Thursday, April 14, 2016

Providence or Luck? Setting Yourself Up for Success With His Help... and Yours

I was reading Reader's Digest the other day, and an article on luck caught my eye... The article was credited to Kate Rockwood from

It made a whole lot of sense to me, no matter how old you are or what your profession is, but I totally paired it with the "Road Less Traveled" aka: Becoming a Writer.

If you Google "finding your own luck", pages flood your laptop. There are all kinds of articles and books out there geared to helping you get lucky...

Wait, not THAT kind of advice!!! The other kind. You goofs.

But as Kate's well-thought article points out, our luck is often influenced by our daily decisions, how we put ourselves "out there".

How do you find a mate/husband/wife/friend if you never step out of your comfort zone? And if your comfort zone is narrow, by virtue of a Venn Diagram, you're toast! In order to intersect with potential, we have to widen our parameters to give the Venn diagram a fighting chance, right?

See those thin ovals in the middle, and that teeny-tiny wedge, dead-center?

That's your potential by using self-limiting behaviors.

Are you scoffing or recognizing something familiar? (rhetorical question, you are not required to answer...)  :)

In Kate's article, she cited a woman who moved to a big city and joined a group right off... and found a husband.

What if the new arrival had clung to her own little pad in her own little neighborhood, twenty feet from her "L" stop?

Self-limiting behaviors are common to introverts AND extroverts. Sound surprising? It shouldn't because a lot of extroverts self-limit by being overly decisive. (I didn't want to say "know-it-all") That decisiveness can lead them (us!) to being less open to others' opinions, circumstances, options.

How does this affect us?

The very nature of limiting ourselves has a direct affect on our chances for success, joy, experience, and yes, even faith.

Christ set the best example of stepping outside the box, breaking rules (the ones that needed to be broken) and expanding his perimeters to be inclusive.

But then, He's GOD, so maybe it was easier for him.

Or maybe... just maybe... it's a bad habit we can break if we focus on it.

Like any habit, change doesn't occur in a day. Nor a week. A month?

That should start to show some level of difference.

But how do we change these behaviors to open up ourselves and our chances for success or good fortune?


Be quiet sometimes.
Don't shout.
Smile and nod, it is not necessary to engage every single person in debate.
Pray more.
Talk less.
Work harder (which should be easier if you are, indeed, talking less)
Use the Mother Teresa approach: "Peace begins with a smile".
Brag less.
Encourage more.

And now for you introverts!

(Yes, yes, I know exactly which group I'm in and I'm looking at my list and taking my own advice!!!)


Drive farther. If the store is close to home, drive on by and go to the next one.
Offer an opinion instead of stewing.
Listen more (even introverts need to be open to others' opinions).
Smile and nod, it is not necessary to engage every single person in debate.
Pray more.
Get out of the house on purpose. Push yourself.
Jump at opportunity. Not everything is ideal, but to achieve the ideal, sometimes we must eat the frog. You never know when small opportunities lead to great discoveries (a kite, a string and a key electrified a world)
Comfort zones aren't really comfortable. They're restrictive. Consider them prisons and act accordingly. Bust out.
Also employ the Mother Teresa rule: "Peace begins with a smile".
Encourage more.

Generally we think of extroverts as having an edge, and physically, they might. They're more willing to expand their limits, but they may behave in a manner which becomes self-limiting...

Which means they level the playing field (especially in a competitive business like this) for introverts!

But then the introvert needs to bust out. Break loose. Jump free. (How many of these do I have to put here before I can stop???? Am I done????)

Writers are small business owners. As such, we need to be our own boss and our own best employee. When we fall down, it is useless to blame others... we dust off our knees, climb "Back in the Saddle" (shameless plug, quite intentional!)... and we move forward.

Now tell me,  do you consider yourself an introvert? Or an extrovert? And what can you do to turn that to your advantage?

I've got THREE COPIES of "Toss the Bouquet" to give away today, so stop into the coffee room, grab a seat, and we'll chat about.....

"How to Fix Ourselves and Our Business in One Easy Ruthy Lesson: By Making Our Own Luck..."

With God's help.

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne has more than 3/4 million books in print, and still wakes up pinching herself each day to see if it's real. A mother and grandmother, she lives on a little farm in upstate New York where she successfully bosses all sorts of kids and animals around. When not bossing people around or shoveling snow, she writes sweet books with unforgettable characters that folks love to keep... and that makes Ruthy very happy! You can find her here in Seekerville with her writing buds, on facebook/Ruth Logan Herne, on Twitter @Ruthloganherne and at her website Ruth Logan or as the Thursday barista at our sister blog "Yankee Belle Cafe".

She loves God, her family, dogs, chocolate, gardens and coffee.... and she bakes a mean cookie like this one here at Yankee Belle Cafe! 


Trixi said...

I consider myself more of an introvert. I'm much more comfortable at home as opposed to going out, even to the grocery store. I'm not comfortable around a crowd of people who I don't know & "peopling" wears me out....literally! But my husband is the opposite. So over the years I've learned to be more open to his "spontaneity". And realize that he wants to spend time with me outside the house. I've learned to say yes more often to doing things that weren't planned...and you know what, I've even had fun doing it :-) However, he does understand my need to have "me" time & knows my limits, so he's very gracious to give me that time.
What's the advantage to being an introvert for me? I can listen to someone without interruption, I can empathize with what a person is feeling & be a genuine friend. And most importantly, I can pray more for someone in need.

I'm not sure if I agree with comfort zones as being restrictive. I can agree that if we remain somewhere in our life too long, we can begin to be stagnant. For me, comfort zones feel like home and peace flows from them. They're what helps center me (second to Christ in my life that is). I know it's a safe place to be until I'm ready to bust out. Not sure if all this makes sense to you! Maybe I'm not fully understanding what you mean by that statement, so I'd love to get more of what your meaning is behind the statement Ruthy.

Please toss my name in for a copy of "Toss the Bouquet", I love wedding stories!! It's one reason I love romantic fiction :-)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Why are there more words for the introvert. That seems sort of unkind.

I don't think introverts are necessarily self-limiting.

Attributed to Mark Twain “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Famous Introverts include:

Mark Zuckerberg

Albert Einstein

J.K. Rowling

Mahatma Gandhi

Bill Gates

Warren Buffet

Steven Spielberg

I rest my cave loving introverted case.

Megan Brummer said...

Not to hop on the bandwagon, but I'm definitely in the introvert category too. I am a master of cloistering myself away and losing myself in deep thought, tangents, character development, and purple prose - and then lots of red marks to nix the purple part of the prose.

Buuuuut... I have to be VERY intentional about getting my butt out and around people and keeping my eyes open to life. I'm great at observing, but horrible about walking up and saying "hi."

God helped me along with this by flicking me head-over-heels for the most extroverted man you could imagine and then gifting us with two amazing (and highly adventurous and friendly) children that chop up my time (no more hours-to-days-long "flow state") and force me to get out and around other people and places so they can learn and grow and experience life. I'm EXHAUSTED but it's beautiful! And getting out and about exposes me to more character ideas and story ideas... amazing how that works! Heh heh

I've also noticed that my main characters tend to be introverts... do you extroverts out there tend to write mostly extroverts? Hm... I wonder if there's a study on that ;)

Anyway, I'd love to have my name in the hat for "Toss the Bouquet"! Thanks for the great post!

Lara (Storm) Hitchcock said...

Nodding my head at all the introvert descriptions. Trixi, I was thinking about just copying and pasting the first part of your comment ;-). It's definitely been restrictive for me since I stopped (traditional) working, and it's harder to get out now that I have a baby, but I have done a few things out of my comfort zone that have helped me in the right direction (like Speedbo). I don't know if it's being introverted or just introspective that makes me to capable of deep thinking.

Mary Preston said...

I'm an introvert and I am very comfortable with that.

Count me in thank you.

Keli Gwyn said...

I'm an introvert--until you get me talking about writing. LOL

I've learned to force myself to step outside my comfort zone, but it's not easy. I'm quite content to spend hours holed up in my office with nothing but my cat and my characters for company.

Melissa Jagears said...

I have a husband. I don't need to leave my pad for anything! If I could get my groceries delivered......wait, I live in the big city now, maybe I can!!!

