You know that talkative personality? The one that drives your friends and family crazy? Did you realize it is a gift? Well it is, and there’s no better place to let that gift shine than at an ACFW conference.
I understand I might be talking to a tiny percentage of the writing population. Lots–okay, almost all–of writers are introverts. Most of my esteemed colleagues spend so much time playing with the people inside their head that they haven’t much energy left for the real people on the outside. As a raging extrovert living in a house full of introverts (and how did that happen??), I understand the “make the people go away” mentality. I respect it, most of the time. I endure the “will you please stop talking and making me go places?” glares as a necessary evil of my existence.
Now, my family is four people. Ramp that up exponentially by tossing a large mass of creative, nervous introverts together in one conference, and you see how things could get dicey. Ah, but the ACFW conference is an extrovert mission field! We can serve! We’re the orchestrators, the “let’s all meet in the foyer” folks who can help our sheepish bothers and sisters connect with each other. If you’re standing in a line, start up a conversation with the person in front of you. Then introduce him to the person behind you. Chat in the elevator instead of all standing there staring at the door like meerkats. Ask that person in your workshop what was the best thing they got out of the presentation. Use your extrovert powers for good! We’re thrilled to be in a giant mass of our own kind…spread the cheer around. We’re not just a minority, fellow people-people, we’re a precious commodity. Okay, that may be a bit much, but you should know to expect drama from an extrovert.
Introverts, you’re not off the hook, either. This is a challenge to spread your wings. I’m not saying you have to host a party, but make it a goal to talk to one new person every day. The rest of the world often doesn’t understand the writing experience. We’re all thirsty for fellowship on this journey. You do yourself–and often someone else–a great blessing by reaching out.
We’ll all creep back to our writer caves soon enough.
Learn more about Allie Pleiter and her books at her website.