My First Draft Sucks :( (No this not a working title)

First drafts aren’t supposed to be gold. They are messy and that is a good thing. You have to write a lot in order to write well. This means many messy drafts and a lot of revision before you get something even close to decent. Everyone else has to go through it too. Find other writers and commiserate with them and share encouragements. 

I just completed a full draft of my short story!

I felt really good about completing it and I knew there were issues with it but I completed 90% of the story in two days. That was quite an achievement for me. So, I decided to send it to my Alpha reader. Last night her responses began to roll in. I made the mistake of reading them. She had read and commented on half of the story and has not gotten to the rest of it yet. (so I don’t know if she thinks it is at all good or not)

Don’t stunt your creativity with criticism, learn from it instead

I did exactly what you shouldn’t do. I should have left the story alone for a few more days. Instead, I stopped myself from working on my next story. I had an idea that was pressing on my mind and not letting me sleep and instead of writing it, I looked at comments that only served to discourage me and tell me that my draft was bad. 

In reality, the storyline is good, the plot is interesting, and the theme is compelling to my target audience. Where it lacks is in the literary elements,  sophistication of prose and character development. Most importantly, I told it too much as a description rather than intertwining character, plot, and scene to create a brilliant tapestry rather than three different colored rags.

How to get yourself out of a Slump

I would be lying if I said I did not have a slump yesterday and this morning when I got up to write at 6 am. However, the best way to push yourself out of a writing slump is by brainstorming or writing something. Last night I wrote an 800-word outline for a romance novel. This morning I tried to write my first chapter and I wrote 120 words and it felt flat like a generic Romance. In my mind, it seemed wonderful and fresh. As I wrote the outline I was excited about the characters. But my inciting incident has elicited no emotion from myself and definitely wouldn’t touch the reader. So, I opened up a new document, grabbed an idea from my working idea page and started to write ideas based upon it. This story may never happen but it gets me writing something. I have a writer’s block document where I write scenes for the same reason. It doesn’t matter how you do it but writing can be a quick reset for your creativity and mental state. 

Get an Alpha reader that is Strong in things you are weak on

My Alpha reader is a very literary focused reader. She reads a lot of the “great books.” These include ancient texts as well as books like East of Eden, Pride, and Prejudice, and Shakespeare. She reads broadly and has good taste in all things literary. I focus more on Science Fiction and Fantasy (although I do read many of the great books as well). This is why she is such an asset and helpful friend to send my stories to. 

She can point out the flaws in my fantasy stories from a literary point of view. This is such a benefit because it makes my stories rounded out and clean. She tells me when my stories are juvenile and where my sentence structure is too similar for the good of the flow. A word she loves to use for my stories is “chunky.” She is wonderful at seeing things that I cannot. Get yourself a brutally honest Alpha reader but make sure that you are up to being challenged. 

Don’t think about perfection when you draft or you will never get started

Finish a piece! If this means writing a short story when you consider yourself a novelist, such as me, do it. Finishing a piece will give you confidence to work on your longer pieces and invest time in yourself and your writing (remember not to dwell on comments from your readers or don’t send your short story out right away). There are other benefits to writing short stories. You can publish them in literary magazines and then use those publications in your query letters for novels. There is no right way to write. Everyone gets there by a different path. Keep drafting, keep writing, and finish the dang project. You will get there! It will probably be messy. You will need to revise and rewrite, but at least you will be able to edit it once it is on the page. Part of the reason why first drafts are not always the cleanest is the fact that you have to force yourself to write at times and this makes the dialogue simple and the characters flat. THAT IS WHAT EDITING IS FOR. You aren’t etching your story in stone. You are most likely typing it on the computer which means it is easy to revise without having to rewrite. Write it out and then write it again but better. 

Have you ever been discouraged by a critique that you asked for? How do you get yourself out of a slump? What things do you need to look for in a reader to shore up your flaws? How do you feel about drafting?

Stay safe loves!

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Staying Healthy Under Quarantine

I don’t always make the best choices when it comes to food. However, I have been eating healthy under quarantine. So why is my weight going up? 

These questions may be on the minds of many people during this weird time. One of the biggest things about quarantine is that we are more sedentary. Even if you are eating well, you could not be moving enough. 