Melissa Jagears said...

Aw man, had my hopes up there! But all I can get is Meat. There's a fancy butcher here who'll deliver. If I blew my monthly grocery shopping budget on upscale meat so I wouldn't have to step outside (a definite plus), I'd have to figure out how to get 5 of us to live on 53 oz of meat a piece for the whole month.

We do need to start can eat dandelion greens....

Cindy W. said...

For the first 33 years of my life I was an introvert...extremely shy...when I was a kid, I even hid when company came. It was awful. Now, I am more of an extrovert. I love to talk to people and will strike up conversations with total strangers. But, once in awhile, depending on the situation, I will find myself falling back into an introverted state.

I would love to have my name tossed into the drawing Ruthy! Thank you for the opportunity to win.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I am laughing at Tina right now and sending her a copy of "The Powers of Defensive Postures"...

(no such book exists, by the way....)


Introverts can be HUGELY successful.

Great examples.

No one said being an introvert or extrovert is bad... it just "is". But we can improve our individual chances for success (according to the article and the pages and pages that came up on Searching Mr. Google....) Wait, that sounds like a criminal investigation!!!

But opening ourselves to change, pushing ourselves to change, is a great way to start. It's just broadening our horizons on both ends of the spectrum.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Trixi, you made great points! And I love that you and your husband have worked out a compromise, because in a relationship, that's clutch.

My focus here is on business.

When we're in business, if we limit ourselves, we tend to limit potential. And if you stay in your business comfort zone too much, then you're missing opportunities to expand.

So this is different from personal comfort zone (although it can be applied that way) and I loved the article because I can see how daily choices can affect eventual outcome.

Now we can all be quite happy and content by just rollin' down the river with Credence Clearwater and Proud Mary... Or we can make waves and change course.

Neither is wrong.

Just different!

But if you apply that to business terms, then the guy who changed direction on the river because he saw the storm coming and knew the fish would dart upstream to beat the storm, ends up with the catch of the day.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Megan, you brought up GREAT STINKIN' POINTS!!!!!

First, that opposites can attract because it balances us and draws us out and anchors us...

Second, that motherhood pulls us out of the temptation to dwell in quiet corners because kids deserve more.

This is the reason I keep my before-and-after school daycare going. By immersing myself in young families, I can keep myself from writing "old". I can hear, see, and observe the current trends in behavior and language and that keeps me on top of my game, so yes, those opportunities you surround yourself with are wonderful!!!

And then, the question of characters... Yes, we do tend to write a bit of ourselves and our quirky personalities in heroines. I say this from personal experience, and from reading books of friends.... and that's a GOOD THING! Whether we're intro or extro, there are readers for all kinds of books, and an introverted person might not identify with Angelina from Back in the Saddle or Tara from "All Dressed Up in Love" (Toss the Bouquet), but they'll identify with the problems the heroines face... and that's the writers' task, to make that heroine sympathetic or empathetic enough to grab the reader.

But in all honesty, personality types do tend to be drawn to certain authors, and that's okay because there's room for all of us!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Note to self: Late night in Seekerville is either populated with a lot of introverts who can't sleep, or all introverts live west of the Mississippi in another time zone. More research required, LOL!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I am laughing at Mary Preston, and glad she is comfortable with that, and I'm not sure if she meant that to be funny, but it is PERFECT, Mary!!!!

Thank you!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Keli Gwyn, I know you're an introvert but you do personally push yourself up and out of the comfort zone all the time. I know this about you.

But let's go to second comment.

Being a dedicated writer doesn't mean an introvert. I am the same way, I am quite content to work on my characters, my plots, my books for hours, days... but that's because I love writing, not because I'm an introvert. So that part of you is probably more of the born-to-write side, not the personality side.

And I love that we're given this opportunity to talk about this, because (as evidenced by the responses/comments so far) writing and reading does draw its share of introverts, which is wonderful!!!!!!

But knowing that, it's just plain good to look at the facts and see if our daily habits are limiting us... or expanding our possibilities.

And if we're satisfied with where we are, gosh, that's awesome!!!!

But if we're wondering how to improve our return on investment, how to gain more readers, contracts, financial resources, etc., sometimes it's as simple as making new habits.

I think everyone should go and read the article in (link at the beginning of my post) and see if it affects you the way it did me.

I just saw this flash of common sense that said "If you do this, you open the door for this!"

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Lara, you made such a good point!

1. Leaving traditional job (contacts cut off, different schedule)

2. New baby (sleep deprived, re-focused energies, over-the-moon in love, but possibly stymied by lack of time, new schedule, lack of opportunity outside the house)

3. Making choices to expand those new, restrictive surroundings (Seekerville, Speedbo, writing goals...)

Not too many years ago there was nothing like Seekerville, there was no Internet, and to connect with other writers you either went to meetings once a month or called on the phone or wrote letters.

Now we've got the world at our fingertips and the savvy writer can use that to motivate themselves and get the ball in motion, forward-moving!

Thank you for jumping in here!!!! That was awesome!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Melissa Jagears, laughing!

We found out too late that telling children about meat was a pricey mistake!

Who knew????

I can see that rattling the cages of comfy, cozy introverts has its own share of results.


Am I the only extrovert in Seekerville????

Could this be true?


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Cindy W., you brought up a great point.


Sometimes we're not born to be introverts, but we're shaded in that direction by lack of self-confidence for various reasons.

A "shy extrovert".

So with maturity and time, you turned that around.

And being an introvert or an extrovert isn't bad!!! It's who we are, but from a business perspective, we need to look at how we can make this work for us. And, are we doing enough right now to make it work.

Do we turn down invitations?

Do we avoid people?

Do we turn down work?

Do we pretend ignorance to get ourselves out of situations we might not like?

For the extroverts:

Do we open our ears and hearts to be more compassionate to those around us?

Are we Tigger-bouncing so high and fast that we miss opportunities?

Are we so distracted by the urge to go someplace and be someone that we forget to invest the hours needed to be our best?

One is not better than the other, and the article in shows that changing little things can open new doors and new chances.

Rachel Meyers said...

Loved this post. I was talking about personality types with a friend just last week. I relatively recently really clicked into the idea that introvert =/= shy (or unfriendly, or any other negative I tend to pigeonhole myself as ;) ) it's all about energy, and for me it is exhausting being around big groups of people. Keeping sacred "me time" and choosing to spend time one on one or in small groups is important - but also enables me to do the big-group thing occasionally. I do have to push myself to get out and meet people/do things, but I rarely regret it when I do.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Great post, Ruthy! Each time you mentioned "luck," I thought "Taboo." :)
I love to talk to people one on one. My inquiring mind loves to learn things about strangers. When I'm in situation with a large group of people, I typically sit back and listen. What the heck am I?
Thanks for the link to the article!

Caryl Kane said...

RUTHY, thank you for the great post. I'm an introvert. I observe people and situations and stay out of unnecessary drama.

Please put my name in the dish for a copy of "Toss the Bouquet".

Julie Lessman said...

FASCINATING POST, RUTHY!! You asked: "Now tell me, do you consider yourself an introvert? Or an extrovert?"

LOL ... I consider myself the extreme of both because let's face it, I do everything in extremes! :) As I've often said before, "I'm a recluse who has the misfortune of having an out-going personality." Because the truth is like Mary said, "I'm an introvert (recluse) and I am very comfortable with that," meaning I could sit on my veranda with with my computer day and night and not feel the need to go anywhere. It's actually my hubby (an introvert), who has to drag my butt out of the house most days to do fun things he wants to do. But it always freaks him out when he does drag me out and I flip a switch and immediately make ten new friends out of complete strangers. VERY strange personality type -- sort of a Type A that lives in a closet. :)

TRIXI SAID: "I'm not sure if I agree with comfort zones as being restrictive. I can agree that if we remain somewhere in our life too long, we can begin to be stagnant. For me, comfort zones feel like home and peace flows from them."

I completely agree with Trixi, so I'm glad she asked you to clarify because once you stipulated that your "focus here is on business. When we're in business, if we limit ourselves, we tend to limit potential. And if you stay in your business comfort zone too much, then you're missing opportunities to expand," I completely understood your point and agree.

