“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” – Henry David Thoreau
I am happy to introduce my guest today, Julie Lomoe. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Barnard College, Julie received an MFA from Columbia University and an MA in Art Therapy from New York University. She lived in SoHo for many years, exhibiting at the Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and many Manhattan galleries. She showed her paintings and won a prize at the Woodstock Festival of Music and Art in 1969, an experience she blogged about in a three-part series this past August.
And now, here’s Julie to talk about introverted writers:
For introverted writers: Can you find success by tapping into your inner extrovert? Take a free online test and find out!
I’ve always considered myself an introvert, and I suspect the majority of writers would characterize themselves the same way. How else could we spend countless solitary hours at the computer, spinning tales from our imaginations? Yet sending our creations out into the marketplace in hopes of finding an audience requires a radical change of roles. Now and then, like it or not, we have to don the masks of extroverts.
Tonight I’m psyching myself up to be a raconteur. The Friends of the Albany Public Library have chosen me as Author of the Year for my suspense novel Eldercide, and tomorrow they’ll be honoring me at a luncheon, after which I’ll give a half-hour talk followed by a Q&A and hopefully some book sales. Speaking in public isn’t a problem for me; it’s a skill I’ve cultivated over the years. In my former lifetime as an art therapist, I taught and gave workshops, and for many years I’ve been a member of the Mental Health Players, an improvisatory theater troupe that performs before and interacts with a wide variety of audiences.
I enjoy fielding questions about my writing and tossing off zingy one-liners that make the audience laugh. But I positively loath what follows: sitting behind a table and a pile of my books, smiling, chatting, and hoping my dazzling (or sometimes pedestrian) performance will translate into sales. Even when I succeed in selling books, I generally come home from these events utterly drained, and spend the next few hours vegging out in my trusty old recliner, slugging down wine and watching TV with my two cats on my lap.
The aforementioned dysfunctional behavior is a dead giveaway. We introverts may put on a good show, even genuinely enjoy socializing and selling up to a point, but putting ourselves out in the world saps our energy. True extroverts, on the other hand, thrive on social interaction. It replenishes and energizes them, while what energizes me is creating in isolation, whether it’s writing, painting, or playing the piano.
Our personalities are endlessly complex, of course, and most of us have the ability to shift from one role to another as the occasion demands. The spectrum between introvert and extrovert is only one of many. One way of exploring your temperament more deeply is to take a test based on the Myers Briggs Personality Test, which in turn is derived from Jungian theories. Several are available free on line. I took one several years ago, but I wasn’t sure I remembered the results correctly, so I took it again today, answering 60 yes/no questions at a rapid clip, trying not to overthink my responses. I came out exactly the same: I’m an INFP. Those initials stand for introvert, intuitive, feeling and perceiving.
According to educational psychologist David Keirsey’s widely used Temperament Sorter, I’m an “idealist healer.” My type “can seem shy, even distant around others. . . Because of their deep-seated reserve, however, they can work quite happily alone. . . They have a natural interest in scholarly activities and demonstrate, like the other Idealists, a remarkable facility with language. They have a gift for interpreting stories, as well as for creating them, and thus often write in lyric, poetic fashion.”
Wow, I like that! It’s even better than astrology, and it has some genuine scientific validity behind it. Maybe I’ll enlarge the description and paste it above my computer. What type are you? Why not take the test and find out! Here’s the link: Humanmetrics (Jung Typology Test). To learn more about the four temperaments and the 16 personality types, go to Keirsey. After you have your results, it would be great if you post them here as a comment, and let us know if you think the results are accurate.
I wonder if the Internet will require revisions in these types of standardized tests. For me, blogging and getting virtually acquainted with folks all over the globe without actually meeting face-to-face combines the best of both worlds – I can be an introvert and an extrovert at the same time! But that’s a subject for another day and another post.
Thanks, Julie, for that interesting post and allowing me to be part of your book tour.
Julie mentioned that she has been named 2009 Author of the Year by the Friends of the Albany Public Library, but she didn’t mention that the library’s selection committee for the Author of the Year award chose her especially for her novel Eldercide, because of its relevance to current issues surrounding health care reform and our nation’s treatment of the elderly and of end-of-life issues. The award has been given for decades, but this is the first time the committee has chosen a self-published rather than a traditionally published book. Congratulations and way to go, Julie!
To learn more about Julie and to read sample chapters from her books, visit her blog: Julie Lomoe’s Musings Mysterioso. To buy her books, Mood Swing: The Bipolar Murders (2006) and Eldercide (2008), and support small business, you can go directly to her publisher, Virtualbookworm. You can also order online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Be sure to visit her tomorrow at at Toni Andrews, the next stop on her tour.
I have always been fascinated by personality types so I took the test Julie mentioned. I am an ISFJ; introvert, sensing feeling, judging. According to Keirsey, I’m in the “protector” group. My primary interest is in the safety and security of those I care about and I have an extraordinary sense of loyalty and responsibility. I’d say my results were accurate.
Looking forward to hearing your personality types.
Thanks for stopping by.
Tags: introverts, Keirsey, humanmetrics, temperament sorter, Myers Briggs Personality Test , Bipolar Murders, Eldercide, Tags: personality types, Julie Lomoe, Thoreau,