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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start this post by clarifying that I am not a recluse. I am in good health, have good friends and...well, ya'll get the point.

Anyways, I wonder about the loner-author stereotype and why it exists. Perhaps there's a good reason? Maybe an author who is holed up in a vast mansion in the country can write better without the chatter of the outside world.  Or perhaps that solidarity is what each of us yearns for, and our chosen profession is merely a reflection of that desire to avoid the overpopulated, stressed world that we live in. I hate to say (write) it, but I truly believe there's a correlation between a person who can get lost in reading hundreds of novels (like most good writers do) and a person who wants to get away from it all, out in the country where there is room for the soul.

Does anyone else have this yearning? Or maybe just the idea that if you were truly alone for a long period of time, that some of your best writing would be produced?
 

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It does seem logical that anyone who is happy spending days at a time alone in a room writing is not all that social.  But then in order to create authentic characters you need to observe lots of people closely.  In my case, I didn't begin writing until later in life, when I could semi-retire from the bustle, so I've gotten to observe first, then write.  But I don't know how younger people have accomplished the impossible combination.
 

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I refer to myself as an extroverted introvert. Considering I'm in sales for my day job, that surprises a lot of people when I say that. But it's more about where I draw my energy than my general like (or dislike) for being around people.

When I'm with a group of people for an extended period of time, I go home exhausted and longing to just be alone (to my husband's chagrin). I need the quiet time to recharge my batteries. I think someone who is a true extrovert thrives on those group situations and goes home feeling put out and a little lonely, longing to be back with the group because that's where he/she draws their energy.

Authors embrace the quiet and solitude and are able to create marvelous, magical worlds while in that kind of space. I think because of that, many authors have introverted preferences, and some have had them to the extreme.

I like people a lot. I just don't like being with them all the time.  ;D
 

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I did a drama degree and an English one. The drama one revolved around a lot of observing of people in order to create the character. Its been a massive help (to me anyway) where writing is concerned. I'm not in the least bit social, in fact I hate it. If I go out I want it to be with either with my partner or the one or two people who I deem close enough to warrant going out with. *By going out I mean dinner, coffee, drinks, not out out partying. I hate social gatherings and events. Weddings, parties, etc, bleh. I don't really have friends, I have several acquaintances. And I don't really want friends either. As it stands at the moment I haven't left the house in over a week because I've been writing. Part of that is to do with it being Winter and I become very reclusive during the winter months. I'll go out more in the Spring and Summer months.

I'm weird and reclusive and utterly hate socializing. I fit that loner author stereotype pretty well  ;) well almost  ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bilinda Ní Siodacaín said:
I'm weird and reclusive and utterly hate socializing. I fit that loner author stereotype pretty well ;) well almost ;D
That's awesome that you are so honest with who you are! If I wasn't married, then I would probably be 10X the loner I am now. But, of course, my wife takes me to dinners with lots of people, church, parties and random gatherings of earthlings. But when it's time to read/write, my time is MY time...Just don't tell her that.
 

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markobeezy said:
That's awesome that you are so honest with who you are! If I wasn't married, then I would probably be 10X the loner I am now. But, of course, my wife takes me to dinners with lots of people, church, parties and random gatherings of earthlings. But when it's time to read/write, my time is MY time...Just don't tell her that.
Lol your secret is safe with me. I think that's somewhere I'm super lucky. I fell in love with a writer. So we both enjoy sitting in our respective corners enjoying being alone with each other as we create. He's the only person in the world I'm happy to be alone with on the days when I'm in a particularly anti-social mood.
 

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I don't like people much. Part of that may be that down here, if you aren't hardcore into football or hunting you can write off having a conversation with everyone. I kid you not, joined one of those meet people sites and when I ask people from around here "What do you like to read?" the response 9/10 times is "I don't read." I want to shake them and ask, "What is wrong with you?" Thus sites like that - I can observe the humans without getting too close to them. As for real people, I do a bit of that when I go grab a coffee. Not a fan...not a fan.
 

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I don't know whether there's truth to the stereotype, but I know I fit it. I'm a happy loner. Most days I don't leave home, and I rarely socialize (in person) with anyone other than my husband. My life would drive a lot of people crazy, but I love it  :D Being around people wears me out, and I don't have nearly as much of a need for it as most people do. Instead, I need a huge amount of time alone to stay sane.

So yes, I am a happy antisocial author. I've seen plenty of extroverted authors out there, though, so I don't know whether the stereotype means anything or not.

One perk of being an indie author? Book promotion all happens online  ;D I remember reading J.A. Konrath's early (pre-self-pub) blog posts years ago and always coming away disheartened because he kept talking about how in order to be a successful author you needed to do things like massive fifty-store book tours. I wouldn't be able to do something like that and still have any mental energy left to write and think and live. I just... wouldn't. Now it's all about connecting with people online, which doesn't cause the same energy drain that being social in person does.
 

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cegesmith said:
I refer to myself as an extroverted introvert. Considering I'm in sales for my day job, that surprises a lot of people when I say that. But it's more about where I draw my energy than my general like (or dislike) for being around people.

