7 Ways for Extroverts to Increase Their Writing Productivity


Writers with extroverted personality traits tend to spend more time with friends and family – especially when compared to introverts! Here are seven tips for increasing writing productivity for extroverts (although writers with introverted personalities are welcome to use these tips, too 🙂 ).

“Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write.” ~ writer and professor Elie Wiesel.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, there are words and articles and books in you that only you can write. The key to succeeding as a freelance writer or book author is to actually writer. So, these tips for being more productive aren’t about changing who you are…they’re about working with your personality so you can be a better, more prolific writer!





Did you know that 82% of writers are introverts? Probably not, because I just made that statistic up 🙂 I may not know the exact breakdown of extroverted versus introverted writers, but I’m 100% certain most writers have introverted personality traits.

Are you an introvert or an extroverted writer? And, how do you know?

7 Tips for Increasing Your Writing Productivity 

“Ask not what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman.

1. Realize how your personality affects your writing

Do you know the difference between extroverted personality traits and introverted personality traits – and how much impact your personality has on your writing? Extroverts may have more difficulty finding time to write because they like to go, go, go! They love being around people, which can make it difficult to write. In contrast, introverts generally like their time alone, which may give them an advantage in terms of productivity. To write more, do a little self-exploration and get a little “touchy-feely.” What personality traits make you a more effective writer…and what traits are holding you back?

If you’re an introvert trapped in an extrovert’s job, read Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone.

2. Decide whether you really want to be a writer

Many people have this romantic vision of being a writer…but not as many are willing to do what it takes to be successful. Not being able to “find the time” to write is essentially deciding you don’t want to be a writer. If you really want to be a writer, your behaviors must match your intentions or writing goals. It’s all about “walking the walk – not just talking the talk.” To increase productivity (and your ability to earn money as a writer or blogger), you need to decide that you’re not just a wannabee…you’re a writer, and writers must spend time writing. That’s the oldest, most boring, most effective rule in the book.





3. Refuse to play until you’ve achieved certain writing goals

Do you love hosting dinner parties, watching football on Sunday afternoons, or singing in the church choir? Make a deal with yourself: play with your words first, then play with your friends later. Set your specific, measurable, achievable writing goals – preferably daily goals – and do not let yourself leave the house until you show up for your writing self. If you don’t reach your goals, you cancel your plans.

4. Develop habits that support your writing goals

Refusing to party until you’ve written X number of words per day or emailed Y number of pitches to editors are examples of habits that support your writing goals. Make it a habit to get up every morning at 5:30 am, or meet with a writing group every second Wednesday. Make it a habit to research possible literary agents on the first Monday of every month, or read a new book about writing every two months. Your habits form your life, and they will help write your first novel or build a successful freelance writing career.

5. Find ways to write while surrounded by people

Extroverts are energized when they’re with people. They Blossom in a crowd; the more, the merrier!

7 Ways for Extroverts to Increase Their Writing ProductivityBut crowds aren’t always conducive to writing, are they? If your extroverted personality traits drive towards loud boisterous places, flow with your urges. For example, take your writing utensils and plant yourself in a busy coffeeshop, the commons area of a university or library, or the food court of a mall. You may not need to actually interact with people to get your socialization fix…just being around crowds may energize you and give you time to write. Two birds with one stone.

6. Use your experiences to fuel your writing

If you simply must attend all the parties, dinners, and events you planned this week, then use those experiences to guide your writing progress. Don’t compartmentalize your life by spending time with people, and then trying to write about things that don’t relate. This is the “write what you know” cliché with a bonus tip: writing what you know can increase your productivity by saving time and energy.

7. Remember how fast time flies

My biggest fear is turning 195 and regretting that I didn’t spend more time planning my career and achieving my writing goals. I’ve got no problem with getting older…I just don’t want to waste my days doing things that get me nowhere! So, to write more, remind yourself daily that your days are numbered. If you don’t write now, you probably won’t be writing later.

Write now, fellow scribes, because it’s later than you think.

Are you a writer who wrestles with your extroverted personality traits? I’d love to hear how you stay productive!




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18 thoughts on “7 Ways for Extroverts to Increase Their Writing Productivity

  • Laurie Post author

    I wonder how many extroverted writers there are! When I go to writing conferences, I hear about all the introverted writers…but I know extroverted authors must exist. Of course, if I Googled “extroverted writers” I’ll probably find a dozen blogs by extroverts 🙂

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  • Kelly Richards

    Thank you for the posts, I am an extrovert who does struggle with wanting to be around people. So, now I know I can enjoy my time at coffee shops and get my writing done too! I also like the idea of the voice recorder. thank you

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments, Melissa and Michelle.

