the quiet ones, they say.

    Talli - maybe I came across as being 'too outgoing', and that's why she didn't want to trade emails? I wouldn't say she was unfriendly, just shy.

    My personal experience thus far has been that every writer I have met, or talked to, wants to offer advice and wish me every success with my writing. Writers are such wonderfully generous people!

  6. I write horror, and I'm very outgoing with the people I know with. I'd be quite shy, too, so, but then after a few lemonades (I'm too young to drink) I'd loosen up a bit.

    Shows, you can't judge a book by it's cover, literally.

    Pixie x

  7. Good luck to her!! I always assumed writers were natural loners (like me) but I'm coming across quite gregarious writers here in blogworld so shows what I know! I guess it really is the writing that speaks for itself.

    Take care

  8. I do tend to keep quiet and observe if I'm in a room full of noisy or pushy people.
    I wouldn't say I was shy particularly, but I tend to be rather quiet, not in blogland though, here I can't shut up! Haha.


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