Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Like so many writers, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool introvert. Not so long ago I read that the difference between introverts and extroverts is that extroverts get jazzed about public activities and introverts don’t. Or, more accurately, introverts get jazzed about private activities. Same brain response, different stimuli.
Well, I ran into the following quote in a review of Colm Tóibín’s book, On Elizabeth Bishop, in which the writer (Dan Chiasson) thinks about shyness and writing:
For a writer, speaking is terrifying, since it operates under conditions foreign to composition: one might be interrupted or distracted, or find one’s meanings questioned before they are fully developed and expressed. Tone, which is entirely in the writer’s hands, seeps into speech from circumstances no writer can control: his accent, his reflexive vocabulary, the pitch of his voice, even his appearance and posture—these are all elements of spoken self-presentation that cannot really be controlled in the moment, in social interaction. Advantage: writing.
Boom! So there’s a practical foundation to our introversion!
Now excuse me while I retreat to my grotto and spend this fine Sunday with someone I love…
PS — Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow, when I begin my series, “Gatecrash — Liberating creativity in the age of boilerplate fiction.” And don’t worry if you can’t read all eleven parts. I’ll provide the full essay for download at the end of the series.