    The beauty about any type of struggle for a writer — whether it’s extroverted personality traits or not having enough money to write full-time — is that it becomes fodder for writing!

    Those struggles can make us better writers, with more interesting things to say…
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..5 Ideas for Earning Money Writing – Tips From Experienced Writers =-.

  • Michelle Salater

    Much appreciated article! As an extroverted writer, I am constantly balancing my social life, with running my business and maintaining my writing. #3 works the best for me–when I know I have something fun to reward myself with later, I’m more motivated to focus and get my writing done. Planning a fun treat to be enjoyed afterwards is like setting my own deadline.

    • Sandi

      As an extrovert, this makes a lot of sense!!
      That’s what it takes to get me extremely motivated especially if it’s worth my attention. It depends on my mood. A good movie, shopping, time out with a beloved friend etc. I’m sure there are many more rewards.
      Beating the timer is a fun challenge for me & doesn’t cost a dime!!

  • Melissa

    This was especially interesting as I am a social butterfly. Like Laurie, I do my best writing in very public places – Airports (and air travel) seem to elicit higher thinking for me. As a newer writer, I like taking a peek into other writers’ tips and tricks to know that I am not alone in my bad habits.

    Thanks Laurie!
    .-= Melissa´s last blog post ..Goodbye BBDO =-.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments — I’m not an extrovert, but I can totally relate. That said, however, I LOVE working at airports and hotel lobbies. The energy of those places gives me such a rush, and I feel very inspired. I can focus like never before in the midst of hubbub…

  • Charlotte Rains Dixon

    Ah, the dilemma of being an extrovert–those who feed my soul and make me want to write also take me away from my writing! I consider it a good problem to have, and do my best to take advantage of every moment alone, using that time to write.
    .-= Charlotte Rains Dixon´s last blog post ..Coming to Consciousness =-.

  • George Angus

    Laurie,

    I love how you put a tip in there for the extroverts to use their experiences as fodder for their writing. Since I am a certified introvert, I’m kinda stuck with the funny thing the hamster did today, or how big the moon was last night, or how even with ocd, I can’t get the books on my book shelf to line up just so.

    George
    .-= George Angus´s last blog post ..Flash Fiction The Good Knight =-.

  • Jake Johnson

    Thank you for posting this! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a blog post that addresses my unique needs as an extrovert 😉 But I’m glad you did.

  • Sarah

    Yes! So much of the writing tips I’ve seem automatically assume that if you’re a writer, you’re a recluse.

    #5 is a must for me. The words flow so much more smoothly when I’m at a crowded coffee shop or Panera.

    Regarding number six, I just told someone the other day (while watching a particularly crazy person sing karaoke), “I often wonder if people know they’re all fodder for my books?”

    Good post. I was glad to see it.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog post ..My Month of Non-Fiction… sort of =-.

  • Lauren

    As an extrovert – and thus less frequent blogger than I’d like – these are great tips. However, I cannot fathom canceling plans (#3) for any reason besides being contagious or in jail. It’s as impossible as expecting an introvert to plan a Superbowl party!
    .-= Lauren´s last blog post ..Questionable edibles in San Francisco =-.

    • Sandi

      For the last 5 years I have hand written to overflowing an extra large storage bin full to over flowing. It was prophesied to me 17 years ago by a Christian, a true prophet evidently, that I would be writing a series of books, which I had completely forgotten. I am now ready to separate the books. It is difficult to stop writing. It’s in my blood. I love writing!
      A wonderful project I so enjoy. Every writer has their own flavor & style. God made you unique.
      Somehow I juggle having my grandkids over, go to church and visit Mom once and a while or having her over. Friends & family I so love. But often I write to my heart’s content here & there throughout the day. I am an extrovert, I love people,
      I enjoy my time alone too.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Diana,

    This is a great tip for increasing productivity! I wish I would’ve thought of it — it’s perfect for extroverts who are on the go. Very practical.

    Thanks,
    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..How to Make Conversation for Introverts – Tips for Small Talk =-.

  • Diana

    Great post. One trick I have used is a microphone/voice recorder. I have spoken my book and written on the go (in the car – in traffic) literally played out the scenes on the recorder so the next morning all I to do is type up the scene. It’s lots of fun.