3 In Opinion/ Writing

23 things that are too real for ambitious introverts

While Pottermore may have sorted me into Ravenclaw, a million other personality tests have affirmed I’ve got Slytherin leanings.

I’m ambitious as fuck. Use of swearing here: necessary.

Unfortunately, networking and putting yourself out there is a huge part of any career in writing or marketing.

In honour of my spectacular introversion (and questionable career choices), here are 23 things that are too real for ambitious introverts.

1. Prefacing every great idea with “this is probably terrible but…”

I could have cured cancer and I’d still open with “this is probably terrible but.” And I mean a lot of the time ideas are terrible, but 10% are golden and need to be spun and allowed to breathe.

If nothing else, every brainstorming session only ever sparks to life with ideas. Terrible or not.

2. Learning to separate self from critique



*grumble grumble*

This isn’t really an introvert problem, but I’m including it because everyone needs to learn to take criticism as an art separate to self. Shut up, listen, and learn. (But only if it’s constructive.)there there gif

3. Being nauseated by presentations

The actual and literal devil.

See, there’s this misconception about introverts that we’re all shy and retiring. Once I get past the awkward stage, I’m very loud.

I do not have an indoor voice. Like, if I needed to whisper a secret plan to save my life, I’d be dead.

Introversion is simpler than shyness: it’s getting your energy from solitude. Extroverts can be quiet. They can suck at presentations.

It’s not the sucking.

It’s the energy required to do a thing. And standing in front of 100 people to talk? Heart stopping.

4. Being skipped over for someone who can network convincingly

*Sometimes* bosses/HR/whoever equate loudness with knowledge.

Pipe up, friends, pipe up!

5. Or for someone who lies well

The ability to talk shite while networking and promoting yourself? Gold dust.

You’d be surprised how far bullshit will bring you in this life.

I've got jokes, yeah.

I’ve got jokes, yeah.

6. Not always being heard

You don’t have to be loud to be successful, but you do need to speak to be heard. (With genius bon mots like that, is it any wonder I have no published books?)

But anyway. Do not sit quietly. Clear your throat and get your goddamn idea out there.

Even if you blush and stammer and die of embarrassment, at least you tried.

7. Letting ideas/stories/whatever die because fighting for them isn’t worth it

See number six. Do not let your embarrassment win. Don’t do it, ho.

I think it was John Green who said:

“Writing is something you do alone. Its a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.”


8. Saying ‘no’ to stuff that actually sounds cool

Image via Hyperbole and a Half, the greatest blog there ever was. 

9. Underplaying achievements

You’re accomplished. You know it. But talking about your accomplishments is just so embarrassing.

Like stop, who cares about your Pulitzer?

10. Being drained by big groups of people

Wherein ‘big’ equates to 10. Or more like six, really.

11. Every time your boss wants to talk, you’re convinced you’re being fired

“Do you have a minute?”

“I mean what is the nature of this minute and are you intending to fire me?”

Unless it’s a New York Minute with Mary-Kate and Ashley, in which case, let us commence.

12. Undervaluing your skills

But at the same time, knowing you’re a BAMF.

the creative process funny

This is me, every time.

Introspection and self-awareness are key to improvement, but introspection is also the bed-buddy of self-flagellation.

13. “Any plans for the weekend?”

You could be living Ferris Bueller’s day off, but you’d still say no.

14. Having to periodically hide in the bathroom at social events

Gotta recharge those batteries.

15. Being read as cold because you’re terrible at small talk

How does one do small talk? Why is there no Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Pleasantry?



This was funny in my head?

This was funny in my head?

16. “Let’s go for a coffee.”

Let’s not.

17. “Can you do a presentation on this?”

It’s okay; I don’t need a job or money anyway.

18. “We’re going to a networking event.”

I’m sorry there has been a death in the family.


19. Having to psyche yourself up to answer a work phonecall

Shit shit shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

“Hello…is it me you’re looking for?”

20. Struggling to keep your competitiveness in check

I am so competitive. I low-key gloat when I write tweets that more than three people retweet.

Like, tell me this isn’t genius:

21. Flailing helplessly in your attempts at self-promotion

I am…a person who does things, sometimes.

Yes. That is me.

Pls read my stupid tweets about Louis Walsh and bask in my excellence.

22. Planning an escape route for long gaps in conferences/events




23. Working on it

Sometimes, the only thing stopping you is you. Don’t be the person who never did [whatever] because you were too goddamn scared or drained or exhausted.

Do it anyway. It’ll probably only be embarrassing in your head.


Want more ‘me’ in your life?

I am going to get an awful slagging irl for that line but I don’t know what else to say, except to please share this post if it made your feels tingle – even if it was with mild discomfit.

Follow me on Twitter too, because it’s good for my ego.

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  • Reply
    October 16, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    You’ve literally written by life onto this page.

    • Reply
      October 16, 2016 at 12:50 pm


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