I've learned that apparently there's a description for people like me and likely most artists called an "introverted extravert". Like any other service oriented business, it's all about relationships and the only way to establish a relationship is to talk to others. It seems to me that most writers, editors, certainly composers, and any other creative business that requires us to be immersed in our work for any length of time, that is not something that comes especially naturally to us. The truth is that we would love much more to be in our "cave" creating art than finding a way to connect with a complete stranger.
So you might ask, how is that an introverted extravert... just sounds like an introvert? But I think most artists would agree that we need people just as much as we need the quiet. After all we are inspired by art in general and people are the ones who make it. So we need an interaction with others to open our perspective, to add to our own contributions, and to keep us relatively normal.
Beyond that we need people who have what we don't have, and those who have what we need. That might be a partnership or collaboration, but specifically a project that will get you paid. The difficulty I'm still trying to master is once you've broken out of the cave to get yourself to the right environment, how do you translate that relationship into a job. Personal relationships never work when they're forced, and I believe that it's inherit of an artist to be sincere. Given that quality, I'll call it, we tend to have to rely on people liking us enough to give us a shot. The good news is that sometimes it only takes that one shot. The bad news is that many times it requires a lot of shots. In other words, I always hoped that work begets more work, but it's been confirmed that isn't really the case. Just because you have one good gig today doesn't mean you have a good gig tomorrow.
Thus we are all required to be introverted extraverts. There's no way for us to do our job well solely as an extravert because we would constantly need social stimulation which contradicts what we do as an immersed artist. But there's also no way for us to find a place for our art without the people who need to know it exists without leaving the cave.
There are a few things to hang on to in this business and one of them is that I was told by a composer named James Venable a long time ago, "the only people who don't make it in this business are the ones who give up". Keep going, keep learning, keep perfecting the craft, and keep being a likable person, and one day you'll be where you want to be. The other is that I'm not sure what else to do in life. I'm sure there are many things I can do, but there aren't many things I'm good at. I know there are many more talented people than I am in this world, but that's true in every aspect of life. There is always a more talented scientist, smarter finance analyst, skilled artist, precise surgeon, home builder, light designer... you name it there is likely always someone better than you. So if that's true, which no matter how egotistical you are it is, then we all have to find a way to provide what it is we do best to the people who need it for the sake of our own art.
That is if you want to do what you love for a living!!