Outsider = Writer or Writer = Outsider?

I think being an outsider is a common feeling for writers, whether being an outsider makes us turn to writing or being a writer makes us feel like an outsider because we’re too busy observing and writing to interact the way some people do.  Which came first, being an outsider or being a writer?  I don’t know.

I don’t think it’s necessarily the same thing as being an introvert.    I’ve read that an introvert is a person who feels drained by being with other people.  They need time alone to recharge.  I don’t think I fall into that category.  I enjoy alone time but I generally find my writer’s group energizing.

Now, communicating, particularly with people who don’t communicate the same way or have the same frames of reference, can be tiring.  Small groups are easier in that respect, so maybe I’m wrong and I am a bit of an introvert.

I tried to take a Briggs Myers Personality test but I think I overthought it.  No big surprise there.  In the list of careers that were good fits for me, it suggested Librarian.  A-yup.  On the list of careers that don’t fit me, it said Writer.  Well, not an option.  It’s who I am.

I’ve often thought that if I managed to get a career writing off the ground, so that I didn’t have to work at a regular nine-to-five job, I’d need to either get a part-time job or start volunteering somewhere, just to maintain some social interaction.  I think it would be entirely too easy to get caught up living inside my head full time but I’ve experienced that in the past and found it not to really feel good.  I also crave the social interaction.

It all boils down to the fact that a good writer’s group can help keep you mentally healthy as well as improving your writing.  Go find one.


  1. November 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Yes! I would love this! I agree that I tend to think I’d love living inside my head, but the truth is, I want to talk to other people who like to live inside their head. I need to meet more hypocrites like me!

    • melorajohnson said,

      November 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      LOL A good group of hypocrites is essential to improving your writing. If you don’t have one near you, start one! You can at least play with the ones on the boards at http://www.nanowrimo.org in November, but in person is better. I have people that come to our writing group from an hour or more away!

      • November 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm

        Nice! I would totally drive that far. In the meantime I’ll see how many crazy locals would actually join me! Thanks for the idea!

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