Mindful eating 

It is easy to snack when you are home and bored for long swaths of time. Mindful eating and being aware of what you are putting in your body are integral to weight loss and weight maintenance. If you feel yourself getting out of control. Keep yourself accountable and record it in a journal either on paper or your phone. You are probably eating more than you think (I know that I am). It is amazing how just writing down what you eat can make you less likely to eat something, or an amount that you shouldn’t

Exercise

Make sure that you are moving. My sister and I have been talking about this a lot. She has a fit watch and she has not been getting much higher than 1,000 steps a day. That is not even a tenth of what she should be getting. There is just too much time sitting on our buts. Normally, I would have to walk back and forth across campus four or five times a day. Now, all I have to do is a roll in and out of bed and flip on my computer (honestly I don’t even really have to leave my bed if I don’t want to). 

So, what do we do to combat this?

Well, when I am done writing this, I am going to go on a run around my neighborhood. Then, after class this evening, I will take my dog on a walk so we both get much-needed exercise. Now, this may not be possible for you because of quarantines and apartments. I am lucky enough to be in a neighborhood where I can run. If you can’t, be sure that you find some good workout videos. I at least try to do a 20-minute stretch video daily. (here is the link to one that I really like by Sydney Cummings. Check it out! 20 minute Stretch Video) There have been many new at-home workout videos posted that target people who don’t have weights because trainers know that you may not have the proper equipment. It is all about keeping moving. 

What is your quarantine workout routine?

Stay active, Stay Healthy, Keep Moving!

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Social Distancing and the Introverted life

It is amazing to me how crazy self-quarantine and social distancing makes people. Our society is being flipped on its head because the world is made for extroverts. When there is a disaster, what do people do? They congregate, they come together, and they definitely don’t isolate themselves. 

The method to stem the spread of this virus is exactly the opposite of what is natural for society. However, introverts (like myself) are reveling in the copious amount of alone time. (I fully intend to spend time writing since I can’t do my real job and maybe by the end of this I’ll have a manuscript. One can dream!)

What does a day look like under quarantine?

I still have classes online. There are certain times when I still have to go online to meet with my classes. This is rather annoying to me. I find myself more likely to fall asleep. I have never fallen asleep during class before. However, the drone of an online class is enough to force anyone to sleep.

I am, also, reading a lot more. All of my books are back together after more than a year of only have a portion of my collection, we now share the same room. I am not sure if this is a benefit or a detriment. They whisper to me. Which is helpful with writing, to a degree, but is detrimental to my sleep. Last night, when I was trying to fall asleep, my mind was whirring and new ideas for my novels kept hitting my brain and I knew I needed to write them time because they would not remain until morning. All that to say, I am trying my best to take this extra time and use it to work on my stories and read books that have been on my TBR list for way too long. 

How am I affected as an introvert?

I thought that I would be completely unaffected, or be better off. However, I have realized that, although I love my alone time, people are a great source of inspiration and ideas. I need to observe the way that humans act and interact, which is difficult under quarantine. I, also, have trouble being stuck at home with two of my rather extroverted siblings. (my little sister, the social butterfly, is not fairing well which is in and of itself an interesting thing to study). 

How to roll with the punches

Every day it seems that there is a new development…or five. It can be a little bit overwhelming. However, for me, I just ignore most of it. We have been told to stay home and my schooling is all online. This means that I am stuck where I am, for the time being. Whenever things get to be too much, I just grab one of my books, curl up, and read. It calms me down and times flies more quickly when I read. Time, as a concept, under quarantine is an odd thing. It feels like there is tons of time but, at the same time, there is no time to do anything. Finding your new normal is the name of the game. Try to build a little structure in your day. I am working my way up to getting up between 4am and 5am so I can write before class and get in a quick workout. 

How to make a positive out of the chaos (I am feeding on the chaos)

Throughout this experience thus far, I have felt an odd sort of energy. My whole life I have felt like I was playing on autopilot. I am a survivalist who found survival too easy. There was no challenge (this may sound bad but I was bored). However, now we have something to struggle against, not as one country but as the world. Unfortunately, it is not something that you can really fight. I thought the “apocalypse” would be more interesting. I thought that I would be able to grab a baseball bat and hit the “beasts” that attacked us. There would be tactics involved. There would be things that I could actually fight. I can’t fight germs other than by staying inside, which feels like doing nothing. So, I am left with chaotic energy and being stuck inside (Side note: I am a true neutral but everyone who I asked about what they thought I was said I am chaotic evil without hesitation. This is interesting because that is how I wish to come off. Comment below if you would like a post dedicated to the 9 alignments). This means I need to channel that chaos into my writing and make it better through the energy. I would suggest finding something that that you find interesting, a creative outlet, and give yourself your own purpose in this “purposeless” downtime. 