There's no question I've "limited my potential" by hunkering down in my comfort zone, but then for me -- someone who does things in extremes, including trying to expand my potential to the point of breakdown -- this is what MY soul needs to be to enjoy life and my family AND hear from God. Otherwise I go all workaholic, and no amount of money, fame, awards is worth that.

VERY interesting topic, Ruthy! Thanks for kick-starting my brain this morning!


P.S. the Yankee Bell link didn't work for me. :(

Julie Lessman said...

MEGAN SAID "I've also noticed that my main characters tend to be introverts... do you extroverts out there tend to write mostly extroverts? Hm... I wonder if there's a study on that."

Oh, what a GREAT question, Megan!! I never thought about it before, but I MUCH prefer writing extroverts because they get in more trouble emotionally, and that's soooo much fun to create emotional explosions! Judging from my tendency to prefer extrovert characters, I would say that I definitely have a strong extrovert streak since the extroverts I do write about always possess facets of my extrovert personality that have gotten me in trouble, so it's great therapy for me. :)

MELISSA SAID: "I have a husband. I don't need to leave my pad for anything! If I could get my groceries delivered..."

LOL ... move over, girlfriend, and as I get older, I realize that's not necessarily a good thing because if anything ever happens to my grocery boy, I'm in for a rude awakening!!

CINDY W. SAID: "For the first 33 years of my life I was an introvert...extremely shy...when I was a kid, I even hid when company came. It was awful. Now, I am more of an extrovert. I love to talk to people and will strike up conversation."

Cindy, that's AMAZING, and I soooo admire you for expanding your repertoire!! ;)


Julie Lessman said...

MEGAN SAID "I've also noticed that my main characters tend to be introverts... do you extroverts out there tend to write mostly extroverts? Hm... I wonder if there's a study on that."

Oh, what a GREAT question, Megan!! I never thought about it before, but I MUCH prefer writing extroverts because they get in more trouble emotionally, and that's soooo much fun to create emotional explosions! Judging from my tendency to prefer extrovert characters, I would say that I definitely have a strong extrovert streak since the extroverts I do write about always possess facets of my extrovert personality that have gotten me in trouble, so it's great therapy for me. :)

MELISSA SAID: "I have a husband. I don't need to leave my pad for anything! If I could get my groceries delivered..."

LOL ... move over, girlfriend, and as I get older, I realize that's not necessarily a good thing because if anything ever happens to my grocery boy, I'm in for a rude awakening!!

CINDY W. SAID: "For the first 33 years of my life I was an introvert...extremely shy...when I was a kid, I even hid when company came. It was awful. Now, I am more of an extrovert. I love to talk to people and will strike up conversation."

Cindy, that's AMAZING, and I soooo admire you for expanding your repertoire!! ;)


Rose said...


I really enjoyed your post!

For years, I've been trying to broaden my horizon's and have new experiences. Sometimes it is hard because I'm an introvert with many introvert friends, but I still manage to do it.

DebH said...

Laughing at the thought of you as Tigger - somehow, apropos. I think extrovert you may be in the minority group here in Seekerville. It appears creative types have introverted tendencies. I know I'm more introvert than extrovert - but I've had friends express surprise when I describe myself that way. Why? I have an extrovert mom (she is soooo much like you. This is a good, no - excellent thing). She made sure us kids learned how to step out of our comfort zones. Her thought: nothing of value comes from staying "comfy". Christ didn't call us to be "comfy" but rather to become the people He created us to be and growth usually involves stretching beyond the comfort zone.

Funny thing is, I married another introvert (he makes me look extroverted) and together we've spawned an extroverted child. Guppy has yet to meet a stranger who cannot become his friend. I'm learning a lot by watching my little man.

TINA - I noticed the list of famous introverts had to step out of their comfort zones to accomplish what they're known for. Just sayin...

RUTHY - good post today. Sort of a "pull on your big girl britches and just do it" post couched in prettier words. Thanks!

And pleeeeze... put my name in the cat dish for a Ruthy book. I love them so.

iGrannyApple said...

I am actually both depending on the situation. I have spoken to a crowd of over a thousand but I rarely initiate a conversation. My husband went on a Mission trip to Kenya. I assumed we would stay together but God had a different plan. Tony went with two Kenyans and I went with two others walking to villages in the middle of nowhere sharing about Jesus. Day after day we continue this and it was the greatest experience in my life. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone brings the greatest rewards.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Rachel Meyers, you said more in that paragraph than I have uttered in all my years of talking too much.


Go read what she said above, it's a perfect summation.

I'm so glad you opted in!!!

Leslie McKee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie McKee said...

Definitely an introvert! That is why I was thrilled when I was able to quit my office job, which dealt a lot with the public, to work as a freelance editor from home :-) I enjoyed the work at the office, but many days the contact with the public was draining and overwhelming. Since going freelance, I have had to step outside my comfort zone on a number of occasions. While it has been a bit scary, I've had positive results. It still takes a leap of faith on my part to do it, however.

Please enter me in the drawing.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jill, I loved the article because it was common sense, matter-of-fact stuff, and working with kids and families all the time, I've planted myself in the middle of every personality type known to man at one time or another... and I do the same thing when I remember to be quiet... I try to listen, learn and apply.

I love my new book "More Than a Promise".

It's getting great reviews, folks are loving it, and the kids are grabbing hearts. And I can tell you now I modeled them after REAL SIBLINGS with these distinct and diverse personalities. I changed genders, but by grabbing what I could from my day job, I was able to recreate a very believable fictional family....

But first I had to put myself in a position to meet these folks, right?

And the little things we do that add up in the end, (because this was years ago, long before The Call) can be the game-changers later on.

Baby steps... I don't think it really has to be much more than that!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Caryl, good morning!!!! I love that description.

And I love that you're here, because that says you might be an introvert, but you love writing and like minds!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Did I really mess up the Yankee Belle link???

Going back to fix!

I thought I was so cool, using a permalink!!!

Wilani Wahl said...

I started out as an introvert. Then when I became a missionary and had to speak in churches I was forced into becoming more of an extrovert. Now I am more in between the two.

Don't include me in the drawing. I bought the book.

Hoping to be able to write by tonight. Yesterday I was swamped with preparing for Awana Cubbies barely having all my visuals finished in time. Today is the monthly shopping trip with friends to the nearest Staples which is an hour away. Then I need to do all the paperwork for renewing my food stamps which is almost as bad as doing taxes. Deadline is tomorrow. Hoping if I get published at some point, I won't have to be on food stamps any more. I am on disability and not able to work which does give time to write.

Have a great day everyone

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Julie, I fixed it, thank you! I'd used the perma-link, but must have cut an end off or something....

And you know, I never thought to specify BUSINESS in this, duh.

I forget that not everyone clicks into BIZ MODE 24/7 and you and Trixi made a great point. Once said, it makes more sense, right?????

I love your explanation of your personality, because I think we're all a blend. And like I told Keli, I'm perfectly content to sit and write stories because I am so blessed to have the job I love and have waited for all my life.... YAY!!!!! How could I ask for more? Cute grandkids, cookies, God and writing?????

But when I go out, I love people, so I guess the love of writing and creating doesn't necessarily mean we're introverted... and maybe it just means focused on work.

So work ethic chimes in!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hey, Live Radio Interview this morning with Faith Talk 590 in Atlanta and me!!!!

Interview with Ruthy!!!

Let's see if I got that link right... (peers at screen....)

We'll see! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Rose, that's exactly the spirit the interview was trying to inspire!!!!


It's not about being something we're not, it's about trying to expand a little on the amazing person we are!

Because there's nothing wrong about either designation, it's more of an opening ourselves to new chances thing....

And sometimes if life hits us too hard, repeatedly, an extrovert becomes more introverted out of self-defense.

Totally understandable.

So a great character study is how to show a character evolving from that tucked in posture, and back to a more open dynamic.

I'm so glad you stopped in!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Deb H., I noticed that about The Teenster's list, too, but I STAYED QUIET because the whole I'd already teased her...

But you're right, if the introverted genius never aligned with other scientists, teachers, writers, publishers, none of it would have happened.

