Many actors, writers and other creative people are considered shy or introverted, or identify themselves as one or both. These are not the same thing, of course, although many people may talk about others, or themselves, as “shy” when they are perhaps introverted. More on the distinction later.
But why would Introversion fit so well with creative expression?
Psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung identified it as a core personality trait, and The Myers & Briggs Foundation page “Extraversion or Introversion” describes qualities for Introversion: “I like getting my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head, in my inner world. I often prefer doing things alone or with one or two people I feel comfortable with. I take time to reflect so that I have a clear idea of what I’ll be doing when I decide to act. Ideas are almost solid things for me. Sometimes I like the idea of something better than the real thing.”
One example of these qualities: J.K. Rowling – who notes on her website that she first had the idea for Harry Potter in 1990 when she was traveling alone on a train: “I had been writing almost continuously since the age of six but I had never been so excited about an idea before. To my immense frustration, I didn’t have a pen that worked, and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one…”
She added, “I did not have a functioning pen with me, but I do think that this was probably a good thing. I simply sat and thought, for four (delayed train) hours, while all the details bubbled up in my brain…”