What are some goals for this Quasi-break? (it’s not a real break because I have online classes. 

Write, write, write! I have to work on my stories. I am writing random scenes. Coming up with ideas. Cataloging. The other day I went through the 400+ notes on my phone and wrote down all my ideas on a “working ideas” google doc. That page is over seven pages and 3,000 words of just ideas. There is so much that I have going on in my mind that it can be difficult to sit down and actually start writing because I don’t know where to begin. Writing is something so deeply important to me and I am looking at this time as a gift for my writing. When else would I get so much time to just write? Take advantage of this time. 

READING! I have so many books that I have not had the time to read due to the copious amount of reading that I had to do for the honors college in school. Now I have time. The biggest issue is balancing my time between reading and writing. I have a tendency to get wrapped up in one or the other and I do not want to spend all my time reading because I have books to write. 

Other things 🙂 I want to do some art: sketching, painting, and crafts. I like to book bind, so I am working on that craft. Another thing that I want to spend some time on is exercise. It is necessary to keep moving. All of the other things that I mentioned doing were stationary activities and it is necessary to offset that by setting times to exercise and stretch deliberately.

What are you doing during quarantine? Are you reading or watching anything good? What creative outlets are you utilizing?

Stay safe loves!

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Structural Me in an Unstructured Environment with Unstructured People (Introvert In Unknown Territories)

Featured

Traveling to My Friends

I flew back after my trip to Africa to visit some friends. My older sister and I traveled together until we reached London and then the next two flights I was by myself. This was scary but not as terrible as my worries had made it. 

I got bumped up a class because of a bad experience on the previous flight. This was very helpful. However, I still did not get much sleep. This was coupled with a jet lag of eight hours. Needless to say, I showed up at my friend’s house and slept for a while. It took nearly a week to switch back. Jet lag made me wake up at 3 or 4 am and my friends stayed up quite late. So, I ended up losing sleep on both ends. This caused me to take naps around the time when I would have gone to sleep in Africa and not switch back easily. 

Who are my Friends?

I do not enjoy traveling by myself. So, why did I choose to visit these friends? I met them at a camp I have been going to since I was born. This August was the first time that I met all seven of the guys. I became friends with the younger ones and they invited me to visit. Normally, I wouldn’t take them up on it. However, these guys are intriguing and for some reason I really like them. They are all good and decent men who are not always easy to find and I enjoy their company. 

Structure vs No Structure and How it Pushed Me

Now, one thing that drives me crazy is their lack of structure as a group and some individuals. I am a very structured individual. I schedule things well in advance and there is rarely a time when I do not have a plan. This was one of those times. In my month of living outside of my bubble, I knew that I would not be able to plan and schedule my time with my friends. They got with the immediate, they choose what they are going to do at the moment that it is presented to them. This can be very frustrating to me when I am trying to plan. So, in order to deal with this issue I foresaw, I decided not to fight it and try things their way. 

What I learned

One of the big reasons that I need structure is for efficiency. Would I have liked to do more things and see people more? Yes, I actually did. (which is part of the reason I like hanging out with them: they don’t exhaust me like everyone else) I was able to “go with the flow” for a week and do whatever because I had no deadlines or need for efficiency. That is why I was able to live unstructured for a week. 

Group Dynamic and Lack of Structure

When there is a group of unstructured individuals. It can be very difficult to gauge what will happen. I always want to know what to expect. This is something that I struggle with. I tend to put myself in situations where there are fewer variables to contend with so that I am able to know all of the various possible outcomes. 

The guys make decisions like a group of boys do. It takes forever and then it just happens. I was unable to control the situations. So, instead of frustrating myself and trying to get some control, I took the opposite approach. I gave up complete control and became a part of the group. This was odd for me because I have always been the one who goes against the group and hates the hive mentality. The reason that I was able to do this is that I trust and appreciate this group. 

Why Structure?

Structure helps me to succeed and accomplish. I am all about efficiency, even in relationships. It is calming and it helps me to learn and control my environment. I am a driven individual and I can also procrastinate quite a lot. I build structure into my life in order to achieve my, many, lofty goals. Even as a child, I was analytical and liked the structure. If there was a plan and my parents deviated from it. I would get upset because it had already been solidified in my mind. So, with this trip, I planned to be unplanned. Therefore my expectations were still met. This has taught me how to form a workaround to deal with my analytical structured nature when I have to interact in an unstructured environment and people who are “go with the flow.” 