And I'm not so sure Mark Z is an introvert, even if he describes himself that way.

(skeptical look in upstate) :)

Abe Lincoln was a self-proclaimed introvert... but he threw those doors wide.

I love your mother! Give her a hug for me, because I was the same kind of mom (you and I have talked about this) and I'm sure there were days, weeks, months, YEARS when they wished I was a little more low-key...

But I wasn't.

And they all survived!

YAY!!! :)

Tossing your name onto the wedding cake plate!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Granny Apple, your story epitomizes the idea behind this post.

If we trust God enough to let those doors open and use all he gave us (the Erma Bombeck quote "When I stand before God at the end of my days I want to be able to say, "I used everything you gave me.") it's amazing what can happen.

Thank you not only for being here, but commenting! I'd love to hear more!!!

Lara (Storm) Hitchcock said...

What spoke to me most from the article was the part about positive thinking: “Lucky people reframe negative experiences … When they hit a stumbling block, they're more likely to transform it into a positive event … and continue taking chances. They have an uncanny ability to cope with adversity … even thrive in spite of it.”

Writing isn't easy. Getting published (I assume) isn't easy. To succeed, writers must press on through good days and bad (uninspired) days, turning off the internal critic that says they'll never make it. They must endure outside criticism, which hurts, even if it's for their own good. They will face rejection when they start down the road to publication … Not easy! :-) So we MUST learn to frame our mini-failures in a positive light. Like the tortoise and the hare, if we just keep pressing on toward our goal, we will (God willing) make it across that writer's finish line.

I spent years working on writing projects that have now been set aside, and I don't know if they will ever become anything, but I have to tell myself that I learned a lot during those years and just press on. I also spent years pursuing a career I'm not using … but I'm sure I learned things in the process that now make me a better writer. (For example, I didn't have the maturity for long term projects like novels in high school, but after pushing through to get my doctorate, I know what endurance is … and I also know what failure feels like, even couched in success. And that, if nothing else, helps me to write characters who are struggling in the same way.)

So I'll just take one step at a time, even if that means stepping out of my comfort zone (after dragging my feet for a while—er—being consistently proactive). ;-)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Leslie, tucking your name in!

Another introvert, eh????

Okay, we need to go recruit some extros, I'm totally outnumbered!!!!

But that's okay, because for all of my extro-craziness, what we have in common is the love of writing and working together to reach out to others.


The other thing from the business perspective is that I almost never, ever, ever say "no" to work.

If it can fit in my schedule, I'm all in.

When Natasha calls and says "Oh, Ruthy...."

I jump at the chance to try new things.

Not because I'm tired of old things, I love what I do with all of my publishers.

But touching hearts and souls is one of those things, where if I'm unwilling to reach out and take a leap of faith, maybe I'm missing someone who would really benefit from "Back in the Saddle' or "Running on Empty" or "An Unexpected Groom"....

Of course saying yes to one of those things, got me knee-deep into writing sweet historicals, and I love it, so there you go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Renee McBride said...


Janet Dean said...

RUTHY, thanks for the reminder that we writers have to get out of our comfort zone if we put our work out there, either for critiques, contests, submissions, or promotion.

I'm outgoing, love talking to people, being with people, can't stay in my cave long. Though if I feel the least bit of an outsider, I turn introvert. I find it hard to walk through a conference area alone, looking for someone I know. I feel like there's a big L on my forehead. :-)

Self-Promotion makes me shiver. I can post my new cover on Facebook. Mention a book's release, hand out a few bookmarks, even ask friends to pass them along, but I feel uneasy with "big-time" promotion. I need to do better considering LI novels are only on the shelves for one month. Am I the only one who's had acquaintances refuse a bookmark, saying that's not their kind of book? My stories may not be for everyone, but God has called me and has blessed me with novels on the shelves. I need to take more responsibility for getting them off those shelves and into readers' hands. Ruthy, you're a pro. Any tips?


Renee McBride said...


Renee McBride said...

Hi, Ruth. (Coming out of shell, here). Thank you for your post.

But! (Not to be argumentative, or anything), I'm hoping that change is totally over rated.

OK. Going back to my cave, now.

Renee McBride said...

Hi, Ruth. (Coming out of shell, here). Thank you for your post.

But! (Not to be argumentative, or anything), I'm hoping that change is totally over rated.

OK. Going back to my cave, now.

kaybee said...

This is a good post and leads to some soul-searching. I was a shy child, like CINDY W., and hid from company. There was a period when I wouldn't go to a birthday party without my mother. Which must have been exhausting for her. And like RACHEL, bring in crowds drains me. My day job is in print journalism, or what's left of it, so I have had to overcome my shyness to do that. I've also been a pastor's wife on and off, and that role requires a fair amount of getting outside myself. But it's worth it. This whole post points back to a recurring RUTHY theme, that there's a place at the writing table for all of us.
WILANI, I have been on food stamps, AND a government-subsidized mortgage, AND the WIC program when my kids were little. I have stood in line for surplus bread. My heart goes out to you. I hope you get your paperwork done and that some day you won't need to do this. God bless you.
Kathy Bailey
Remembering the hard times in NH

kaybee said...

I meant "being" in crowds. Sheesh.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Renee, I'm laughing out loud here, for real!

We don't need huge change.

And not necessarily any change at all. There are a HOST of good/great writers who stayed happily introverted.

Emily Dickinson
Dee Henderson
Poe (okay, I'm sensing a trend here)....

Ingrid Bergman said she was the shyest person ever invented, but she had a lion inside her that wouldn't leave her alone...

So maybe shyness and introversion aren't the same thing?

Or the flip side in some is stronger???

But you can be amazingly successful with no change at all, if the writing speaks for itself and the time is right, SUCCESS!!!!

So this isn't to make us feel bad about ourselves (unless youse WANT TO FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELVES, DARLINGS!!!!)... it's to make us look for opportunities we can grab hold of.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Janet, I think the trend of putting more and more promotion into writer's hands is blocking us from doing what we do best: write.

So I don't worry a lot about social promotion (although I do what you do, too...)

I use facebook to chat with readers, authors and friends.

And I write, write, write.

The best self-promo I know of is another book coming out.

So that's where I put my energy. Now some books come with blog tours, etc. but mostly I just keep writing.

I love writing. :)

It's my fave!!!!!!

Tracey Hagwood said...

What a fascinating analysis of the differences between introverts/extroverts, Ruthy. This is what I love about Seekerville so much, 9:30 in the morning and already close to 50 comments on who people think they are and how they see themselves. What a great therapy session.

I see myself as an introvert, but I love to talk to people one-on-one or in small group settings. I could break out in hives at the thought of a crowded room of strangers I'd have to interact with. What makes the difference is common interest. A church event or Christian women's retreat? I can do that. But don't ask me to speak in front of a crowd. The few times I've had to, I think I did break out in hives.

I think we introverts really enjoy blogs like this one because we can say what we think and reveal who we really are inside under the cloak of anonymity. I wonder if we actually met those we are interacting with online if we would be surprised and think they aren't who we expected, or if we would immediately identify them by their online persona.

I'm loving all the comments from Trixi's "peopling wears me out" to Mary's "I'm an introvert and I'm comfortable with that". Hilarious, and I identify with them. What a great way to start the morning, thanks Ruthy and fellow introverts, and yes you extroverts too. We are an all inclusive group of book lovers :)

Myra Johnson said...

Great post, RUTHY! I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone when I confess I'm an introvert. The nice thing about blogs and social media, though, is I get to pretend to be an extrovert without all the hassle and pressure of leaving my very comfortable comfort zone (quiet office, dogs sleeping on the floor, Project Guy hopefully busy in some other part of the house).

But I do know there are times I need to get "out there," so I do what I can but always with an "escape plan." After XX years of living this way, I have learned my limits.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Wilani, I love that you're looking at the positive side of disability and assistance.

If you have time to write, that is a blessing! And good health is something we all expect as if it's a given. Of course it isn't, so I'm delighted when you're having good days!

Sometimes that push to become stronger or more assertive helps us overcome some shyness, or lack of confidence.

And maybe sometimes it's growing older! We realize that the stuff we thought was so crucial, so important, really isn't!!!