When I'm with a group of people for an extended period of time, I go home exhausted and longing to just be alone (to my husband's chagrin). I need the quiet time to recharge my batteries. I think someone who is a true extrovert thrives on those group situations and goes home feeling put out and a little lonely, longing to be back with the group because that's where he/she draws their energy.

Authors embrace the quiet and solitude and are able to create marvelous, magical worlds while in that kind of space. I think because of that, many authors have introverted preferences, and some have had them to the extreme.

I like people a lot. I just don't like being with them all the time. ;D
Me to a tee. Except for the husband bit :) I saw this great video the other day on the difference between extroverts and introverts, versus what people think those terms mean.
 

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Zoe Cannon said:
One perk of being an indie author? Book promotion all happens online ;D I remember reading J.A. Konrath's early (pre-self-pub) blog posts years ago and always coming away disheartened because he kept talking about how in order to be a successful author you needed to do things like massive fifty-store book tours. I wouldn't be able to do something like that and still have any mental energy left to write and think and live. I just... wouldn't. Now it's all about connecting with people online, which doesn't cause the same energy drain that being social in person does.
Agreed, it's way easier to be charming on the internet than in person. At least if you're feeling crabby you don't have to return interactions right away, unlike in person, when sitting there glaring quietly at them produces...different results. My last career was face-to-face sales, and I'd go home exhausted every night, not wanting to see another person. Now that I'm home all day, every day, the social interaction of KB, FB, Twitter and fan emails is plenty enough for me most of the time.

That said, if I didn't have a wife and kids, I'd be living out in the country, far from human contact, and I doubt I'd leave the house more often than it would take to buy the necessities to keep me alive. So I am that stereotype.
 

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I am not that stereotype. I love to go out in that scary light-in-the-sky stuff at least once every couple of weeks since if I don't I'll starve. And I speak very nicely to the check person.
 

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I have spells where I require 'no interaction' with other members of the human race.  This is when I'm really in the zone, so to speak, and need to ponder some story question or character.  And so, being in a house with people who might interrupt my thoughts, or just feeling guilty cause I'm in the house and in the room... without interacting.. that doesn't work sometimes. So I'll go somewhere, the local library works pretty good.  When I'm done I want to 'be' with people.  Then, the cycle starts anew.  
 

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I, too, am a loner who likes to socialize occasionally. It seems to me that a healthy interest in people is a requirement for a fiction writer.
 

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The only person I usually socalise with his my husband - we're both a bit antisocial together :) We hate parties, evenings spent in a pub, nightclubs etc.

We do have friends and family, but they don't live nearby, so we either stay with them or they stay with us for a weekend and go out to dinner etc., but that's about it for our social life. I was always a longer, I'd much rather curl up with a good book than go to a nightclub or pub, they just aren't me and never were.

I'm also a bit agoraphobic so I don't like going out meeting new people and I hardly go out at all on my own, John has to come with me. If I do try and go out on my own, it's not for long due to the panic attacks and I have to get back home. Having migraine associated vertigo hasn't helped at all, because even just a hint of dizziness can bring on a panic attack or vice versa. I'm happy at home, and the internet has been a godsend.

Take care,
Annette
 

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My mind sits in its cage, looking out at all the happy faces. Seething. All those big-toothed smiles and perky chicks with their perky boobs (well, my mind doesn't exactly "seeth" at the perky boobs). All those people who make socializing look so easy. Quick, entertaining stories, while mine are scribbled out one painstaking letter at a time, a letter I know will undoubtedly be reworked countless times. It is my own inadequacy that makes me withdraw. I study them like only I can, and see their disgust with what I am, and I loathe them back. Or maybe I loathe them, and they're disgusted with me back. Chicken/egg. So I come on the internet where I can show up without an invitation (usually) and disappear without having to say all those awkwward goodies, complete with the lies about calling each other more often. Here I don't have to be the wallflower leaning against the wall, I can barge in on conversations when I'm damn well good and ready, and if there's a response to my post, I need not reply immediately, or at all. I'm not antisocial, I just like the internet better. Besides, all my buddies like in Pittsburgh, and I'm here in Baltimore, listening to the damn Raven fans talk about how they're going to the Super Bowl.
 

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Introverted as well. I agree with the idea that reading is not really a social activity, so big readers aren't too extroverted. I think I observe people well, so it's helped. It's only hurt me as an author when I set up a Facebook page for my writing, and realized I have no one to add. I've added my family and some of my wife's friends ... Still at 7. That was kind of depressing
 

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Semantics, but there is a mix-up here between being antisocial and being introverted. An antisocial individual can be someone who goes out to pubs and gets hammered and pisses on cars afterwards. Antisocial people are often individuals who thrive on attention and enjoy being in the midst of others, though for the wrong reasons. Removing oneself from a social sphere is not an act against it. It'd be like calling Buddhist monks antisocial because they sit atop mountains in constant self-reflection.
 

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LGOULD said:
It seems to me that a healthy interest in people is a requirement for a fiction writer.
I love people. They're fascinating. I just don't like... you know... talking to them. :D
 
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