Spontaneous conversations make an introverted writer nervous.

(Taken from inevitable conversations of a girl with a laptop, my on-again-off-again blog about conversations people start up with me in Starbucks.) I’ve discovered that conversations make me nervous. Conversations with random people, that is. I’m an introverted writer, after all. When people I don’t know began speaking to me, I’d like to say, “Can I text you instead?” Antisocial? Not quiet. Just reserved. Somehow, that seems to attract talkers.

* * *

Aside from the fact that it took me 5 minutes to find a table this morning, (I stood with my tea in the center of the lobby, letting my eyes slowly scan every person sitting at a table, hoping I’d make them uncomfortable enough to spring up and leave), today’s visit was quite dull. Almost not worth the post. But, as I was sitting in a Starbucks with my laptop and journal and someone did comment, I must make note. Here. And now.

Surprisingly, the comment was geared towards my journal. My squiggly lined, off-kilter, coffee-stained journal. I had a cup of tea to my right and my journal sprawled out on my left. And I was copying notes, from my journal to my laptop. Book notes and such. A man, who was standing in the packed lobby, leaned towards me and said, “Well, that’s interesting writing.” Unfortunately, he wasn’t commenting on my character descriptions or prose; no, he was commenting on my actual writing–my handwriting. It took me a few seconds to realize what he said (no one had ever commented on my hybrid cursive-print writing) before I smiled and said something clumsy like, it changes from day-to-day, and laughed uncomfortably. He didn’t seem phased and eyeing my laptop next asked if I transcribed things from my journal to my computer. I nodded. I do, sometimes, I said. And then said something really intelligent like, I like to put my notes on here.

Why is it that my mouth sometimes can’t keep up with my brain? Or is it the other way around? whatever it is, I have found myself speaking gibberish to complete strangers for no reason at all. He didn’t continue the conversation any further than that. Simply smiled and went back to waiting for his drink. And that didn’t bother me. After all, I ended the conversation with my inability to string words together. No, what bothered me was that I could have sounded interesting. I could have said something like I’m writing my entire first draft in a journal this time before copying it onto the computer. I could have said something like this is new and different for me. Instead I said, uhhhhhhhhh.

I wanted a second chance. Though, knowing myself (and I know myself pretty well), a second chance would have done nothing but lead to more gibberish. It was best he cut it short. In fact, thank you small-conversation-man. For sparing me from excessive dribble. I owe you a handwritten thank-you note.

type of conversation: disappointing. with myself.


3 thoughts on “Spontaneous conversations make an introverted writer nervous.

  1. I understand this!

    I’m not bad with light chatter. For me it’s the serious stuff that I prefer to write to people about. I prefer time to get my thoughts straight and put it all out in the best possible way. I don’t like face-to-face.

    The weird thing is, I’m more comfortable with complete strangers than I am meeting someone I know via emails but haven’t actually met yet.

    I’m guessing that, for me, complete strangers are okay because I’m in camouflage as just one of the crowd (if that makes sense). I’m not opening my soul up to them or being interesting. In public, I prefer to be invisible.

    What is it with us writers?! LOL. :)

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