I finally sat down today with my book editor’s notes on section one of my memoir manuscript that covers the years leading up to my son’s diagnosis with a brain tumor. My editor told me it would need a lot of work, and it does.
Often in her notes, my editor questioned why I kept so many of my feelings inside me, how I could have kept my fear and despair and frustration private. She wondered why I reacted or didn’t react the way I did. “The reader will want to know,” she said.
I’m beginning to understand just how much readers will want to know, and I’m getting nervous. I’m nervous because I instinctively keep many of my deepest thoughts private, because the thought of sharing on a deeper level makes my heart pound. And because I don’t know the answer.
I don’t know me very well.
Why am I so private?
Part of it is being an introvert. Introverts generally guard their privacy.
I’ve known for many years I was an introvert, and I dabbled in trying to understand more deeply what this meant. But when my book editor asked her probing questions on behalf of future readers, I didn’t understand how much my need for solitude went hand-in-hand with my need for privacy.
If you want to get deep in the introvert weeds, in Myers-Briggs personality theory parlance, I’m an INFJ. Read here for more detail, about this test to help individuals understand the strengths and weaknesses of their unique personalities.
But for a quick understanding of the initials:
I for Introvert (as opposed to extrovert).
N for iNtuitive (as opposed to sensory).
F for Feeling (as opposed to thinking).
J for Judging (as opposed to perceiving).
I know it’s more complicated than just being an introvert. It has to do with being a people-pleaser, and my upbringing, relationships, and self-doubt. I have some digging to do. I want to know, and you, as my reader, will want to know.
So I’m going on a limb to say I promise I will figure this out, and I will tell you, here, as the pages of my blog unfold, and in my someday memoir you can read.
I don’t know myself as well as I’d like today, or 31 years ago when I was a new mom.
But I’ll figure it out, and I hope you’ll weather the storm with me.