Do you need structure? What does control mean to you? How do you deal with an unstructured environment? How do you relate to efficiency? 

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Introvert in Africa (An Introvert in Unknown Territories)

My sisters and I landed in Zambia. My parents were waiting there for us. After our long trip, I was glad to be away from all the people in the massive airports that I had gone through to get to Livingstone. But, with anything, there are trade-offs. 

My parents, younger sister, and I went to Zambia for three weeks back in 2009. It was much different back then because I was much more outgoing because I did not care what anyone thought and as a child, you can get away with that. Since then, I have spent much more time on my own and I have found that I very much enjoy it. Therefore, I was concerned with the terrible amount of new people that I was going to come across in this journey. 

I had met a few people on the compound ten years ago but a lot changes in ten years. I was excited to see some of the people that I had met back in 2009. When we went on that trip, I spent a lot of time in the garden with the gardener. When I met him again in 2019, he was a lot shorter than I remember but I have grown significantly in the last 10 years. 

I met many missionaries while I was there and some of the medical students (since it is a teaching hospital). As daughters of the head doctor, the other missionaries and Africans wanted to meet all of us. We went to visit so many people that I lost count. I was always tired after these visits but it was well worth it. The fortunate thing was I had plenty of time to read and relax. 

I also spent more time with many family than I had in a long time. I had only spent a week or so with them at a time for the last few years. I spent a while with my mom and my sisters in the house playing games and trying to beat the December heat. That was more on me than meeting all of the other people, except for church. I was around them so much that even when I was reading there was something going on with them. I love my family but it was a lot at times. 

The most uncomfortable part of the whole trip was going to church. This had nothing to do with the service or religion but more to do with people and culture. Zambian culture is very extroverted. Everyone is excited to see everyone else and there is a lot of excitement all the time. They had me and my sisters stand up and introduce ourselves to the church. This. Was. Terrifying. I hated it. But, I got through that part. Then we were leaving the church and everyone started to line up and shake each other’s hands in a line. Everyone shook everyone else’s hand in the whole church. I was supremely uncomfortable. But, I got through it, again. This happened not once but twice because we went to two different churches. I was anxious throughout the whole thing and just wanted to flee.

I had to stay because it would have been supremely disrespectful to leave and I had nowhere to go on my own. As an introvert in an extroverted culture, I was exhausted and terrified for much of the time for my time in Zambia. But, I survived and I learned that even though I may feel exhausted and scared, growing experiences are necessary. I got to visit my family and see the world through a little bit of a different lens for a while. 

I have many more specific stories and stories about our tourist visit to the city. We went on a safari, white water rafting, and to Victoria Falls. If this is something you would be interested in hearing about, let me know in the comments below and I will do an extra post or two outside of my normal schedule. 

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Traveling With My Sisters (An Introvert in Unknown Territories)

“I Read; I Travel; I Become” – Derick Walcott

Most of my traveling starts and ends between the covers and endpaper of my favorite books. However, there are times when it is necessary to move this corporeal body to a different location. And what does this mean? Airports. 

I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to three different continents, eleven countries, and 29 states. These trips have been beneficial as I think about writing and what I now know of the world. So, although I enjoy the comfort of my own how, I see the value of travel and enjoy where I am when I get there.

Leaving New York

My grandparents drove us to the airport early in the morning and dropped us off. We did the normal waiting in lines, getting our tickets and giving our luggage, waiting in lines, going through security, finding our gate, waiting in lines, and then, finally, boarding the giant plain. Once we were on the plane we figured we would be off within the hour. However, this was not to be the case. There was ice on the plane and a false negative in one of the door locks so we sat on the tarmac for two and a half hours before we finally took off for our 14-hour flight. 

I was getting worried at this point because our layover in South Africa was only three hours. We figured we would make up time in the air but it proved not to be enough. We landed in South Africa and as we were waiting to get off the plane we knew that the chances of our getting on the next flight were slimmer and slimmer. Once we had gotten off of the plane we had to get on a bus when we asked the lady in charge and showed her our ticket she told us we should have been on the bus that had just left. So, we got on the next one. When we reached the airport a man with a walky-talky had us run through the whole airport to try to get on the flight. We had almost run through the whole airport when we were told that the flight had left. 

