Indie Life: Into the Wilderness!!

Welcome to Indie Life! This is a chance for indie authors to post about being an independent author, find each other, offer support, encouragement, news, helpful hints. We’re posting the second Wednesday of every month. To join us, go here.

I have an admission to make. I’m not the most social of people. I know many other writers are in the same boat; a certain amount of introversion is in the job description. Yet our world is constantly moving, beeping, churning around us.

In addition to forms of social interaction faced by previous generations, we’re now inundated with constant updates and inane chatter. And being an independent author, or author entrepreneur as some call it, can add to the pressure to appear extroverted and join in the online social heyday at every opportunity. I constantly get the message that retreating to my own mind, the source of my creativity and joy without which I would never be able to write books, is the wrong way to go.

It can be really hard to strike the balance between a social presence — on the web and in the world — and getting the time you need to unplug. I’ve been trying to find the line for several months now, feeling on the edge of burnout, but still pushing myself. I’m the type who will keep on chugging long after I should rest and recharge, because I can see the goals I want to accomplish stacked up ahead of me. That focus on production doesn’t prevent my mental and emotional state from eventually going awry if I don’t also choose to nurture myself.

Eventually, I feel like running away, straight into the wilderness!! I have lots of wilderness to choose from (good ol’ Oregon), starting about twenty minutes from my door. I could be out there, on my own, for months without seeing a soul…Wait. No. I couldn’t do that. I have no survival skills.

Still, my fantasies take me that direction rather often. And that means I should go there. At least figuratively. I need to allow time to recharge, and it’s funny how hard it is to force myself to take the time. Silly, eh?

How about you? Do you know when it’s time to unplug, or do you have to force yourself to make time for you? And do you consider yourself an introvert, or an extrovert?

This post is partly inspired by a TED talk I love, featuring Susan Cain. It’s titled The Power of Introverts. Take a few minutes to watch it if this post has resonated with you.

A quote from Susan Cain:
“Solitude matters. For some people, it is the air that they breathe. In fact, we’ve known for centuries about the transcendent power of solitude. It’s only recently that we’ve begun to forget it. If you look at world religions, you will find seekers  — Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad — that go off, by themselves, into the wilderness where they have revelations that they bring back to the community….No wilderness, no revelations.

Thanks for listening, fellow indies. Let me know what you think in the comments, and remember, this is a blog hop! On to the next author!

About J.R. Pearse Nelson

J.R. Pearse Nelson is a native Oregonian, residing in the beautiful Portland area. She lives with her husband, two small daughters and the family dog. J.R. is always searching for the magic in our world. She weaves tales rooted in mythology, bringing legend to life in modern-day and fantasy settings. J.R. is the author of the Children of the Sidhe paranormal romance series, the Foulweather Twins fantasy series, and the Water Rites fantasy series. You can connect with J.R. online at her website. Visit

13 comments on “Indie Life: Into the Wilderness!!

  1. It is hard sometimes to know when to stop because you do want to reach those goals. Sometimes, something happens and forces it, at least for me.

    Yay for Oregon! My homestate.

  2. This is really on point with me. I was thinking the other day just how uncomfortable it is to be an indie author and push myself out of my comfort zone repeatedly. I would gladly run off to the wilderness as well except I’m lacking in the same survival skills. Sometimes I do venture out for a day though and enjoying the reprieve.

  3. I’m such a strange creature…so extroverted on the outside without showing the true introvert on the inside. People that know me from work, church, etc., would swear I was an extrovert. But when I’m in a crowd too long, I start wanting some alone time. I get TIRED. I’m good at pretending to be an extrovert. LOL. As I’ve gotten older and more into writing, I’ve become MORE introverted. I love being around friends, but not too many at a time. It’s really hard to explain. And I’m doing a poor job of it. I’m just ME, I guess.

  4. I wish her book was as good as the talk she gives, but, after the first section, she spends most of her time talking about how to get over the fear of public speaking. I wanted an actual book about introversion, not a self-help about a topic I don’t need help with.

  5. I’m somewhere down the middle. I’m definitely an introvert, but being social online doesn’t seem to bother me. Probably because I can observe from the ‘outside’, then participate or not as I feel up to it. I do have breaks sometimes, though usually not for long. Dealing with actual people in person, not going to happen for me!

  6. I’ve no idea why, but that video inspired tears? I’m an emotional fool, I tell you! 🙂 *Sniff. It was wonderful to hear and marvellously brave of her to do.

    I am pretty much exactly how Lauralynn explains. Many people would say I’m extrovert, but I know I’m an introvert – I’m happiest alone or with my husband and dog. Add other’s to the mix and I become quickly exhausted. I’ve become more introvert (or that side has refused to hide) since I got married and started writing taking my writing seriously. Also, I think because I’m no longer in social situations much, I have lost the ability to pretend.

    I don’t even like phone conversations, yet I spent a spell as a telephonist years ago?

    Great post. Here’s to the introverts! *whisper: ‘Hip,hip,hurrah!’ 😀

    Shah X

    • It’s probably realizing that you’re not a weirdo and other people feel the same way. I had a similar feeling the first time I watched. I agree about getting exhausted while pretending to be an extrovert. It’s good to challenge ourselves, but let’s not go nuts. We can be who we are for Pete sake. (Who’s Pete?)

  7. I try to unplug when I’m at home. Then again, it’s fairly easy to do when the internet is pretty crappy. I’ll check emails but not respond to them, and I have a hard time getting on Twitter/Facebook from the home internet, so I guess it makes me unplug whether I want to or not.

    I’m such an introvert, though, and I rarely go out beyond to work and to my local writer’s group meetings.

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