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Allie Pleiter | I think I have a writing disability.

August 5, 2008

Well, perhaps disability is too strong a word, except that I do truly feel “differently-abled.” I feel somewhat hampered by it, like I stand out more than I already do by being six feet tall. And at gatherings of writers and readers, like here at the Romance Writers of America conference in San Francisco this week, I feel my “freak flag” flying especially high.

I’m an extrovert. A raging, card-carrying, put-my-photo –in-the-dictionary-next-to-the-definition extrovert. And introverts—not extroverts–populate the writers world by a huge majority.

Why is that a disability? Well, it sets me at a disadvantage. All you thoughtful introverts are watching, observing cunning truths of human behavior, carefully selecting your contribution to the dialogue, and I’m…well I’m yakking away like that crazy uncle everyone tolerates at Thanksgiving. I’m on my ninth story, mistaking all your quiet for consent when I’m now rather sure you all were saying to yourselves (or maybe even each other) can’t someone rein this gal in? Take her volume and drama down a notch? I’m trying—perhaps too desperately—to pull you into conversations when you all would probably rather have a root canal than make small talk with the likes of me.

Really, I’m starting to think I’m coming off rather badly at these things. I’m missing a gene. Most of the writers I truly admire don’t have this psychotic impulse to go meet new people and make them talk to me. Perhaps I need to start counting to ten before I engage another person in conversation. Or find a support group. Perhaps I am the exception that proves the rule. Perhaps I serve some useful social function, saving introverts from having to create conversation—or…gulp…giving them an oddity they can all talk about like the bad boss that unites an office by giving all the workers a common enemy.

Pipe up! Chime in! The internet is the water cooler of introverts! Tell me what you think of the oddities of extroverted writers…or extraverted readers…or tell me to please hush up and go home….

Allie Pleiter

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