A Night in the South Africa Airport

As you can guess, there was no other flight to Livingstone that day. So, we were stuck in the airport for 24 hours. We got a room in the airport hotel and they gave us meal vouchers. This was helpful because we could get showers and work on switching to African time. We ate at the same restaurant for the next three meals and had to go through security every time we wished to eat. But, the beds were comfortable and the food wasn’t bad. 

Arrival: My Parents Waving Through the Open Gate

The next day we got on our plane. It was a short flight that had been the separation between us and Zambia. We were at the very back of the plane since we had been added late and there were 24 empty seats behind us. This was not a popular flight. 

We landed in Livingstone and went to get our visa. We were at the end of the line. By the time we got to the conveyor belt all of our bags were off the belt and sitting on the floor. We picked up our bags and put them on a trolley. Then we went to the gate and saw our parents waiting there for us. They had seen our plane land and cross the tarmac. It was lovely to see them but I was completely exhausted from all of the travel and the airports. 

Airports and People

I love watching people and observing them but I do not like crowds. It is interesting though, I enjoy airports when I have other people as a buffer. My sisters were there with me and I could get them to do most of the talking because they are extroverts. Until they decided to have me talk to the guy at the desk and ask him a question we had already asked and I knew the answer to. This is where there are conflicts and stress for an introvert such as myself. 

I do, however, enjoy imagining who people are, where they are from, and why they might be in the South African airport. Overall the travel on the way to Zambia was much less “introvert exhausting” than I had worried it would be prior to my travels. This step outside of my comfort zone was well worth it and showed me that all I really need is a travel companion. 

Where Else to Get Material for Stories and Observe People than in the Real World?

I have always found humans intriguing, that is part of why psychology and personality types are so interesting to me. I love to observe how family units interact, how couples argue, and how strangers become friends. I cannot do this within my own head and that is where the real world comes into play. 

As a writer, it is wonderful to take a moment outside of my head and see new sights, smell new smells, taste new food, and meet new people, no matter how exhausting it may be. I use everything I see as material for my stories and people in my life get roles in the theatre of my mind that spills onto the page. 

Where would you like to travel in the world? What world would you go to if you could jump into a novel? What is your favorite place in the world?

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

The First Leg (an Introvert in Unknown Territories)

I have talked about friends before and will continue to talk about it because it is a new field for me. I am not one who keeps many friends. This is not a harsh judgment of the people whom I do not regard as friends but instead a positive review of the few that I choose. This rings true for one of my best friends.

The first four days of my expedition into the unknown of my comfortlessness I drove to see her. Let it be known, I hate driving. Travel, in general, is rough when I must do it on my own (but I think I will save this for a different post). I had done no planning beforehand and I had never been to her apartment. I didn’t know what I was getting into. 

It didn’t turn out bad it actually went well. On top of that, I wasn’t worried about it beforehand like I usually would. I had let it go and it led me not to worry.

My friend worked a lot while I was there, so I spent a lot of time on my own reading, relaxing, and recharging my battery for the craziness that I assumed would be ahead. This time was invaluable because I was coming off of my toughest college semester and going into a time of unknowns. 

What did I learn or relearn at my friends’ house?

I need my time to be alone but some people can give me energy. She is one of the very few people that gives me just enough energy to keep up the conversation with her. It is a net-zero but that is very good for me because net positives don’t exist where people are concerned. 

I found that I don’t need to plan absolutely everything and that even when I don’t plan, I do. I had contingencies plans that were unknown to me but I had still made. This tells me that I am who I am regardless of how “chilled out” I try to be. I am a planner and within that, I am a subconscious planner. My mind plans things out for me and just computes and answer that I don’t have to work on. 

In conclusion, I am always planning and perhaps it would be better on my stress levels to let my subconscious take more of the work. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to let things go and that I didn’t have a few mental breakdowns along the way. That is why I think that I need to let go of some of the planning but maintain the broad control of my life. This could be helpful for you if you are an introverted planner like me.

Is there anyone who gives you a “net-zero” on your energy? How much do you plan your life?

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

My email is evilholmess@gmail.com

My Instagram is @evi.l.holmes 

My Twitter is @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Before the Beginning (An Introvert In Unknown Territories)

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”- Neale Donald Walsh

How did I arrive at this month and a half of living outside my comfort zone and why did I choose to do it? 

I am so glad you asked!

