I hadn’t thought much about that until recently, when I got sucked into a whirlwind. I was part of the behind-the-scenes crew filming a show for the Travel Channel here in Florida. (I can’t give more details than that right now, sorry).
But here’s what I can tell you: we worked twelve hour days—minimum—at a crazy pace, with a constant need for improvisation, switching gears, and changing plans on the fly. It was completely exhausting.
Here’s the part that surprised me: It was also completely exhilarating.
I loved every minute of it. (Well, except getting up at 5:00 a.m.) I loved the pace and the energy and the people, despite my exhaustion.
Did I get any writing done while I was gone? Nope. Not a word. I occasionally answered a few urgent emails moments before I collapsed at night. That’s it.
That got me thinking about my basic personality and how it affects my creative process. While I was in high school, a mentor asked me how well I’d do as a writer since that requires so much time alone—and I’m such a people person. My hackles went up and I insisted I’d be fine. But the question lingered in the back of my mind. I freelanced for ten years before I went back to work part-time. To be honest, the silence and the loneliness got to me. I realized that being around people energizes me.
But to write, I need quiet. I need to climb into my head and quiet the noise enough to think. On every personality test I’ve ever taken, I’ve scored really high in two opposing categories. I’ve never put much stock in the zodiac, but is it any wonder I’m a Gemini: the twins?
I’m an extrovert.
And I’m an introvert.
So how do I balance that? I’ve realized that I’m probably never going to be one of those writers who can sit and produce five perfect pages of prose a day. I’m more of a book-in-a-week kind of girl. Puke it all out on the page in an intense creative rush–and then emerge from the cave for my people-fix.
What about you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? And how does that impact your creative process? I’d love to hear what you think.