Normally, I’m a somewhat of an eloquent speaker, if I do say so myself. That is unless I’m deep into my writing. If I’m fortunate enough to be be fully immersed in writing, I do that writer thing we do. The one where we stare into space while running through the dialogue. Every scenario that runs through our head has to be processed through multiple character’s story lines, acted out and imagined before us. It’s almost as if we’re speaking to them ourselves in real time.
After a nice long week of this, the weekend rolls around and I inevitably attend a function where I find myself not as sharp as I normally am when speaking. My thoughts are well formed but slower to be spoken. It just seems as if this practice of living in my head and speaking to my characters has not prepared me for a life without telepathy. I’m slow to speak and I sound like I have a measured wisdom. What the Heck?
Also, the long hours in front of the computer screen have made my eyes adverse to focusing on eye contact. Ack! No. I’m not shy. My eyes are just used to looking no more than 2 feet ahead of me and I have become a little out of practice.
So, rather than wait for my two drinks to kick in at parties, I’m trying to plan the following 5 tasks on the daily..
5 ways to Avoid Introverted writer’s Head:
- Go for a 30 minute walk or go to the gym. Your body and eyes will have to adjust to moving on the fly and saying “hello” to passersby. This will keep you agile, energetic and social. Plus, the increased blood flow to your brain is bound to help your writing.
- Make sure you have at least a small errand daily. Going to the post office, the cleaners or running to get groceries, again forces you to say “hello.” You could also combine this as part of your walk. If you don’t have an errand, there’s always the drive through to get your iced tea, coffee or lunch. You can make eye contact with a human and this is a great chance to use your voice. “You have a nice day too!” No one suspects the selfish reasons.
- Don’t stare at your device or computer while you speak to others. I do this at times and don’t even notice because I am so engrossed in what I’m doing. Looking up more frequently will reduce your eyestrain. This one is a win win. Good for your eyes as well as your relationships.
- Try to eat dinner or at least one meal with others. Use your voice and not your devices. Don’t forget the eye contact for reasons already mentioned. If no one is home, maybe you could just tease your dog with your food.
- Make 1 or 2 phone calls that only take a few minutes. Not your best friend. Make calls that won’t take long, like dentist appointments. This isn’t as good as face to face contact but you will exercise your voice and get a little socialization This is a good compromise when you just can’t bear to leave the house.
If you don’t have time to implement these, I guess you could just go for the tortured writer approach and pass the vodka.
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