Binge-writing has become the unfortunate norm for me. I have periods of immense productivity–writing and editing up to ten blog posts in one evening. Thankfully, I can schedule them and not assault you with ten posts in one night. And this is a good thing, since it could be another two or three months before I feel like writing again. I’ve often wondered what drives this binge-writing.
One factor that I’ve considered a lot lately is my introversion. In her fantastic book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain relates research that suggests a person’s quality of introversion or extroversion is directly realted to a person’s sensitivity to stimuli. Specifically, introverts are highly-reactive to stimuli, and therefore require less of it in order to be satisfied. Extroverts, on the other hand, are low-reactive to stimuli, and therefore require more of it.
Perhaps, then, my binge-writing is brought on by my reaction to stimuli. I’m not a big fan of much social media (I do it because I have to), and I can only stand so much blog-reading before I become agitated and cross-eyed from too many opinions. There are just too many things to potentially write about that I can’t narrow it down; too many other opinions to take into consideration; and then there are too many bloggers out there with pieces on things I consider to be almost useless that I no longer consider my own thoughts worth sharing.
Couple this high sensitivity (read: propensity to become easily overloaded with information) with a lack of writing discipline (no matter how much I say I want to write, I still have yet to cultivate a sincere daily or even weekly practice), and there you have it: I have the desire to write more often but feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of other factors.
So when do I get any fair amount of writing done?
Usually, my highly-productive times of writing are when I am otherwise detained from my usual activities. I’m home sick (this very blog post is a product of illness induced, home-bound isolation), or my evening plans were cancelled; my boyfriend is out of the house for the evening, or he’s working on a solitary project in the other rooms of the house. Occasionally, I am able to write here on Sunday afternoons… but lately this time has been taken up by letter-writing, sewing, or meals with family.
I am left with my own age-old quandary: to find the will and determination to form a writing habit. I have just enough of an extrovert in me to flit around from task to task without settling down to one in particular for long periods of time, and just enough of an introvert to become easily over-stimulated by the swirling world around me.
What about you? Are you introverted or extroverted? Are you excited or overwhelmed by loads of opinions and information? Does this personality trait have any effect on your writing, or your ability to cultivate habits?