Do You Brainstorm or Think Tank? How Personality Type Affects the Creative Process

introvert-vs-extrovert

Have you ever wondered why your creative abilities sometimes flourish and sometimes seem non-existent? While factors like health and sleep affect the brain’s functionality, personality type also dictates which factors help or hinder creativity. Extroverts and introverts draw energy from different situations, and they use distinctive thinking processes. For freelance writers or professionals working in any field, neither personality trait is better or worse – just different. Understanding which trait you prefer will help your creative mind to flourish.

Are You an Extrovert?

Individuals who prefer extraversion tend to concentrate on activities and people based in the outer world. Taking action and interacting with others energizes extroverts, and they typically direct their attention and energy outward. Extroverts exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Accustomed to the external environment
  • Have wide-ranging interests
  • Like to communicate through talking
  • Prefer to talk through ideas
  • Learn from discussing or doing
  • Sociable
  • Expressive
  • Often take the initiative in relationships and at work

If most of these characteristics are true for your, then you are likely an extrovert who gains energy from interacting with others.

Are You an Introvert?

Those who show a preference for introversion enjoy concentrating on the inner world of ideas, thoughts, and personal experiences. Reflection on memories, feelings, and thoughts energizes introverts, and they prefer to direct their own attention and energy inward. Introverts exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Interested in their own inner world
  • Prefer to communicate through writing
  • Prefer to reflect on ideas
  • Learn through reflection or mental practice
  • Have deep interests
  • Private
  • Reserved
  • Usually take the initiative when an issue or situation is important to them

If more of these characteristics describe you than the traits listed under extraversion, then you can categorize yourself as an introvert.

What Does it Mean for Freelance Writers?

Society places several stereotypical connotations on introversion and extraversion, calling one group anti-social and the other social butterflies and assuming that one is deep and the other superficial. These societal labels, however, are far from accurate; individuals who tend toward either end of the spectrum can at times be social, deep, superficial, or shy. The best way for freelance writers to deal with their preferences is to understand how it affects their creativity.

Introverts’ creativity flourishes in a brainstorming environment which allows for reflection and ideas based on past experiences. In a creative group of mostly extroverts, an introvert’s perspective can be eclipsed by the extroverts’ outward energy. Conversely, an extrovert requires a creative environment which fosters thinking out loud and bouncing ideas off of others like a think tank. An extrovert outnumbered by introverts can feel silenced by the introverts’ inward energy. Knowing which you and your creative partners are will help you understand how to best encourage your own creativity and that of others.

An introvert to the bone, Jennifer G does not like parades, pep rallies, or watering holes. She feels most energized after an evening alone with a good book, a glass of wine, and the quiet of an empty house.


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