Info

The Creative Introvert Podcast

Are you a creative? A maker, a doer, an (over)thinker, an entrepreneur who gets their energy from within, who enjoy their time alone, and who is most creative when working solo? That's exactly who this podcast is for. Each week, I'll be bringing you a heady mix of practical philosophy, psychology and mysticism (with a dash of irreverence) in order to bring to light ideas that you can experiment with in your daily life. http://www.thecreativeintrovert.com/
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
The Creative Introvert Podcast
2021
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2019
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: December, 2018
Dec 31, 2018

Hope you've had a lovely holiday break, whether or not you choose to officially celebrate any or not, I assume the majority had some kind of break from work or your regular routine.

Whilst I did enjoy time with my family of origin, and my friends, I'm quite ready to get back to regular life again. I just want the world to go back to normal - with regular opening hours so I don't get thrown out of my favourite coffee shop at 3pm. 

That said, I do like taking the weird limbo between xmas and new years day to really do some reflection on the year that's past. It's easy to just keep on moving from one thing to another without taking some time to stop and smell the flowers, as in: reflect on what worked, what didn't, what you've learned, what you loved over the past year.

In many ways I group 2018 and 2017 together, because these were my Brighton years. The years I've spent away from London, the place I've called home, and attempted to basically start a life from scratch, relying only on the work I do online.

Which is quite funny in hindsight because it was in the past two years I learned the value of what comes from offline life. Meeting people in real life, and learning to manage my energy when doing so. Speaking to audiences from a stage, not just on the podcast. Creating community events in physical locations, not just on Facebook.

I learned a lot, and was definitely challenged as an introvert with mild social anxiety and a tendency to stay in my comfort zone behind the screen. Anyway, next year I've got plans to both utilise the magic that is an online business, and experiment even more with being location independent as I do quite a bit of travelling starting very soon. Whilst also embracing what comes from the real world, living more of my life offline, without relying on the comfort blanket of my laptop and phone.

I'll share more about my plans for 2019 on Thursday's podcast, but for now - I thought I'd talk a bit about GOALS. I've harped on about goal setting before, you might know how fond I am of this process. Or at least, how fond I've been in the past. I've started to soften up my approach to setting goals for myself, and in doing so I hope I can help more of you who have a less... easy relationship with the G-word.

I'm going to read a short chapter from my new book, The Creative Introvert: How to Build a Business You Love on Your Terms, which is officially released tomorrow - just search for "The Creative Introvert" on Amazon - as this is all about tackling the issue of goal setting - and finding an approach that works for you.

I tried to do as much of this 'choose your own adventure' in the book as possible, taking into account multiple different types of creative introvert that I know are out there, my intention being that you find the very best path for you to accomplishing just about anything you want, at least in terms of your creative career.

Enjoy the show!

 

POWERED BY PATREON

This podcast is made possible only by means of my generous supporters on Patreon. Thank you! Supporting the Creative Introvert podcast also gets you lots of goodies, from a Monthly Ask Me Anything to a copy of my soon-to-be-released BOOK, The Creative Introvert: How to Build a Business You Love on Your Terms. Hitting milestones also funds future projects, and ideas guided by you, my supporters.

BECOME A SUPPORTER

Dec 20, 2018

I’ll admit I’ve been a bit stuck on Year of Fun happenings to share with you for the last fortnight, and that’s not entirely because my life hasn’t had fun in it… but nothing is exactly big enough to write home about – or, make a podcast about.

After nearly a year of this weekly fun, I’ve learned a lot about what I need in my life, what I consider to be fun, and what I definitely don’t need. I’ll be sharing my round up properly next week, but for now I’ll share one last hurrah, one last look at this introvert’s idea of fun.

So what I thought I’d do is give you a full day of fun activities – actually it’s mostly eating – but a fun day that one could spend in Brighton, the city I’ve been living in for the last 2.5 years.

Seeing as I’ll be waving goodbye – for a while anyway – to Brighton and Hove in the new year, it seems like an appropriate way to round up my time here and celebrate what this quirky seaside shore offers.

Full disclosure: I haven’t done all of these in one day… but I have done all of them at different times, and am pretty sure you could do this all in one day without feeling overly drained.

 

How to get to Brighton

Arrive by train at Brighton Station. I say this because driving and parking in Brighton isn’t fun, so I’ve heard. Lots of one way  systems and very expensive car parks – and with a direct train from London, you’re probably better off getting here by train. And do check the train updates before you leave – if you’re not familiar with the issues we have on this particular line, then… beware.

Brunch at Cafe Coho

Ok so you’ve arrived, yay! Ideally, you want to get here by 10:30/11 am, which is hopefully doable – and it means you’ll be in time for brunch, my favourite meal of the day.

