Perhaps this is just the introverted side of my personality making itself felt, but I find there are times when I can be outward-looking, sometimes for days at a time, and other times when I feel like crawling under a stone and waiting for spring. Fortunately it’s the weekend so I don’t have to go out today! However I have just released another novel into the wild despite feeling as if I wanted to keep it to myself for a bit longer. I’ve decided on a compromise, which is that I will let it go out there into the big bad world but *I won’t tell anyone it’s there!* This novel is a special one that I particularly like so I am not sure I want anyone to read it. I wonder if this feeling is unique to me or whether other writers experience it too.
Until today I was having an unusually outward-looking week. I was on an interview panel (groan) almost all day on Monday – it wasn’t particularly difficult or anything, but I did find it quite a trial having to talk to people all day. Similarly, on Tuesday I had the day off work to meet a long-lost second cousin. Calling him ‘long-lost’ isn’t quite accurate as it wasn’t as if I had once known him and then lost touch. I think it was more that his grandmother lost touch with mine ages ago. I had already met a long-lost third cousin on the same side of the family in similar circumstances – my great-grandfather had lost touch with her great-grandmother. In these cases it’s always interesting to try and work out whether any resemblances are genetic or just coincidental. And if nothing else, it’s good to talk to another person who happens to be interested in a great-uncle’s war record or the puzzle of whether someone who disappeared between censuses died or just went to America. The only problem is that when you meet someone once in a blue moon you tend to try and cram far too much catching-up into the time and end up completely exhausted. Which doesn’t really work if you’ve stupidly promised to go and sort out some of the next lot of props that very same evening.
I didn’t really understand the condition I think of as ‘social fatigue’ until I had my personality analysed at work, which I think I’ve mentioned before. But being introverted explains everything about why I can’t go out socialising with colleagues after work – indeed, sometimes a short meeting or tea break is more than I can manage – and even why I find it almost physically impossible to go to the pub with everyone after Christmas lunch. It’s because I find being with people drains all my energy, (some people more than others, of course! but I mention no names here) and after such events I can only just drag myself home on the bus.
I’m not sure whether being introverted makes people more likely to become a writer. That’s a whole other topic!