When an Introverted Writer Needs Company

HappyGirl 005     HappyGirl 003     SleepingAuthor

I’m an introvert.

No, I’m not overly shy, especially when you put a guitar in my hands and put me in front of an audience.

I’m the kind of introvert who draws his energy from being alone or with a VERY small group of friends and gets extremely worn out just from being around more people than that. Especially for more than a couple of minutes at a time.

Computer programming was my perfect job for a number of years, because I worked in the solitude of my cubicle, coming out only for meetings and food.

That was then, but this is now.

I’m a published novelist. Once again I have the perfect job. Not only do I get to exercise my creativity and language skills, I get to stay home to do it. If I decide not to shave or shower one day, so what? My wife doesn’t object, and I have almost complete control over the number of people I’ll run into that day.

Most days start out at the Sonic fast food place that’s about a quarter mile from home. Brittney, Keyes, and Cassie (names misspelled to protect the innocent) know me so well I just say, “I’ll take my regular, please,” and one of them has my large diet cherry limeade ready by the time I get to the window.

I feel like I have a real relationship with those folks, even though I don’t actually know them. They seem to like me, though. If my wife finds three cherries at the bottom of my cup rather than the single cherry regular customers get, she knows Cassie waited on me. If there are five or six, it was Brittney.

All too often, my visit to Sonic is the extent of my week-day human contact except with my wife, who—unfortunately—still has to spend seven-and-a-half hours a day at work; at least she comes home for lunch. Wednesdays offer a break because I play guitar at my church’s nursing home ministry—that takes most of the morning—and participate in a Wednesday night Bible study. Occasionally, I run errands that take me elsewhere.

An extrovert—that’s someone who’s energized by being around people—would go crazy trying to live my life. Just as I would go crazy trying to live his.

But do I feel the need for company sometimes? Absolutely.

So what do I do? Call people or talk to them via Skpe?

Nope. My best company during the day is a white cat named Ashes (he had grey specks on his head as a kitten) and a miniature dachshund named Happy.

Although they entertain me at times, the best thing they do is to settle down near me while I’m writing. Ashes occasionally lies on the top of the section of sofa I’m sitting on—something that gives Happy fits because she wants to play with him.

But Happy provides the best non-human company of all. More often than not, she lies down beside me and rests her head on my Toshiba netbook.

Regardless of the keystrokes I have to undo because her chin touched a key, I’d be hard pressed to ask for a more dedicated companion. Man’s best friend during the day is definitely four-legged.


Please leave a comment if something in this post has spoken to you. I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to the top right of this page where it says, “Follow Blog via Email.”

By the way, “On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I use “As I Come Singing” to post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. Check here to see the list.

Because I’ve used up all of my songs, I revise and repost a previous post each Wednesday. If you’re interested, please check that blog out here.

Best regards,

2 thoughts on “When an Introverted Writer Needs Company

  1. Interesting take on introvert… I do not have my OED of English etymology handy but I think the two words INTRO (inside) and VERT (to see) fit most intelectuals as well as musicians.. Wait, I’ll go fetch my favorite dictionary… And I see I am wrong: The definition given is: ”turn the mind upon itself”. I was assuming the the VERT part of the word had something to do with the Spanish word VER (to see), but no! It dervices from the Latin VERTERE, which in Spanish is VOLTEAR (to turn)..slip ups like that are so easy…. So basically the word means to turn the eye inward on itself… in no time you’ll end up a philosopher…


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