Sharing the upside and downside of the writing life while living life.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Are you a risk taker?
Making friends involves a common interest. Finding that interest with another person isn't so easy. I just finished editing my latest novel called Winterheart. It should be in my agent's hands shortly. The main character, Penny, has to start her life all over again too. She tries everything just as I have. I wrote a happy ending for her. I'm hoping mine will go the same course.
Part of me has decided maybe I'm an introvert after all. I was one growing up. It wasn't until I became a mom that it hit me I had to be more vocal for my child's sake. My jobs required me to be more outgoing too but I haven't worked outside the home in awhile. It's easy to go back to my original personality.
It's also less battering to my ego and self-confidence. Ever try to talk to a stranger over a salad when you know nothing about them and they don't share much? You begin to wonder if you've lost all communication skills or maybe you are just plain boring. You leave feeling like you said too much or maybe delved too deep.
Then begins the battle in your head wondering if meeting others is something you really want and is it really worth what it takes.
But as a writer, it's important to do life. It's one way we come up with plots and character traits for our characters. It's also a way to stay in touch with the pulse of people by hearing the issues people face.
And as a person, life isn't meant to be lived in isolation. Many of my best memories are with good friends.
My question today: when was the last time you put yourself out there with strangers and what were the results? Do you consider yourself to be outgoing and do you take risks?
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I completely agree that to be a writer we need to be engaged in the world. Meeting up with a stranger one on one was very brave of you! And I think experiences will make these situations easier and easier as time goes on. Whether an introvert or an extrovert, connecting with others is a learned skill for many. I receive energy from people which makes me an extrovert, and I love conversation with new people, even strangers. But it is getting close, intimate with others that is more 'risky' for me.
I've trained myself to look at others and reach out especially those who look lost or lonely. I have a church job that requires this working with the women in our congregation. It helps overcome natural shyness. Your struggle it seems to me is with the voices in your head that are trying to sabotage you as you try to go forward with inspiration to reach out then negative thoughts take over-just tell them to shut up or laugh at them-it works...lol!
You are not boring in the least! As a 'stranger' that met you face-to-face, I found you quite the conversationalist. But I think I held up my end of the bargain. ;-)
I could easily shut myself away at home--it's even easier living out in the country. I have to work at keeping myself in connection with other people.
I get energy from being around other people, and I know it is very important for my mental health to be involved with others. I am a risk taker also when it comes to friendship. One thing I've never had to do is move to a new area without a built in connection group. In other words, when we moved when I was in highschool, there were obviously people and potential friends at the school. Thankfully, others reached out to me and made gestures of friendship towards me and I responded. In my adult years, I always had work and church where I could establish friendships. I think in your case, you seem more isolated because you work from home. I find that to be a difficult situation. Friendships are so difficult to establish. I think hospitality is one key. Invite, invite, invite. Also, realize that for some seasons of life, friendships are elusive. I lived in the town we lived in for 20 years. I never made a close personal relationship that was deep and lasting with anyone in that town during that time. I made friendshps that we deep and lasting with transplants that moved, but not one with one that lived there for any length of time. I had many friends, many connections, an active sociall life, but not one close friend. That is strange. Now, I have many where we live.
I have become an introvert as I have gotten older. Writing and being at home have added to this characteristic. I feel strained around people I don't know. At church we have a time in our service where we greet others; I participate because I believe that I am in a safe place.I find it difficult to make friends because of some of my background. I have three close friends. Then, I have 'friends'. The difference is my close friends I can share personal things with. I have to honor my boundaries I have set up.
I take a lot of risks with my writing (by tackling subjects that make editors squirm). But in my personal life I like to play it safe.
Okay, my friend, you have given me a TOTALLY different perspective on myself. I am (I'm sure no surprise to you LOL) absolutely an extrovert and quite outgoing, but I don't really see myself as much of a risk taker at all. I like comfortable and the same and steady. But I guess, at least relationally, I AM a risk taker.
I'm an extrovert, but there are times when I must get away from crowds to maintain my sanity.
As far as being a risk taker, I would have said "No" 10 years ago. Today, I sometimes jump in (cliche alert) where angels fear to tread. Specifically, this involves my novels.
I took the personality test years ago and found out I'm Melancholy/Phlegmatic, both are introvert. However, like you, I decided not to stop my growth. I joined a Christian Women's Group and they trained me in communication and I loved it. They taught me public speaking and to my surprise I flourished. I thought I was doing okay until the Lord opened doors for me in sales and that rocked my world. I believe you can be trained for anything, but my heart's desire is the quiet world. I love to greet at my church doors, but yesterday the team put me in the sanctuary to roam and talk to people and I dreaded it! Go figure! I feel like I did poorly.
I give you credit and admire the way you reached out. I hope it goes smoothly as friendships develop. I love women and would feel empty without them in my life.
This was lovely, thanks for sharing this
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