I first wrote this during the craziness of Covid lockdown on July 3, 2020. I now know there are several who follow my posts and blogging who will resonate with this. Since I don’t recall publishing this, here it is as written almost three years back.
“Creative flow happens. The creative heart doesn’t manufacture it; it’s issued at birth along with the strange personality with which God blessed you. An artistic bent needs a stressless, even, relaxing environment in which to thrive: painting, writing, sculpting, whatever.
“One can only hope and pray for significant others, life companions, who understand this enough they know when to leave their creative other alone.
“The problem is often the artistic, creative soul is also sensitive and introverted with empathic tendencies thrown in. That means they’ll usually have their needs and preferences sidelined and stuffed down in favor of everyone else’s.
“Never confuse being introverted with dull and opinionless. Empathic introverts sit quietly while vacuuming up salient points the room never realizes are being revealed. Yet they hold just as many deep desires and longings as anyone else. That the introvert says little or nothing about them often means he or she is even more passionate and fierce in their pursuit.” (7/3/20)
If your spouse or close friend is an introvert, learn his or her schedule. If they’re accustomed to early mornings, learn to leave them alone during those times. But the same is true for other times during the day or even night. When they seem to disappear at odd times, it’s because something triggered an incomplete thought by which they’d been troubled, and they’re trying to recapture it before it flies again.
Realize that in order to create, to take advantage of the creative flow, they need large blocks of uninterrupted, undistracted time.
It may not seem to you like they’re doing anything productive, but there’s more going on inside them than you’d ever dream. I can’t speak for the other creative disciplines. Yet as a writer, I can tell you I’m never far from something with which to write and something upon which to write notes.
If your introvert seems to be staring off into Middle Space, just leave them alone. If you ask, they probably can’t slow their whirling thoughts down quickly enough to give you a sensible response. You’ll get a weird sentence that not only doesn’t make sense to you, but only frustrates them because you just interrupted a stream of thought they may or may not be able to retrieve right then.
It’s why writers keep pad and pen close. In their wake you’ll find pads full of ideas, thoughts, impressions, and quotations from other writers. Dozens of them. Some will be dated and others not. Some full, others not. All – ALL – are important and personal to the writer. Leave them completely alone.
Seriously. Just leave them alone. It may look to you like they haven’t been touched since they were learning to walk (that is known as hyperbole), but writers often sit reading old notes ‘n’ quotes from previous years without writing anything. If you were to read them, they’d seem like your grandma’s goulash, making little sense with no real connection at all. However, somewhere in the grooved recesses of that writer’s mind, those snippets of thought and jotted ideas are catalogued and one day he or she will want THAT one. It had better be there, even if they’ve zero idea where to find it.
Nope. Doesn’t make sense at all . . . to you. It does to them.
Welcome to the weird, wonderful world of the creative mind.
© d. dean boone, 3 March 2023