Creativity and the Introvert

This photo, "Quiet moments" is (c) Antonio Zepeda 2007 and made available under an attribution license.
This photo, “Quiet moments” is (c) Antonio Zepeda 2007 and made available under an attribution license.

I’ve been away from blogging for a little while, partly due to feeling busy with other commitments but also because I’ve been stuck on what to write about! But today, when I’m actually sick with a bit of cold, this topic came to me. Introverts and creativity: how does that work? How are creative introverts different from creative extroverts, if at all?

Of course, many types of introverts exist in the world, but overall introverts are thought of as being deep thinkers. Applying this to creativity, this might mean that an introvert would think about what they want to create quite a lot before they put their brush or pen to the paper or pick up their guitar or whatever their instrument of choice is. I know for myself, if I’m in a creative mode I’ll usually think through what I want to do on a walk or on the bus ride home before I actually do anything. And sometimes after I’ve done this preliminary thinking, I still won’t actually do anything…

But then again, many introverts are more apt to ‘just do it,’ dependent on other aspects of their personality. I guess a big difference from extroverts, then, would be that introverts appear more likely to become serious artists, since many types of artists must be able to persist through spending a lot of time working on their craft on their own.

So, what about expressing creativity, like to other people? Contrary to popular belief, shyness is not the same as introversion, so if an introvert is hesitant to share their creativity that is not necessarily because they’re shy! I can only speak for myself here, but I know that I can be a perfectionist when it comes to sharing anything I’ve created, which makes me hesitant. My hesitancy comes from the fact that I overthink things in general… like how about the fact that I’ve played guitar since middle school but can count on one hand the number of times that I’ve performed in front of people that I don’t know? Anyway, that’s about to change since I’ve been voluntold to play guitar at church (actually, I was pretty happy to join, for the record–sometimes I just need a little push!).

Introverts can definitely have a problem with overthinking. Yet, many well-known, super-talented creative types are in fact introverts. Any google search of “[your chosen type of artist here] introverts” will show you this. If you’re like me and tend to hesitate to both create and share whatever form of art you’re interested in, now is the time to put those hesitancies aside.

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