A year or so ago, when I first listened to Susan Cain’s Ted Talk, The Power of Introverts, I felt a rush of recognition. I have long known that in the lexicon of Myers-Briggs, I test as an INFP/INTP (the I stands for “Introverted”). My mother, an avid personality-analyzer, gave me Myers-Briggs tests repeatedly throughout my teens and twenties – often long distance, over the phone.
I humored her and never gave much thought to her assessments.
Cain gave me pause, though: I identified with so much of what she described. And her commentary about the “self negating behaviors” of introverts in a world that privileges extroversion hit a nerve. When it comes to being purely social I dwell, way too often, in the land of “shoulds”. I go to parties and big social events because it’s what’s expected. Never mind if I would rather be home reading, or hanging out with my kids, or going to some more content-oriented gathering like a lecture or show. I am a good self-negating introvert.
Susan Cain also offered a new and compelling take on internet community and the blogosphere. In my mind, blogging had always been about self-promoting and self-presenting and self-describing. But as Cain frames it, blogging can be a way of voicing and sharing ideas with more controlled interaction — connection with more limited contact. The internet and the blogosphere can be an introvert’s dream space.
I liked this thinking. A file on my laptop began filling with ideas for blog posts. I didn’t set up a blog right away though: blogging would be a distraction at a moment when I needed focus. I needed to write children’s books, not write about writing or write about books.
With more work under my belt, and a little more confidence, I’ve felt a shift recently. There are so many great blogs and helpful websites out there in the kidlit world. I’m eager to chime in — to connect with other writers and other lovers of children’s books, and to find and create some on-line community.