As you know if you have been following the blog, I am an introvert. Shocking, I know, an introverted writer with a blog. So, what makes me different? And how does that affect this series? 

I am an introvert that grew up in a family of five extroverts. They have always pushed me and though, at the time, I did not appreciate the discomfort at the time, I believe I have grown from the experience.

In business, they have stretch goals. These stretch goals should be a part of everyone’s life. Almost every time I have been stretched in my life, the results have been beneficial. As an introvert, it can be difficult to push myself outside of my comfort zone and sometimes to leave my house, so I have to constantly push myself in order to grow outside of my own safe space. 

As I am living on my own and navigating relationships with other people that are not my family, I find myself outside of my comfort zone more and more. I need to put myself in situations where I would need to grow so that I can, not only, get outside of my comfort zone, but instead expand my comfort zone. 

If I ever want to get into a relationship I need to learn to loosen up and get outside of my comfort zone because my future significant other will most definitely be outside of my comfort zone. (There will be more about this throughout the series)

What did I actually decide to do?

Over winter break I took three trips. I started by visiting my friend in Virginia. Then I flew to Africa to visit my parents, with my two sisters. Finally, I flew to Wisconsin to visit some more friends. 

Now, I am a planner. I don’t like surprises and I usually planned for anything and everything to go wrong. This break I did not plan much at all. I knew, generally, where I was going. I knew my flights and where I would be when and that was it. I didn’t know where I would be sleeping. I knew nothing about my friend’s houses. I asked no one what we would do when I was there. I completely let go of control in every situation. 

This was terrifying for a planner like me. However, I have grown through this experience and I cannot wait to share it with you. 

When was a time that you stepped out of your comfort zone? How did it go?

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

My email is evilholmess@gmail.com

My Instagram is @evi.l.holmes 

My Twitter is @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

New Friends…..Oh, No! (An Introvert in Unknown Territories)

Authors note: “This is the first post in a series about introversion and how that is affected by different things. Over the last month and a half, I have intentionally put myself outside of my comfort zone. So, this series will focus on what happened and my experience. I’ll do it so you don’t have to. But I am hoping that my experiences will encourage you to take the first step outside of your comfort zone because that is how you grow.” #outsidemybubble

At the beginning of this school year I, accidentally, made a new friend. He is an extrovert. I grew up with five extroverts, I’ll be fine. With extroverts, it is all about doses. If you can getaway. 

This extrovert is one of the ones that really does know everyone on campus. So, hanging out with him means I started to actually get to know people and even worse they started to know me. I had lost some of my invisible nature. 

I now have a group of “friends” and it is a rather interesting experience. I can honestly say that I have never really been a part of a group. It is exhausting. This past weekend, I spent way too much time with people. I was with people almost 100% of the time that I was awake. 

Now, as an introvert, spending this much time with people (especially groups of them) for any amount of time is taxing. They were interesting but I am paying for the interactions now.

I am normally a morning person (this is a little bit off because of college but I tend to go to sleep by 11 pm). However, I stayed up to 2:30 am on Friday and got up at 1:30 pm on Saturday. This is highly abnormal and I know exactly why I needed the extra sleep. 

I feel like every drop of energy has been drained from my body and all I want to do is sleep for 24 hours and stay away from humans for as long as possible. 

So, are friends worth it? Are groups even an option, for an introvert?

I have found that there are people that do not drain me, they do exist (and I have found some lovely ones). These are the people that I gravitate towards. There are some who I deem “blood-sucking energy vampires.” I try to avoid them at all costs. This semester I made friends with an extrovert like that and I had to push her away because it was too much. 

It is great to have non-draining extroverts but not in groups. Unfortunately, they like to be in groups. Groups are an option but in moderation. You must be aware that you will feel drained after any interaction, and I am sure you are already aware of this. Do not overdo it. Even if you find people that are not super draining, take care of yourself and do not overdo it. You will pay and be completely wiped out like I am right now. It will take weeks for me to be myself again. 

Boundaries are necessary and usually something that I am good at. However, I have been in a mode and mindset of growth. This means I am letting people into my life and although this is a healthy and good thing, it can be draining so awareness is key.

Not every group of people is completely exhausting but the time spent with any group needs to be offset with alone time, or you will sleep for ages. 

Do you feel drained by people? Are there people that you feel like you can talk to forever without feeling drained?

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

My email is evilholmess@gmail.com

My Instagram is @evi.l.holmes 

My Twitter is @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes