Thursday, March 15, 2018


by Janice L. Dick  @JaniceDick54


I’m an introvert. I would guess that a large percentage of writers are. At conferences I’ve attended, the emcee will often comment about the buzz of talk among all the introverts, but that is, of course, because of our common interests, and the fact that we are respectful of one another’s reserved nature.

When I was young, I read a Peanuts® cartoon that stuck with me. Charlie Brown said to Linus, “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.” I concurred, not knowing anything about the basic differences between people who love to foster new relationships, and those reluctant to do so. However, there have been times—I call them magic moments—when I’ve met another introvert and we’ve become instant and lasting friends.


I attended my first Write! Canada conference in Guelph, Ontario at the invitation of the planners, to facilitate a fiction workshop. (I felt anything but qualified, but that’s another story.) One of the responsibilities that accompanied the gig was that I agreed to be available at mealtimes to speak with people. I wanted to crawl inside my shell, to put my back to the wall and observe. But I couldn’t. I had to step out of my area of familiarity and pretend I was comfortable speaking with strangers.

At one meal, two women approached me, one being the spokesperson, because the other was too shy to come forward on her own. Barbara (not her real name) and I sat down together and found instant camaraderie that amazed both of us, as well as Barbara's friend, who shook her head in wonder. The two of us chatted away about writing and life and stories until lunchtime was over, and we hadn’t thought to eat. That’s also rare for me. Although I’ve since lost touch with Barbara, our instant relationship will always remain in my memory as a true heart-connection.


Just last week, we visited our daughter and family in Alberta. Since their son’s teacher knows I write, she asked if I’d come read to them and speak a bit about writing on Read Aloud Day. I was thrilled…until a few days before the event, when I had second thoughts. Silly fears jumped into my mind, questions like, why on earth did I agree to this? But I followed through and the event was lovely. The students were enthralled by the reading (excerpts from the beginning chapters of The Secret World of Og by Pierre Berton), they participated in the discussion session, and they helped create a simple “Story Quilt.” The pièce de résistance was the gift of a story written just for me—Goldie Goes to the Vet—by Daniel G., one of the grade three students.

As much as I love my quiet times alone, these magic moments are rare gems to store away in my memory, to remind me that I can do things that are uncomfortable, that introversion should not be allowed to control my life, and that opening up to people can be rewarding, no matter what our life work is.


Janice L. Dick is an award-winning author who writes from her rural home in Saskatchewan, Canada. She writes contemporary and historical fiction, blogs, book reviews, and inspirational articles. In September 2016, Janice became the first recipient of the prestigious Janette Oke award, presented by the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.
 In 2016 Janice established her indie imprint: Tansy & Thistle Press: faith, fiction, forum, and has since released two more historical novels. Find out more at her website.


  1. I hear you!

    I'm (yet) another writer introvert. When I go to writing conferences, I always tell the shy-looking first-timers that most of us are introverts, even if we (I) don't look like it. It's just I psych myself up to be sociable and get no sleep for the duration of the conference, knowing I can them come home and be my introverted self until the next conference.

    Hey, it works for me. And like you, I've made great connections and great friends at conferences.

  2. Oh, yes, Janice. Introvert here--and I love it. Being an extrovert would be so exhausting! But I do love Writer's Conferences, then I become a butterfly.

  3. I am a musican. At a gig I go so deeply inward and give off so much energy and passion people assume I am an extrovert. I just shut off and pack up. People seem let down. I am working on faking it.

  4. *when done, I shut off.....