Jan Christiansen said...

I've always been an extrovert, but the older I get the more I find myself enjoying solitude. When I'm out and about, I'm engaging others, but I'm not out and about as much as I used to be. Gonna have to work on that-don't want to become a hermit. Great post, Ruthie.

Marianne Barkman said...

My counsellor says I'm an introvert about 80% of the time, an extrovert 20% of the time. The more I am at home, not going out, the more I want to stay at home. Reading is hard to do in a crowd. Now that I have my puppy, my social hour is spent at the dog park, which is what gets me up in the morning. Sorry, probably TMI

LeAnne Bristow said...

Great post Ruthy and great advice. I am most definitely an extrovert. And you're advice for extroverts is spot on. Every time I go to a conference or workshop, my husband has to warn me to shut up long enough to let someone else talk sometimes. I don't mean to be rude and interrupt and talk over them. I just get so excited talking to people!!! It's something i struggle with and I'm working on it...especially the smile and nod part.

Jana Vanderslice said...

Hey Ruthy!I'm an Extrovert, too! For me that means as a writer I get recharged & refueled by being with people. I find a lot of inspiration, motivation, & ideas from sharing Life with others! And Lots of funny stories, too!!! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Lara, your words are an exact encouragement.

All the things you cited are part of the path, or the broken road, and they've come to this... so now you've developed the skills, the patience, and the doggedness... and now it's finding or inventing the time, working steady, and I bet parts of those early "unpublishables" will find their way into new stories!

And the stories will be better and stronger because it's amazing what a different vantage point we have a decade or two later.

I'm not saying folks have to be old to write a great story! Perish the thought!

But it's not a bad thing to have lived experiences and then recycle them in our books, because that brings a bona-fide air of realism to them that's awfully hard to manufacture from research.

Not impossible... but not easy, either!

Trixi said...

I love coming back in the morning to read all the new comments! :-) And yes, I live on the West coast, so Seekerville time of midnight is only 9pm my time. I read and comment just before I head to bed.

RUTHY....thanks for the clarification. Yes, I agree in business, especially as a writer, you have to "put yourself out there" at times to promote your work. Or even attending writers conferences where you get together with like-minded people. You can't dwell in your cave and expect to be as successful as you can with your writing.

And as I was thinking of introvert vs. extrovert (deep thinker here), I've looked at myself over the years, I've become much more open. I can strike up a conversation with a person in front or behind me in a grocery store line (for example). I have a much easier time talking with a small group of people as opposed to a big crowd. But as someone mentioned, if I am in a bigger crowd, I tend to listen to the conversation around me. I know that would be fodder for a writer :-) I also have found I can insert a sentence or two even in that. Now if you get me with someone I know quite well, I become animated, gregarious, out-spoken, etc. But the draw back for me, I STILL don't open myself up easily to too many people. Something I need to work on :-) Someone also mentioned maybe that's why introverts love to blog more. And I have to whole-heartily agree! I can put myself out there (as evidenced here in Seekerville land) & express myself. I've always wondered why that is, maybe its because I don't have to talk to people face-to-face and I can "hide" behind the anonymity. That would be a great research project :-) And I wonder the same thing, if I was to meet any of you in person, would you even know me because I'd be much more shy!

I love extroverts (Ruthy & Julie) because maybe deep down inside, I wished I could be more like that?? And I think they help balance out us introverts :-) As evidenced by my husband & I. Each one of us is unique in ways that God made us & He puts just the right people together (not just in marriage). I'm certainly much more comfortable in my role as I've come to realize what make me tick. I don't try to be someone I'm not.

Great post RUTHY if I haven't said that got me to thinking deep of my favorite past times! If you have any coffee (dumb question, lol) I'll certainly take a cup or two as I ponder more about this subject today. I have the grand-girl today, so I'll be needing the caffeine, the stronger the better :-)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kaybee, it's kind of like building ourselves, step by step, to not just be the person we want to be, but the person who can do the things we want to do.

So that step-by-step journey is part of our path!

I look at Christ's path, and it always amazes me that he stayed on it.

He knew what the outcome was going to be. And he prayed, but never strayed that we know of.

So when I look at His suffering, it fortifies me for the bad times.

Everyone suffers. Everyone gets knocked down for the count. Everyone takes punches. But when that happens, I look at him and think "It's not a cross. It's not a nail in a cross. It's not a crown of thorns..." and the relativity gives me the gumption to move on.

I love the "a place at the writing table for all of us" because I truly believe that, no matter where this journey/job/career takes us, there are MILLIONS of readers out there... and each time we reach one (or an aspiring author), we make a difference.

And I love knowing that we make that difference.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tracey, you glommed onto a new universal truism, and that's how blogs and comments and safe environments (even though we're on the WORLD WIDE WEB!!!!) :) allow us to stretch those comfort zones and reach out.

Now if we were a bunch of know-it-all yellers and critics, this blog wouldn't have the fun and the following and the faith contingent that makes it resound with people, but because we believe in a level playing field, and having fun with readers and writers, it's like FUN!!!!

We can drink pretend coffee and eat pretend food and care about one another... while teaching!

And the teaching is a huge, bottom-line component.

Now, sometimes the teaching doesn't fit, lessons and love are never One Size Fits All!!!

But when they do, it's so enlightening, like LIGHT BULB MOMENT!!!!! YAY!!!!!

And in a safe environment.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I have done two lovely radio interviews this morning, one with Faith Alive in Atlanta and one that will be broadcast Sunday at 4:30 in Traverse City Michigan.

And Evelyn there is going to share her peanut brittle recipe with me, and said I can SHARE IT!!!!

I'm so psyched!!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Myra, what a good point. You use the means at hand to extend yourself in a way you're not comfortable with otherwise.... and that's huge.

I think in the end that's what works, and then if we press that outward a little more, we broaden those horizons.

And whether we do or not, I think it's just plain important for all of us to really see that options await us every single day. So choosing to push those options to the limit to broaden ourselves or our careers comes down to personal choice.

We're all born with our human nature.

But then God went all GOD on us and allowed us choice and free will and chances.

So we wrestle!!!

I've often wondered what that balance of nature vs. nurture truly is, and just when I think I know... something happens that stirs the pot.


I'm bringing lunch in, chicken-salad stuffed croissants with a fruit plate.

The sun is shining in upstate and we're feeling happy!!!! (that's like the royal "we", btw)

Tracey Hagwood said...

Your radio interview was great! I'm in awe of your ability to "shoot the breeze" with the guys and still talk about Back in the Saddle. Awesomeness!

Jan Drexler said...

I am an introvert. Definitely.

But my introvertishness has to do with my preferences - I've learned to be more outgoing when I need to be.

Like when I worked retail for many years. And when I was a leader in BSF for ten years. And any time I need to stand up in front of people and talk. Coherently.

I can do that.

Even though I prefer to be in my own world, I know I can step out there when necessary. Just give me some time alone afterwards. :)

Great job on the interviews! Radio interviews are one area where I'm really needing to stretch myself these days. I usually take the rest of the morning off after doing an interview. Sheesh. Pass the chocolate!

Myra Johnson said...

JAN--you nailed it! "Just give me some time alone afterwards."

Being married to an extrovert, I've had to try really hard to make Project Guy understand this. After 44 years, he's still learning (and so am I).

Jeanne T said...

Great post, Ruthy. I'm an extrovert in most situations. I'm learning to step out and be friendly in situations when I feel uncertain. My biggest thing is getting back in the saddle after disappointments. It's not easy, but it is necessary.

My hubs is an introvert who people think is extroverted. He is GREAT with people, but when he's had enough he needs time alone in his man-cave. After 20 years of marriage, we've figured this out. :) I have times where I need time with friends or people. Maybe it's because I have kids still living at home, but I also like my alone time. :)

Trixi said...

MYRA & JAN.....I am nodding my head in the affirmative on your comments "give me time alone afterwards". It's true for me, peopling is hard, tiring & wearing on a body. I need time to recharge! Myra, isn't nice that our husbands understand this (to a point). Part of marriage is learning about each other & hopefully learning to work together. I know it's not always easy being married to me because sometimes I feel like I'm a stick in the mud when I don't want to do something that he does. But I'm much more apt these days to say yes, because he does try to limit my exposure to too many people at once. At the same time, he's become one to like to spend time at home or just alone doing things together. So it's all worked out at the end. It's never ALWAYS a perfect balance, but as long as we never stop learning about each other :-)

Meghan M. Gorecki said...

