The power of introverts

Word count: 271 words

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help writers. Today, I look at a new book on introverts.

If you’re a writer you might want to take a look at the book Quiet, by Susan Cain. It’s about introversion, not writing. But then, many (perhaps even most) writers are introverts, and I think you’ll find the book interesting.

Subtitled, “The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking,” the book shows how introversion/extroversion is genetically endowed and argues successfully that the “talkers” get a lot more attention — to everyone’s detriment.

At least a third of the world is introverted and some hugely famous people fall into that category including Van Gogh, Chopin and Bill Gates. Introverts like to be alone and they like to cooperate. Introverts   spend a lot of time “in their heads” and come up with new and creative ideas. They innovate. But, typically, they are less rewarded than their louder counterparts.

Cain argues, specifically, that the banking collapse of 2008 wouldn’t have been nearly as disastrous if more people had heeded the warnings of introverts and, generally, that introverts have a great deal to offer the world. We make an enormous mistake by not accommodating and encouraging them, she says.

For writers, the “them” is more likely “us.” If you’re interested in introversion vs. extroversion (which, by the way, is not the same thing as shy versus outgoing) then please take a look at this book. In particular, if you have children, it will likely lead you to see them differently.