Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Loner? Or Butterfly?

I'll admit it. I'm one of those people who bow the gods of peer pressure. Like when my friends Jennifer and Tracie said I should join the gymnastics team with them in 4th grade, I signed up even though I SO CLEARLY had no real ability. And by that I mean not only am I, ahem, rather uncoordinated, I'm also terrified of falling. (Psst...you fall a LOT in gymnastics. Hello broken arm, wrist, dislocated shoulder. Fun.)

Sometimes, though, it's worked to my advantage. My roommate in college was thankfully quite the grind, so I learned quickly how much more time I put into studying when everyone around me was doing the same thing. Yes, I was one of those weird late-night library people, toiling away at the shared tables and occasionally stealing peeks at the male versions of my species.

Now that I'm a (semi) responsible adult, one might think I'd be beyond all that and could motivate myself without anyone kicking my butt. Sometimes I can, but more often than not I sit down to bang out a chapter and it goes more like this:

type type type type hmmm, this passage reminds me of Kathy. I wonder what she's up to? type type type type Is that my BlackBerry going off? I wonder if it's important? (Hint: it won't be.) type type type Maybe I should check that type type type type type Is the mail here yet? type type Better go check.
While I'm up, I'll check the BlackBerry. And Facebook. And Twitter. Hey, any new comments on the blog? What's up on AW?

Get my drift?

I'm really not meant to be a loner. I can deal with it, having been raised an only child, but I'm a social animal. Hence all the social network checking.

Luckily for me, I've recently been getting together with a writing partner. Add one other person typing away in a room and viola! I want to do it, too! Productivity! This also works well when I go to Paragraph.

How about you? Are you a loner, or do you need a push from a friend?


Allie said...

I think I can best be described as a social loner. I require a lot of alone time, and then well-timed human contact. I love being around people when I am, but the idea of trying to write with another person typing - oh, I'd go nuts! I like to be in control of my workspace when I'm working. I think it's so cool that everyone has different ways of working and it's great when you get to a point where you really know how you work best and just go with it.

DL Hammons said...

LONER! Didn't even have to think about that one. I can churn out the work if I'm left alone. Of course it makes going with the wife to parties torturous though.

Robin said...

There was a time when I would have said, "I must have people." Now I am not so sure. In terms of my writing, I really think I do better by myself. However, I have never tried writing with someone else as a team. I do admit to needing a kick in the butt for lots of other things. I don't think that was a conclusive answer. It did get me to thinking about the question....

WendyCinNYC said...

Allie--I do require alone time too, but I can't say it's as productive as it should be. It's funny, I used to think the sound of another person typing would make me crazy as well, but it just serves me as a kick in the pants.

DL--I wish I could have your self-discipline!

Robin--I think if the other team member goofs off, then forget about it! I'll chat all day. The trick for me is to find someone serious, but also nice to be around.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

I'm totally social. I have a brother & sister but they never lived with me (step) so I was essentially raised an only child. I'm also good at amusing myself but I NEED interaction with others.

I work well with deadlines and fortunately self-imposed deadlines usually work prety well with me.

オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Captain and Crew said...

I was just having a conversation with the Captain over dinner, saying, "Our society is dumbing everyone down by writing at a 3rd grade reading level and speeding everything up so that everyone is multitasking, thereby systemically shortening everyone's attention span one generation at a time!" He said he partly agrees, said, "The current generation of kids can do 8 things at once. Our parents could only do one thing at a time."

For me, leave me alone and I'll write like a banshee! But I do enjoy collective writing energy. I've always wanted to go writing on one of those spiritual retreats where you can hole up and the monk will bring you food in a little hole in the door.

Purple Cow said...

Depends on what we're talking about. When it comes to housework I take a coffee/telephone/blog break every five minutes. When it comes to work deadlines I put my nose down and just DO IT regardless of phones ringing, children screaming, food burning...

Peer pressure is something I have been known to succumb to (especially when flattery is involved).

But I also find that weather has an affect on me. I think I'd be more productive in Norway.

What does this make me? Loner, butterfly or just your run-of-the-mill PURPLE COW?

Emeila said...

I love being around people and taking on challenges, especially writing my blog. Although I do love to veg out on the couch watching my favorite shows.

Have a great day!!

Unknown said...

writing itself can be a reason to socialize as there is nothing more scary than the blank page. Which leads to many a distraction. It took my a long while to write my book we had an on and off relationship but finally i did it. Now its somewhere in the house collecting dust.

I can go either way...but most of the time I like being alone so I can actually hear myself think.

twoton3dska said...

It depends for me. I would say it's about 50/50, again, depending on what the circumstances are at that particular moment in time.

I'll end up getting more done if one or two, sometimes even three people are doing the same thing that I should be doing, but on the other hand, I'm very social. I love talking, interacting, and being around different people!

Anonymous said...

Enternal Love: Grab hold of the utmost love, gaze upos its eternaty. Passionate images enclose you in a dream. Chosing illusion over reality. Dreams over life. Pleasure over freedom. Your desires take hold where you're sheltered. Only to get a glimps of a healing wish. Leaving unheard echoes behind. Waiting for the miracle that will embrace your soul. You're touched by the unblemished angel. Your ambitious heart is betrayed, lost and wretched. Invisible to the eye,
controling over your mind, Precious memories will stay at ease. Intertwined into a collapsed promise. Only to remember your unconditional detemination. So the fragile body has warmth.


-Real Diary of my life with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders. There's two worlds, ours...then thiers. I'm tired of hiding the dark side.

Roshan said...

I agree with you! This peer pressure is really something people succumb to. I'm kind of that pusher and recently realized how annoying it is sometimes, so trying to avoid doing that since then.