Love this. Such truth. And "ouch" moments about getting out of comfort zones. ;)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tracey!!! Thank you for listening, I'm glad you think it sounded all right. It felt all right, and that's huge. They were such nice guys.

Tina will tell you that the one thing I do well is TALK.



Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jan Drexler, your examples are the best ones for showing how circumstances push us to new heights, and extend those comfort zones.

I love the retail one, how we have to plant a smile on our face and be nice to everyone even on the bad days... because it toughens us!!!

The Race that Knows Joseph!

What is BSF?

And I love to talk about writing, so when there's an interview, I'm in my happy place. Talking about stories, and imagination, and romance and God.... YES!!!! Love it!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Myra, you may be an introvert, but you have such a pretty smile, that I bet most folks wouldn't guess it.

Peace begins with a smile.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jeanne T., I think you've nailed a universal truth.

I think we all need alone time now and again because interacting can be tiring or tiresome, depending on the people!!!!

So I wonder, is hubby an introvert or does he just need to recharge the old battery?

I have to do that sometimes, but not because I'm sensitive.

I'm a SAP but I am insensitive to the point of being, well.... INSENSITIVE.

Whining annoys me unless I'm the one doing it, and then it borders brilliant observation.

But having said that, I see real introverts as being hyper-sensitive enough to need their cave on a more regular basis. I know folks who pick and choose their weekend times/engagements very carefully, because they know that if A takes 2.5 hours of noise and interaction, B better be back home or in a mental health spa.

I also know that we don't fully understand each other, the intros and the extros, because the focus is at odds....

I remember a story from a friend where one relative was always needy, and another was always on top of things, and when asked the difference, the second one said, "Well, there wasn't time to have a nervous breakdown!"

And that was her crux of it.

She kept going because there were things to do (so Mary and Martha, right????) but the blessing is that because we're comprised of so many Mary's and Marthas, we've got READERS GALORE!!!!!


Did you ever notice that MEN ARE NEVER CATEGORIZED like this?

Am I wrong?

Tell me if I am.

Women tend to be designated either a Mary or Martha...

And we all understand the designation.

So are Mary's introverts???? And Martha's an extrovert? Are we Biblically sound????

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Megan, that "ouch" stuff builds our character, right???? So by now we should have mega-character!!! :)

Thank you, Megan!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Dave is our introvert.

And your husbands all sound much more patient than I am.


And he worked nights to stay out of the crazy-busy-people-filled daytime jobs.

But I'm not exactly understanding about skipping out on things, or missing things, so I'm wondering if this is a gender thing or if I'm just mean????

And it could be the latter, because honestly, some stuff just needs to be attended,.

Although with his work schedule (retail and weekends) I went to lots of things alone, taking six kids along, and we had a ball.

Sometimes just going and having fun is better than dragging the unwilling participant and listening to the complaints.

So is that because it's extro wife and intro husband or are all husbands a little stubborn about going to family gatherings, parties, etc????

Myra Johnson said...

TRIXI, I know what you mean! In the early years of our marriage, Project Guy pushed me to do a lot more socializing than I ever wanted to, and sometimes I'd utterly crash afterwards in deep depression and swear I'd never leave the house again. He gradually began to understand that we're very different in that regard.

So now I try to go along as much as I feel I can, but I'm also more direct about letting him know how much I can handle. Like, there's a weekend coming up with two different but very "out there" social opportunities. I told him I could do one but not both. He's also good about recognizing when the stress of socializing is getting to me and it's time to say our goodbyes and go home.

Myra Johnson said...

FYI, RUTHY, I am a "Mary" married to a "Martha." We've understood this about each other for years.

Kathryn Barker said...

Great post, Ruthy...and what a fun discussion! Most of my life I thought, and most who know me, think, I am an extrovert...I LOVE people and I LOVE their stories...My Sweet Husband says I can find out more about a person standing in a line (any kind of line, book signing, sports event, airline, bathroom, bank, etc.) than anyone he's ever known!! I didn't realize not everyone relates to people the way I do. I've taught school, owned a tearoom, and now own (with My Sweet Husband) an antique mall...all this to say, people relationships are simultaneously energizing and draining for me.

Late in my life I read a book about introverts and realized I'm a schizo....LOL...My energy is renewed in my alone time...I crave it and enjoy being a young mom, I got up at least one to two hours ahead of my kids just so I could get myself together before they bounced out of bed. My energy is depleted by socializing...although I LOVE people!!

Recently I read a blog about identifying as an Extroverted Introvert...this is me!!

Thanks for a fun look at who we are...and how to stretch ourselves...

Have a tea-riffic day everyone!!

Kav said...

I'm wallowing in my introvertness right now. Bwahahahaha! Not really....I'm a bit of an outgoing introvert actually. Like, I'll talk to people in the street and in the grocery line and of course every dog I meet. And I'm good in small gatherings of people I don't know. Like a class of some sort. And I loved working the circ desk at the college library and meeting all the new students with challenging questions. However, I turn into a quaking-in-my-boots introvert in really large gatherings of strangers. Like I'd probably pass out at an ACFW conference. LOL So that just makes me messed up, right? So yes, from a business sense I need to kick my introverted butt out of its comfort zone more. So I'll do that...tomorrow. Or the next day. Or....

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kate, we mirror one another a lot, and that's so funny, even down to the getting up early to get an edge on the day.

And I want to come to your antique mall!!!! In "His Mistletoe Family" my heroine opened an antique cooperative in the Southern Tier, and learning how to run a business with lots of cooperative owners was an interesting task for her. I want to come to your mall!!!

But you're far away and planes aren't cheap!!!!

I agree about the schizo, I used to laugh that my parts were at war on a regular basis, but even with that, my extro side wasn't afraid to smack the intro side down.... and push her to do more.

So that's interesting, that we're that much alike and possibly IN THE MINORITY HERE!!!!

Although I think we're all more of a mix than we might realize.

And now I want tea!!! :)

bonton said...

An interesting post with valuable info, Ruthy - thank you!! You always make me smile- chuckling at your comment re: knowing which list applies to yourself.

I would say I have both introvert and extrovert tendencies. As with Cindy W. - I was an extremely shy child, avoiding talking to people by walking with my head down. However, I was also very insecure - which I no longer am - and feel that change played a huge part in changing my personality. As well as the fact I've lived alone for 25+ years and have been forced to try new things and become more independent.

I have a much more extroverted personality when I'm involved in something I truly love, ie: Christian Fiction. I can be satisfied being alone for days at a time, yet also have frequent periods when I must spend time with friends, family (and travel) on a personal basis, rather than only through phone or online.

I find happiness in the things I do - not a business per se, but they're MY business. In answer to your question "are we doing enough right now to make it work" - my response is yes, I am!!

Would love to have a copy of 'Toss the Bouquet' - please enter my name in the drawing. Thank you!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Myra, LOL!

But men are never referred to as Marys or Marthas.

It's like it's okay to not categorize THEM...

But we must categorize ourselves.

So now I'm wondering is this because women tend to have an inherent woman vs. woman competition going on?

(And don't you guys pretend you don't know what I'm talkin' 'bout here!!!!)

You know, how we sometimes are more concerned about looking good so other women will think we've got it all together as opposed to looking good so our husbands will say "WOW! YOU'RE GORGEOUS!!!!"

(Shh.... I know most don't say that, but that's because they don't know how much we'd like to hear it! Men... :)

Sharee Stover said...

I'm an introvert but can fake being an extrovert when absolutely necessary. It's exhausting and requires a nap afterward, but doable. I loved this post and agree. I need to LISTEN more. That's a huge one for me. One on one I'm happy to talk your ear off but put me in a big group and gulp, I can't speak. Ugh. It's annoying.

I laughed at the line: Drive farther. If the store is close to home, drive on by and go to the next one. This worked great when I lived in Colorado...but in small town Nebraska..not so much. Still, it's a good reminder to get out of my comfort zone.

