Here’s the thing: I’m a terrible writer.
Wait… let me rephrase that.
I’m a terrible social writer. I have only belonged to one writers group which consisted of exactly four people (three of whom were totally awesome, the fourth one being myself) but I stopped going in September because, lest we forget, I was hugely pregnant all last fall. But also because I rarely had anything I wanted to talk about that related to my writing. I don’t know why, exactly, but I never quite got the hang of interacting properly in my writers group.
(Incidentally, the group fell apart shortly after I stopped coming. I’m sure it had EVERYTHING to do with the fact that I wasn’t there and absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that two of the other three members also got pregnant.)
Other reasons I’m a bad social writer? Well, I don’t blog every day, for one. And before you say it’s totally understandable because of the baby and the job and whatnot, let me just point out that there are lots of working moms who blog every day. Because raising children in your home? TOTALLY counts as work.
I don’t take part in many blogfests. I don’t write long, congratulatory posts about friends who have finished writing a book or signed with an agent or even gotten published. I see their good news on Facebook or Twitter or maybe their own blog, I send them a comment containing the word “WOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,” I make sure they know just how pumped I am for them, and I call it a day.
Other (better) social writers throw BLOG PARTIES for people. I am so not that good.
And then there are the conferences. Oh, the conferences, which I always briefly consider attending but never follow through with. New York, L.A., Miami, Atlanta, even Auburn, Alabama (which is essentially in my backyard): they’re all too far away. I just can’t bring myself to pay the price, get on the plane, start up my car, or whatever. I can’t do it. I know the conferences are awesome and the people are great and I would have so much fun, but… at the end of the day I just can’t convince myself to expend the required effort and cash.
I have a small circle of blogs I check regularly. I don’t do Follow Fridays or Writer Wednesdays on Twitter, and I rarely reply to those who name me in their lists. This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it; I do. So what’s the problem? Why can’t I be more excited for people, interact more with those who choose to give me a shout-out, be more involved in face-to-face writing groups?
I think part of the problem is my personality type. According to the Four Temperaments, I’m a Melancholic. What does this mean? It means this, and I’ve bolded the parts that seem to apply to me the most:
“A person who is a thoughtful ponderer has a melancholic disposition. Often very considerate and rather worried when they cannot be on time for events, melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry and art – and can become occupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world. A melancholic is also often a perfectionist. They are often self-reliant and independent. One negative part of being a melancholic is sometimes they can get so involved in what they are doing that they forget to think of others.”
What about you? Which of the Four Temperaments fits you best? Do you think it affects your relationship to other writers specifically? Do you see the traits of your temperament in your writing?