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Extrovert Hangovers and Afterpants

You've just spent a super fun weekend at a conference or author event. You verified the Real Life existence of your Online Friends, and totally clicked offline too. You met authors, bloggers, readers, writers of every variety. Maybe you even danced a little. (Or a lot.)
crowds outside comic-con. am still recovering.
And even though it was one of the best weekends of your life!... today, your head's head's buzzing, even if you didn't drink. (Much.) Your body feels heavy. All you want in the world is to turn off your phone, shut down your email, and curl up the couch with a book.

Looks like you're afflicted with an Extrovert Hangover! 

It's a condition I know well. I'm not exactly an introvert, but I'm not always an extrovert, either – it depends on the situation. I crave need alone time to recharge, especially following tons of socialization. But after too much alone time, I crave socialization, too.

Author signings, conferences, industry get-togethers, and panels (particularly when you're speaking on them) are ultra-social experiences. They can be great fun. They're also some of the most exhausting events I've ever attended. Sure, zigzagging for miles through places like the Javits Center accounts for some of that. And navigating crowds is tiring, always. But equally exhausting is the way these events require us – whether author, blogger, or fan – to be ON the whole time. Happy! Friendly! Witty! Engaging! For hours. Even days.

Especially authors. If we act cranky, people will remember. Even if it's only because we are sick of the sound of our own voices, and are pretty sure you are too, and we are desperate for some afterpants time.

Hanging out with authors and other book-lovers is incredibly inspiring, and necessary, I think, in a career with so much solitary confinement. (Related: I hope you're all watching Orange Is the New Black. It's amazing. Despite the awful title.) But for introverts, and even halfie introverts like me, they swallow up all our energy stores and more.

Luckily, extrovert hangovers are much more easily cured than the tequila type.

The antidote? Alone time!

Not just after you arrive home, but while you're there, too. At your next conference or industry event, as soon as you sense a case of the crankies impending, step away from the crowd. Take a half hour break, outside if possible. Read a book or charge your phone. Head back to your room for a nap. Sit in a corner and jot down some notes for your next manuscript. Chances are, your friends – fellow authors, writers and readers, right? – will understand.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find a costume for next weekend's SCBWI party!

(…along with a pair of comfy afterpants for the hangover.)

Kirsten Hubbard

Kirsten is the author of Like Mandarin, Wanderlove, and the middle grade novel Watch the Sky.

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  1. I am the same way! I like being alone, but I also love being around other people.


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Item Reviewed: Extrovert Hangovers and Afterpants Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kirsten Hubbard