I am an introvert.
Right now, you’re probably thinking “Yeah, tell me something I don’t know.”, and (assuming you know me reasonably well), you’re probably right.
The thing is, like most ways of categorising types of people, it doesn’t actually tell you very much (other than that I choose to align myself with that label). “Introvert” refers to a collection of personality traits with a common theme; so you can assume I have a sufficient quantity or magnitude of these traits (or deficiency in the ones associated with the label “extrovert”) that the label applies.
But which traits? And to what degree? Well, the particular one I want to address today is introverted thinking*. This is the tendency to consider ideas thoroughly before sharing them with others—the polar opposite of “thinking aloud”.
This, coupled with an insidious dose of perfectionism, makes it very difficult to be a blogger (or any sort of writer). The flowing lines of wit and wisdom that scrawl themselves across my brain never quite seem to make it as far as the pen/keyboard.
So why blog at all? Why does someone so intent on keeping their thoughts internal attempt to share them with the world (or at least the small niche who reads this)? Why not keep a journal? Well, I’ve never really felt comfortable with a journal. Besides having the same problem as with a blog (i.e. not wanting to express thoughts until they’re perfectly rounded), why waste paper if no-one but me is going to read it? After all, I can think faster than I can write.
But introspection can only get you so far**. Often, expressing thoughts into words—whether spoken, written, or typed—helps drag them into a semblance of order. It forces you to be coherent, rather than the stream-of-consciousness and random associations that go on in your brain where you can find yourself thinking about something else entirely almost before you’re even aware of it.
Obviously, there’s still a measure of self-censorship in terms of avoiding getting too personal in a public forum, but the sense of an audience (even if largely an imaginary one) is a helpful motivator. Even more so, the opportunity for discussion, should it eventuate.
It’s not like there aren’t plenty of things to write about: day-to-day life, current events, movies, chance remarks; anything can inspire a (usually extensive) train of thought—I have a list of ideas for topics. It’s just a matter of becoming clear enough about what I want to say, and then shoving my ego (which insists it’s not good enough***) aside in order to say it.
So, here are some more of my thoughts, presented in the hope that it’s not just me that finds them interesting. 🙂
* It’s been said that introverts are those who will think carefully and then—maybe—act (whereas extroverts are those who will act and then maybe think).
** Or occasionally (i.e. frequently) round in circles.
*** It’s sneaky the way pride sometimes disguises itself as humility; sometimes when we’re thinking “this isn’t good enough” what we really mean is “I want to present myself as better than this”.