Introverts can be incredible writers because they think things through before sharing with others. Here’s how to make this skill work for you.
It’s well-known that introverts — who relish their alone time and prefer to think things through before sharing their thoughts with others — can be incredible writers. In fact, research has found that writing is often easier for introverts than speaking.
What isn’t talked about, however, is how to turn this preference into an asset. After all, someone may not think they’re a “writer,” but most of us have to write in some capacity or another every day, from work memos to text messages to emails. (Yes, texts count!)
Whether you use this skill at work, online, or in your personal life, there are many ways you can start turning writing into your own secret weapon (for good, of course!). Here are five easy ways to do so — and you can start them right now.
5 Ways You’ll Benefit When You Make Writing Your Secret Weapon
1. Writing gives you time to gather and compose your thoughts.
One of the skills many introverts possess is that of observation. We can see beyond the face value of something and determine possible outcomes.
However, one of the skills we struggle with is being able to verbalize these observations, especially on the spot. If your boss asks you what your opinion is on remote work, a new office set up, or how to handle a new project, instead of panicking and stammering something neutral and unhelpful (this is my default if put on the spot), ask if you can take some time to think about it.
Even if it is just an hour or two, your brain will thank you for slowing down and allowing it to work its introvert magic. Tailor your response to the importance of the question (a new project may require a page or two; a new office setting, maybe a paragraph) and use your gift of language to explain your thoughts, reasonings, and conclusions.
Really dig deep (which isn’t hard for most of us “quiet ones”): Have you noticed unintended results of a change that could have a negative impact in the future? Is there a better way to do something that everyone else seems to be overlooking?
Taking a careful look at various options and solutions, then writing out your conclusions, not only shows off your analytical prowess and exemplary writing (make sure to proofread it before hitting send), but it also shows that you are actively invested in the company and its well-being. And no boss can fault you for that, right?
2. It empowers you to handle conflict in a respectful, positive manner.
If you’re like me, just reading the word “conflict” can send shivers down your spine and start your stomach twisting and turning faster than the plot of Gone Girl. And I think many introverts would agree.
Yet learning how to embrace conflict and come out on the other side is pivotal to a happy and healthy life. One of the most difficult aspects of conflict, for me at least, is being able to explain why I feel, think, or act the way I do in the moment. When emotions are high, it can seem far easier (and sometimes more polite) to placate the other person and keep the peace rather than continue to fight.
If you relate to this, you already know that while this can be a useful skill, it can be equally important and healthy to speak your needs or maintain boundaries … and this is where writing comes in.
If the other person or party is ready to discuss what is going on, it may be beneficial to write out exactly what you are feeling — and why. Even if you just write notes for yourself, having everything on paper can give you an extra burst of confidence when discussing the issue, as well as envision how things can be worked out.
3. Reaching out to people can become something enjoyable vs. something you “have to” do.
So many articles online talk about how much introverts hate answering the phone; it makes the cut for things that horrify us the most. While it is true that many of us probably don’t love phone calls — and I can’t remember the last time my phone rang and I didn’t nearly jump through the ceiling — it can give a false impression that we don’t care about people. But this is not true at all!
It’s merely the medium of interaction that most of us don’t care for. Introverts tend to be especially considerate of others’ time, so we gravitate toward “respond when available” methods of communication, such as email and text.
These days, when we’re more isolated and less connected in person than ever before, communication is even more important. Although our more extroverted friends may enjoy phone calls and Zoom meetings, we can let them know that we don’t. While we care about them and want to talk, we will make an extra effort to reach out in our own way, perhaps with handwritten letters.
Since writing is usually a more comfortable medium for us, it lets friends and family know that we care about them, and, honestly, getting mail that isn’t a bill is always exciting. It’s also a great excuse to break out that fancy stationery decorating your desk!
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4. You’ll send more impressive resumes and cover letters.
Let’s be honest, the job market is a bit (OK, a lot) rough right now. The future is extremely uncertain and unpredictable, and finding yourself in the position of looking for a job can be overwhelming.
But despite all of this, don’t forget that you have a great skill that you can show off even before the interview. An impressive and well-crafted resume and cover letter are your first impression with a potential employer, so that time you spend rewriting and perfecting them is well worth it.
And don’t forget to emphasize your soft skills, like emotional and social intelligence. Employers are beginning to value these more, research has found, and, luckily, we introverts usually have these skills in excess.
So not only can you show your skill at writing persuasive and professional content, but you can also show your attention to detail by personalizing your cover letter to each job you apply for.
Thanks to the “Apply Now” option on most major job sites, it’s easier than ever to apply for a job without much effort. And if you take that extra time to craft and send a cover letter, let alone personalize it and speak directly to the company you wish to work for, you are already proving your dedication and work ethic.
5. You can make a career — or hobby, or volunteer opportunity — out of it!
This is really a combination of all of the above. Once you realize writing can be your secret weapon, find a way to use it however you want! The opportunities for a career centered around writing are endless, and I think introverts make the best writers.
And writing comes in all shapes and sizes. You could become a copywriter, start a blog, write a novel, be an editor, or become a ghostwriter, just to name a few. Most, if not all, of these also provide opportunities for remote or freelance work (especially these days), which is also something many introverts thrive with. No in-person meetings, group projects, or networking events? Yes, please.
Already in a career you love, but still want to practice and improve your writing? There are just as many ways to enjoy writing as a hobby as there are careers. Just get creative! You could start a blog for fun, journal, or take up creative writing. You could check with your local animal shelter and see if they could use any volunteers for blogs or personality descriptions of the fur babies. If you have a formal education in English or writing, tutoring opportunities are prevalent, as well.
Writing is a unique medium that seems specifically designed for introverts, as seen by the disproportionately high number of famous authors, including J.K. Rowling, who also experience the struggles of living in a loud world.
Overall, the limits of your writing powers — your very own secret weapon — are set by no one but you. Putting pen to paper, or typing away on a keyboard, can be cathartic and soothing, and it gives us the opportunity to display the intricacies and subtleties of our quiet minds without having to shout above the crowd.