An Introverted Girl’s Best Friend

I’m an introvert. I often tell my husband I would be content on a deserted island with some good food and a stack of books for a long, long time. I have an event coming up that is weighing on my mind. I will know absolutely no one there. I will be forced to socialize, network and chit-chat, things I’m not comfortable with and don’t enjoy. But thank God for Steve Jobs because I can take my iPhone or iPad with me and disappear into the crowd.

It’s socially acceptable to be on your smartphone now in certain situations. I’m not talking about at the dinner table or while you’re having face to face conversations with people. That’s just rude and annoying. But in a crowded room, with people wandering around, small groups of people sectioned off into their cliques, only talking to the people they know, I don’t sweat it, I just pull out my distraction tool.

Looking at me, no one knows if I’m texting, tweeting, blogging, tumbling, googling, emailing, pinning, on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, checking in or just pretending to do one of these things to avoid idle conversation. Maybe I’m doing a couple at once. Maybe I’m eavesdropping, hoping for an “in” to the conversation. Maybe I’m simply relieved to not look so out of place, to not have a spotlight shined on my introversion. Some people misconstrue my quiet, reserved nature for snobbery. Only those who know me well know that is the farthest thing from the truth.

So for all my fellow introverts, take along your smartphone/pad/whatever and get lost in the crowd. Maybe you will meet another kindred soul pretending to text in the corner. It might be me. 🙂

Where is my Muse?

Lately I’ve had a hard time forcing myself to sit down and write. Nothing comes. I scratch my head. I flip through my notebook of ideas. I’m trying to force the muse and the muse is not happy.  I try again.  Still nothing. The baby cries and my time is up.  Before I had children, my time to write was at night, music on, and the emotions would flow out of my pen quickly and easily. Very little self editing was necessary. Now I struggle to eke out a page. It’s like carving a sentence in stone; the process is slow and arduous.  I get fed up and walk away before the hard work is done.

The truth is I don’t like to write. There. I said it. It’s bloodletting onto the page. It’s an invitation to a private part of myself I don’t always like people to see.  I’m a people pleaser at times.  A sensitive soul.  An introvert.  Being judged for my words is torturous.  Writing is cathartic for me. I don’t always like to share, but when I do, magic happens. Other mothers tell me they feel the same way.  It drives me to continue, to connect, to leave a small mark behind that is mine.

I relate to Dorothy Parker who said, “I hate writing, I love having written.”  At least I’m in good company.  It’s reassuring I’m not the only writer who dreads the task.

So I try again when the mood is right, emotions are high, time is critical.  At the right moments the words flow like water out of a bucket in big gushes and I must write quickly to get it all on the page before it slips away.  It is hard work.  My hand hurts.  I am empty.  When it is done and I am spent, I reread what I have done.  I am weightless!  I did it!  I am pleased.  Tomorrow I will do it all again.  I pray my muse returns with a bucket brimming with words.