Thanks Ruth!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sharee, I totally hear you, and thanks for laughing!


Sometimes that not-so-subtle kick in the keister is a wonderful thing!!!

I think we all need to listen more.

The extros are too busy thinking what to say in reply and the intros are too busy worrying about how soon they can make their escape.

A nice median ground would be good, with listening on all sides!!!

What a thought during this presidential campaign, right????


Myra Johnson said...

But you must realize any man nicknamed "Project Guy" just HAS to be a "Martha," right?

And he's also the son of a Martha-type mom so he comes by it honestly.

Vince said...

Hi Ruth:

So you're into philosophy today?

I think I'm more a mesovert. It's not that being an introvert or extrovert is good or bad in itself but rather that going too far in either direction may court disaster. Extremes to either direction often produce the same problems. Too extrovert and people will avoid you. Too introvert and you'll be avoiding people.

Besides people are often both introvert and extrovert in their different roles.I act like an extrovert when I have to give a speech to hundreds of people and an introvert when I am at a small party.

Aristotle's 'golden mean' captures this philosophy. Aristotle believed that the ideal choice is occupying the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example, 'courage' stands between cowardice and foolhardiness.

However, I am far more a Platonist than an Aristotelian. I prefer this quote from Plato:

“The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depends upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom.”

In any event, I don't think we make luck. I think we make opportunities. Chance favors the prepared.

Nevertheless, there is 'blind' luck -- as when a meteor hits you in the head and 'assisted' luck as when you get a hole-in-one in golf when your ball bounces off the side of a tree and into the cup. You at least hit the ball.

That being said, 'lady luck' is fickle! So fall in love with nice dependable steady mate.: )

Now I have to get back 'where a friend is a friend' and they don't saddle you with a horse of a different color. (What?)


Jeanne T said...

RUTHY, you made me laugh out loud with your musings. :) I KNOW. Why ARE men never categorized as Mary's and Martha's? Maybe it's because they call each other by other nicknames (or call signs for the military folk . . . yes, my hubby has a few of those).

And yes, my husband is a true introvert working in an extrovert world . . . kind of. He has to interact with people. He needs that daily time of being alone and refueling.

Loved your thoughts today, Ruthy. Actually, I love your thoughts every day. You are pithy and profound. How DO you do that? :)

Beth Erin said...

I am without a doubt an introvert. However, my mother is an extrovert and when I find myself in a situation where I am playing a part (acting, singing, playing an instrument, cheerleading), I can kick it into high gear just like her.
I won this lovely title at the Facebook party, I'm just here for the good company and cookies ;)

Vince said...

"Toss the Bouquet"
Send dreams her way.
There's luck to pluck
As the men duck.

Missy Tippens said...

I show up late, and find Vince writing poetry! How fun! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Megan Brummer, that's a great story about your husband and children pulling you out of your norm. :) My husband and I are both introverts, but we're close to the extrovert part of the spectrum. So we're not extremely introverted. But we have one introvert child, one who's somewhat introverted, and one who's very much an extrovert. It's been fun to watch! :)

Ruthy, what a fun post! Great advice.

Janet Dean said...

RUTHY, I'm slowing down even by Janet Dean standards. :-) Perhaps promotion is more important for me to do than a fast writer like you. I'm going to work harder at posting more on Facebook. I love connecting with friends and family. I'm grateful for the sweet things Villagers do to give us a boast. Like Patti Jo's post of her kitty beside my book. This may seem like a Little thing to Patti Jo, but it's a huge encouragement to me!


Missy Tippens said...

Melissa, I'm laughing so hard, imagining the cholesterol level of your family existing off fancy meats delivered to your door! :)

Barbara Scott said...

Hi RUTHY! I've been editing all day, so I just slid in. Got any Gatorade? Lemonade would do.

Would you believe there's such a thing as an "ambivert?" I'm not making this up. Google it. Here's the definition: a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features. On the Myers-Brigg test, I fall exactly in the middle of both extrovert and introvert. I like to think I got the best qualities of both, but some extrovert would probably argue with that, and introverts would hide from me. Sigh.

Sandy Smith said...

Ruthy, I am late getting here. I had better reply before you go to bed! :)

I am most definitely an introvert so I have to step out of my comfort zone a lot. I was always extremely shy.

Please enter me in the drawing.

Just Commonly said...

Great post Ruthy! I didn't get the chance to read everyone's comments today, but I'm sure this is one HOT topic!

So to answer your question, I think I'm an extro-introvert! Does that make sense?!! I have my moments of extrovert-ism and then times when I need my own little comfort zone. Well, either way, there's always something to work on and I love the commonality you noted on both lists: Pray more & encourage more! Yes, I need to do both! And ultimately let God in for the long haul!

I would love to win a copy of Toss the Bouquet, so please throw my name in the hat! Many thanks!

Mary Connealy said...

One think I think I really fail at is listening. I mean like in the middle of a conversation. I'm always trying to be WITTY and sometimes I'll just in and tease someone and then later I'll want to punch myself in the head because I didn't just shut up and LISTEN/
Great article, Ruthy.
I consider myself an introvert who has forced herself tobe brave and face the world. And mostly I love it. But I can really beat myself up later for the stupid things I say.

On a rational level I suspect most people don't remember I word I said and they are probably busy beating themselves up for whatever they said. But still...I can lay awake nights and fret.

Rhonda Starnes said...

Like most things in life, I just don't fit into one of the two categories being offered. LOL. I've always said I'm an extroverted introvert, but as Barbara pointed out, the correct term is ambivert. So, this means I'm a "center brain, plantser (plotter/pantser) ambivert." And I'm okay with that! :)

Barbara Fox said...

I was taking an unofficial perusal of introvert/extrovert numbers and had 4 1/2 extroverts (Julie was the 1/2) and the rest introverts until Barbara Scott came along with AMBIVERT!! Now it looks like 5 extroverts, 5 ambiverts and all the rest of us are admitted introverts- except for Vince who really didn't admit t anything except ducking.:-)

The older I get the more confirmed I become as an introvert. The internet s perfect for us!

Jan Drexler said...

Ruthy, I forget that not everyone knows all of the alphabet soup codes that I do.

"BSF" is Bible Study Fellowship. My ten years of attending stretched me in all sorts of ways. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kav, that's no introvert!!!! That's a woman smart enough to know when the odds are against her and she runs for her life!!!!

I think you do just fine, now I want you to keep writing wonderful Kavalicious stories!!!!! GO YOU!!!!!

That's your introverted side, not a true intro, just a little insecure.

We'll shore you up!

Keep writing, Kav!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jan, I've heard that from so many people, it's like they're a little tired of the nonsense and no one listens anyway, so why bother????

And extroverts, like us, but you know what I think???? We tend to want things done our way, because it is often undeniably THE VERY BEST WAY and we get impatient if the world doesn't understand our brilliance quickly.... I wonder if that's why we kind of pull back as we age??

What do you think?

I'm so glad you were here today, thanks for coming by!!!! And where's that brat of yours, Carol????

I miss her!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Myra, yes, "Project Guy" is clearly a Martha-indicator and I'm glad he comes by it honestly!!! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Bonnie, I love all that!!!!! Oh my stars, I can totally see it, too, and being on your own for so long has kind of pushed and pulled you out into the open where you seem so stinkin' comfortable!

And I already have a copy with your name on it, I just haven't gotten my mailing done, Bonnie, because you're always jumping on board, promoting me and all of us!

I love you to pieces!!!! And I'll try and get these edits done and get to the post office.

Scout's Honor!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Vince, it's so good to see you!!!!

Well, I have to agree, absolutes are annoying. I think falling betwixt and between works well, and if we shade one way or another, it's good to make sure we're not falling into self-defeating habits.

It's so easy to do, and if we're thinking about it, it's fairly easy to avoid.

I'm glad you came by, I love the sagacity of my Okie bud!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jeanne, I just NEVER STOP TALKING and the law of averages makes me correct at least every once in a while!!! :)

Women and labels...

We are an interesting bunch, aren't we?????

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Beth, it was so fun to have you at the facebook party!!!!

And glad you stopped by here, too, and you know I steal people's personality traits all the time for my stories, and I can totally see using them (borrowing them, of course!!) to play a part.


