Hello my readers,
Today I have a guest post from author, Valerie Taylor. She is a multi-winning author with her most recent book, What's Not Lost. Welcome to my blog and take it away. ~Michelle, Reading Authors Network
Introvert or Extrovert?
By Valerie Taylor
Multi-award-winning author of the What’s Not trilogy — What’s Not Said, What’s Not True, and
What’s Not Lost
Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality test? Perhaps in high school, college, or through your
employer? If not, it’s possible, though, that you’ve heard about it. The test starts with “an introspective
questionnaire” in which the individual indicates their psychological preferences, how they perceive the
world, and ultimately make decisions.
The output of the test is a four-letter acronym that slots the test-taker into one of 16 personality types
outlined on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® “test table.” You may be—or heard someone referred to
themselves as—an ISTJ or and ENFP, as examples.
I think my first exposure to this test was in college, where I took it several times as required by the course
I was enrolled in. And then throughout my career with various companies, Human Resources thought it
was a great tool to help build teams. And, oh yes, a couple of times when I was in therapy. Um, yes,
therapy. Sorry for TMI! Another acronym, yikes. Too much information?
I have no intention of explaining all of the 16 personality types, or defining each of the letters, except for
two—the “I” and the “E”—which form the first letter of each of the types. Not surprisingly, “I” means
introvert; and “E” means extrovert.
What do you think you are? Introvert or extrovert? Does it matter in your daily life?
For most of my years, I was a writer in some fashion; either in a supporting role where I wrote memos
and articles for my managers, or in a lead marketing and communications capacity where I created my
own original content. All these years I tested mostly as an introvert, but not a flaming introvert. Almost
always, my results vacillated in the center, almost like a scale tipping back and forth before settling on
either characteristic. One time it tilted toward extrovert, but that was a fleeting score. I must have been in
a sociable frame of mind the day I tested and checked off one outgoing indicator too many.
Since I retired in 2016 and moved back from Seattle to Boston and then CT, I’ve taken my writing to
another sphere. I’ve penned and published three dramatic comedies in five years. It is true, as you may
have heard, writing novels is definitely a solitary undertaking, which I enjoy immensely.
Even the production process—working with cover and interior designers, copyeditors, and
proofreaders—is well within my introverted comfort zone. Once published, though, I discovered a
personality change is necessary.
Today, whether traditionally, hybrid, or self-published, an author is expected to not only publicize their
work, but also to market it. Marketing includes digital where introverts like me can hide behind our
keyboards and screens, as well as public events like book signings, fairs, and talks.
How is that possible for a shy person like me?
In all honesty, it isn’t easy. I’ve discovered that as I approach a public gathering I need to take a deep
breath, dig deep inside myself, and find that one bit of extroversion that tipped the scales on the Myers-
Briggs test from years ago.
Smiling helps. So does asking questions such as, “What types of books interest you most? What are you
currently reading? Do you gift books?” Or even a quantitative question, like “How many books do you
read each year?”
Anything to get the people at ay table to talk! Over time I’ve realized I’m better at continuing a
conversation than instigating it. However, once engaged, my inner self relaxes and the beat goes on. In
fact, I quite enjoy being out there with readers.
What I’ve learned in the process is that introverted authors are really extroverts in disguise. No
personality test required.
Please contact me at: www.valerietaylorauthor.com
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