Why is writing important to me?

Thinking

Being an introverted melancholy, most of my thinking is done internally. Unfortunately, having so much information to process (I notice a lot of details and am very curious.) gives me a lot to think about. Writing is important to me because it helps me think. The more I write, the better I become socially since I’ve essentially thought through much of what’s going on already anyway. The struggle then comes with the spontaneous that happens in life. I’m not so good at those situations. But, I do turn those into therapy sessions (see next heading), so all is not lost when I mess up socially, which unfortunately a lot.

Therapy

Because of my personality and temperament, I don’t just dislike social situations. I avoid them. (My husband is an extravert, so this is sometimes a bone of contention between us.) Writing allows me to analyze social situations after they happen in hopes of learning from them and being better the next time. I may be slowly improving socially (not certain of that), but I know for sure that I feel better about myself after my therapy sessions.

This therapy happens in two man ways. First, I write in a prayer journal daily. God gets to hear pretty much everything, and it’s a great way to start the day. I get everything out and attempt to find a focus for the day. Second, I write about a lot of different topics. While many writers struggle with finding enough topics to write about, I struggle with having too many. Which one do I focus on next? Should this be a series? What if I forget about this one? Will anyone really care about what I have to say? I don’t always have the answers to these questions, but my writing therapy at least helps me feel like I’m doing something about it. I get the ideas out of my head and into a visible form. (If you think of an extraverted sanguine and how much activity is visibly going on externally, you can get an idea of how much is going on internally for me.) There are just so many voices, thoughts, ideas, etc. going on in my head that I have to use writing as therapy, before I develop a permanent mental disorder. (I wish I were joking, but that’s exactly what it feels like is happening at times.)

How would better writing skills change my business or my life?

My writing skills are pretty decent already. However, I feel like there are some illusive somethings out there keeping it from being great… impactful, in fact. I consider my writing decent because, in comparison to most people’s, it really is quite good. My grammar is pretty good, and I can organize my thoughts well on paper. However, I hate that I consider my writing good simply because of the way it compares to that of others. Why can’t it be good in and of itself? Why do I always have to compare myself in order to feel good about myself? (See, I told you I needed therapy.) Better writing skills would give me more confidence in my ideas, would help me to better develop my voice and would help me develop better focus as I find more techniques that help me make progress.

Also, I also feel like I constantly write as if I’m writing a paper for an English class. I was an English major in college, and I even taught developmental writing and Freshman English at our local community college. So, the “right” format is stuck in my brain, and I can’t seem to break out of it. Sure, there are bursts where I streak out, but then I always get caught and put my “correctness” back on.

My goal is to do more ghostwriting as well as to have my blog be somewhat popular (always wanted to be popular), but I feel like I’m stuck in a writing rut. I feel like I need to take the foundation that I have and build on it somehow. But like the illusive somethings I mentioned above, that somehow is also evading my grasp.

NOTE: This blog post is outside of my usual blogging routine as explained in the About section. Why would an anal melancholy like me go outside her routine? The writing contest at www.damnfinewords.com has challenged me with the above questions, and I’m always up for a challenge. Reminds me of having a writing assignment back in my college days. Turns out I thrive under deadlines like these. Got any more?

10 thoughts on “Why is writing important to me?

  1. Writing has been a journey for me as well. I love writing in my prayer journal just to get thoughts out. But when I blog, I incessantly polish and polish and polish. Hitting that publish button forces me to confront a lot of perfectionist emotions. It's interesting to see how this will continue to shape us.

    • Perfectionism? I don't know anything about that. (I wish that were true, sort of, but it's not.) I'm very attached to my perfectionism even though I tell myself that only one person achieved being perfect outside of Heaven, and I won't achieve it until I get to Heaven. But, I continue to strive for perfection. The publish button is certainly good therapy for perfectionism, don't you think? I mean, we have to confront the realization that we won't be perfect 100% of the time when we hit it, but we have to hit it anyway. And continue to shape us it does.

  2. Good for you, Kari! I know what it's like to be an introvert married to an extrovert. On the outside, I'm friendly and outgoing, but internally it's really draining for me to be in social situations. :-(

    Where did you get the term "introverted melancholy?" I'd really like to learn more about it. :-)

    • Sure does feel good knowing others understand my perspective. Congratulations on being friendly and outgoing on the outside… I really struggle with that at times. I think I could learn something from introverts like you. I guess in think of the internal drain it causes and often don't even try. The term "introverted melancholy" is sort of my own making. I am an introvert and a melancholy (I originally got this term from the "Personality Plus" material by Florence Littauer.), so I put the two terms together to first help myself understand myself and then to help others understand me. You'll find both of these terms sprinkled throughout my blog in posts as well as in other sections. It's who I am, and I have given up trying to escape from that fact.

      • It does feel good to know we're not the only ones who feel that way. Isn't it cool that blogging allows us to be social and interact with people without the internal drain? :-D I'm going to look into the "Personality Plus" material by Florence Littauer. I think it will help me make sense of a lot of things. And keep on being yourself, because you're brilliant and talented and wonderful exactly as you are!

        • Yes, it certainly does! Blogging is like the long-lost friend I have been searching for all my life. Plus, it's always there for me to dialogue (internally of course) with whenever I need it (which is most of the time). Littauer has several books. Good stuff. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Great article! Thank you for referencing it. I will definitely be referring to that one again. The book that truly helped me come to terms with and accept that being an introvert is okay is "Introverts in the Church" by Adam McHugh. After years of trying to be something I'm not, I've discovered that I am a better person when I just be who I am… an introvert. Trouble is, as you mentioned with your husband, the world does not understand that introversion is simply another way of approaching life.

    • That's a FANTASTIC article! It really explains who we are and why we're this way. I LOVE being a self-sufficient introvert, and I have no desire whatsoever to be like my husband and my extroverted friends who NEED the energy of others. (Not to mention the fact that I'm also an only child, so I've spent my whole life creating in solitude, which I truly cherish.) I cracked up at the footer about the author of the article: Susan Cain is the author of the forthcoming book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” That's something I say in my head a LOT, and sometimes even out loud, particularly to my husband: "PLEASE STOP TALKING!!!" ;-) LOL

      • You just gave me another term to play around with… "self-sufficient introvert." Love it! Explains exactly who I feel I am. I don't desire the constant external dialogue either, and I've often thought to myself about some extraverts, "Does he/she ever stop talking?" or "Does she/he have to say something about everything?" I just don't understand the need to always have to comment. But, I do realize that an introvert has as much if not more going on internally than what we see going on externally with exraverts. And, I know that my extravert friends wonder why I don't talk more and what is going on inside of my head. The wonder goes both ways, I guess. I will have to check out the Susan Cain book for sure!

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