CatMom said...

Excellent post, Ruthy - - but then...ALL Ruthy posts are excellent (and I'm very sincere). :)
Sorry I'm late stopping in today - - I actually read this post late last night (early morning hours really) and was going to be the very first one to comment, but decided I'd better get some sleep so I wouldn't have a zillion typos, LOL. Then the day flew so I'm back and love reading all these comments too!

Oh JANET DEAN, you're kind to be so appreciative of my "kitty with book" photo on Facebook. Sometimes I wonder if my photos like that might seem a bit silly to some people (maybe people who aren't crazy about cats?) but I like to do that and my kitties are usually quite cooperative. :) PLUS it's a "different" way to let the author (and readers) know that I love a certain book, and let friends know too!

Introvert or extrovert? As a child (and teen) I was *painfully* shy. But as an adult I've pretty much grown out of that. My husband says I'll talk to "anyone who's breathing" LOL. I tell him I'm just trying to be a friendly southern lady, hehe.
Thank you again for this post - - you and Seekerville are the BEST!!
Hugs, Patti Jo

Laura Conner Kestner said...

Great post, RUTHY! Thank you! I'm definitely an introvert, but if need be I can fake being an extrovert long enough to get through most situations without permanent damage to my nervous system. Unless it involves public speaking :-)

Walt Mussell said...

Google is deleting my comments. Either I shouldn't say it or Google has a new "editor" attachment.

Tanya Agler said...

Dear Ruthy, Loved this. Of course, I'm an introvert, and I like the advice on not stewing. I'll take that to heart.

I also loved the first part because the part about going outside your comfort zone set my mind to so many great heroine aspects.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Megan, I'm nodding in agreement here about the "ouch" factor...

But then I think of those toddlers, each time they fall, they spring back up.

They're amazing and fearless.

When did we lose that wonderful trait????

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Janet, the whole promo thing is such a convoluted process now and I don't pretend to understand it!!!

Facebook controls who sees our stuff. If you add promo links, it tends to be limited.

I announce things there and there are some great folks who share them for me, which is beyond marvelous.

But I've got no real answers on it... and I love facebook, I just think it's the greatest way to chit-chat and have fun. But there are tons of successful authors who aren't ever on facebook, so maybe it's just finding our own way???

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Laura, I'm laughing because I always get a major attack of nerves before a public speech, and then it goes fine (once I wake them back up) but I'm always nervous.

But if I'm just sitting in a crowded room, chatting, I'm fine.

What's up with that?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

TANYA!!!! Just saw your news about Fab Five with Preslaysa and Rhonda Starnes!!!!


I am so happy for youse guys!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Walt, it was doing that off and on last week, too.

It is so hard to get good help these days!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Patti Jo!!!!

I love the kitty photos too, and I've nipped some and used them in blogs to show my far-reaching effects!!!! :)

The approval of kitties is something dear, indeed!

And thank you for your kind words. I would hug you in person, but you are very far away so I'm giving you a virtual hug! (((( ))))

With a kitty.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Have you guys noticed that a lot of folks who say they were very shy and retiring and maybe even nervous as youngsters, grow out of it?

I think that's so delightfully normal.

Patti Jo, you are the epitome of the best Southern Gal Ever.

And I love anything peach or pecan.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Barbara Scott, my buddy.... I've read about ambiverts, and I bet most of us fall closer to that definition than either end of a broad spectrum.

And I'm laughing at how many intros (or perceived intros) there are by comparison to extroverts.

I wonder how male writers would stack up to this? That would be interesting, don't you think?

You have created a more centric norm for us! Well done, my friend! And do I get to meet you in Nashville? I'm doing the Christian Readers' Retreat (YAY!!!!!!!) and hanging at the hotel the first two days of conference.... And it would be so fun to see you!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Barbara Fox and Rhonda Starnes, I hear you both! I'd never thought of the "ambivert" term until Barb used it, and it's fitting, isn't it?

And Rhonda, congrats on finaling in FAB FIVE!!!!!

So exciting!!!!!!

I loved this topic when I read the article from, but it's interesting in how it kind of morphed into an Us and Them slant.... and it's fun that we can all see ourselves kind of pushing the standards to stretch those walls.

Sandy Smith, you're a perfect example of that! You feel like an introvert, but you make yourself do things out of the comfort zone as needed.

I think that's about as healthy as we can get, isn't it?

Go us!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mary Connealy, I have that same regret often. SIGH. You'd think we'd learn.

But we don't.

So yes, for us, the two insensitive clods (Mary and I took one of those "sensitivity" tests on the Internet and we FAILED MISERABLY. The only two Seekers who FLUNKED).

.... we need to listen more. And then brush folks off.

That will be much better than interrupting them to brush them off, don't you think?


Deanna Stevens said...

Great advise.. I need to make myself get out more :)
Would love to be in the book drawing...

Chill N said...

But ... but ... what if we interrupt because we know where the other person is headed with what they're saying so why waste more time letting them verbalize the thought when we already know what they'll say?

On another topic -- Back in the Saddle was a super read, Ruthy. The next one in the series releases when? :-)

Nancy C

Barbara Scott said...

Yes, RUTHY, I'll find you at ACFW!! I've already booked my room even though I only live 20 miles away. I plan to attend the Christian Readers' Retreat on Wednesday, so I'll see you there!! The only day I might sign up for at ACFW is Thursday, but I'm still "cogitating" on that. :)

Edwina said...


As always, an excellent blog!

Do you think a person can change from an introvert to an extrovert? I do, because I did. I used to be very shy - hated going alone into restaurants, meetings, even church-where people knew me - until one day when I realized that 99% of the people in that restaurant, meeting and church were just as much as an introvert as I was. And so, I began to change. It didn't happen overnight of course, but I began reaching out to people in simple ways. I asked some if I could sit with them, I complimented women on their outfit, I said "hello" to workers at Wally World (Wal-Mart for those who are not familiar with the name we call it). Little things. Simple things. Things that extroverts never dreamed that introverts would have so much trouble doing. Hopefully, my little story will help someone else who is struggling with being an introvert. NOT that there is any thing wrong with being an introvert, but if we are going to our book signings, speaking at groups, perhaps doing a workshop at ACFW, then we must come out of our shell at least a little bit!

Please enter my name in for the drawing!


Julie Lessman said...

BARBARA SCOTT SAID: "Would you believe there's such a thing as an "ambivert?" I'm not making this up. Google it. Here's the definition: a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features. On the Myers-Brigg test, I fall exactly in the middle of both extrovert and introvert. I like to think I got the best qualities of both, but some extrovert would probably argue with that, and introverts would hide from me. Sigh.

WOW, Barb, I didn't know that about ambiverts!! That might be what I am, too, in a pretty extreme manner!

BARBARA FOX SAID: "(Julie was the 1/2) and the rest introverts until Barbara Scott came along with AMBIVERT!! Now it looks like 5 extroverts, 5 ambiverts and all the rest of us are admitted introverts- except for Vince who really didn't admit t anything except ducking.:-)"

LOL ... I've been called half crazy before, so that makes sense!


ohiohomeschool said...

I am an extrovert. . bordering on extra extrovert! I love your lists. I have to make a very conscience effort to listen more. Sometimes I realize I am talking too much and have to stop and take a breath. :-) Thanks for the reminders.

Becky B.
PS I want to be in the drawing. :)

Rebecca McLafferty said...

These lists were great. I'm wondering how much people conflict between being an introvert AND an extrovert? In most ways, I am definitely an introvert. But, when with friends and family, I can get as crazy as the best--but I know I am an strong introvert in so many other ways. I wonder if that is a personality conflict...or personality growth issue? Very interesting, pertaining to the author AND the characters... :) Thanks so much...any comments? Thanks for the generous of you!

Phyllis Wheeler said...

Great article, Ruthie! God is our ever present help. May He bless you and all of Seekerville!

Amber Schamel said...

Ruthie, you're fantastic.

I'm a day late to this party since my email alert comes in later, but I just had to come by and comment.

I'm an introvert, for sure. And I struggle with knowing when to push myself out of my comfort zone versus wait on God and let HIM do the work.