Cafe Coho is right outside the station on the main road that leads to the sea, and they have some mighty fine brunch options. I recommend the sweet potato hash.

Window shopping in the lanes

Once you’ve had your fill and digested a good brunch, head down Queen’s road for a few minutes – before it gets too grim, which it will – and turn left down any of the side streets. This is where it starts getting ‘proper’ Brighton. The North Laines: lots of windy streets, cobblestones, street art, cafes and kooky, esoteric shops. I love it.

A tip I learned when I went to Glastonbury with two of my chums, is to window shop first, spot what you want, then go and do something else before coming back to buy. This is great if you have strong impulsive tendencies, and are likely to regret purchases later, like me.

So for the time being you’re just window shopping. My favourite shops are all on Sydney Street, more or less. You’ve got vintage clothing, comic books, second hand books, crystals, beads for jewellery making, a new stationery shop called Papersmiths and so much more. Definitely head to Sydney street.

The Royal Pavilion

At some point you’re going to have to whip out your maps app on your phone, because by now you may very well be lost down some odd side street. Type in ‘The Royal Pavilion’ because that’s where we’re heading next.

To be fair, you could just ask someone because everyone should be able to tell you where it is, it’s kind of a big deal in Brighton, but as you’re a fellow introvert, I’m guessing you’ll go with my first option.

So, the Royal Pavilion! If you heard episode 30 of the Year of Fun then you’ll know I love this place, and think it’s well worth an hour or two on your visit. Everything from the gardens around it, the street performers, the outside of the building alone is worth a visit.

Inside, you get the full extent of the decadence that the Prince Regent insisted on, and the weird mix of East and West in the designs. Go there, take some cheeky pictures though I’m not sure you’re allowed, and digest it all in the gift shop, which ain’t half bad either.

Before our next stop, make sure to head back to any shops to pick up anything you spotted earlier when you were window shopping, and make any purchases you still actually want/can even remember wanting.

Coffee + Cake + Games

Now you’re going to head south, roughly, down to the sea front. It doesn’t matter how you get there, but if you can wind in through the South Laines – do. Though I take no responsibility for you getting lost and distracted there.

Once you’re on the sea front, stop, take a look around at the Pier, admit to yourself it’s garish and probably very loud and annoying with all those seagulls stealing chips – but quite charming in its own way.

Then swiftly head to the east of the pier, finding some steps to take you down to a little strip where you’ll find C:\Side Quest, a games bar/cafe which has made it’s way down from London and has proved quite a hit.

This is one of my more recent discoveries and I just wish I had found it sooner. For one, when I went on a weekday afternoon, it was pretty quiet. Plus it’s bigger than most spaces in Brighton, so even if it was busy you’ll likely find a spot to sit.

Order a coffee, tea – or maybe something stronger. They have cocktails with very ‘punny’ names, which I appreciate.

Then you’ve got the option to play a game, there are board games, and loads of classic video games and big comfy seats to spend hours there, if that’s what you’re into.

OR you can just take a seat by the window, and look out at the view of the sea. A weird fact about Brighton, or at least an opinion I have, is that there are very few spots along the sea front that give you a good view and that are not totally cheesy rip offs. So for the view (and vegan donuts) alone, C:\Side Quest is well worth a visit.

Take a trip up the i360

Now this is a controversial one, but I recently embraced it and I’m really quite glad I did. The i360 is this strange beast that was erected when I first moved here, and it’s basically a tower with a pod that takes you up and down, giving you a decent view of the city.

It’s a tourist attraction sponsored by British Airways, and most Brightoners will tell you it’s an eyesore. But then, that’s what they said about the Eiffel Tower… It’s basically Brighton’s Eiffel Tower.

It does cost a bit to get into, so I’m not saying it’s a MUST do, but if you’re with someone and you have an hour or so to burn, go for it. By this time, assuming you’re doing all of this in the winter when I’m recording, you’ll catch a nice sunset or night sky, which is ideal because the city will look much more twinkly and magical then.

Pre-prandials

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the insane amount of pubs and bars in Brighton, and whilst I’m not the biggest boozer these days, I will give a couple of recommendations if you’re looking for a pre-dinner drink somewhere.

So if you want a pub, check out the Black Lion or the Walrus, both nice and pubby, the Black Lion also has a decent beer garden for warmer weather. If you’re in the mood for something harder, maybe check out the Plotting Parlour or Bohemia for cocktails. And finally if you want a wine bar, it’s got to be Plateau.

And she says she’s not a big boozer…

Dinner

If you make it out of your pub in time for dinner, I’d strongly recommend Terre a Terre, a mostly vegan and vegetarian restaurant that has blown my mind every time I’ve been. It’s a little on the pricey side, so if you’re not feeling that, then I’d say Franco Manca, serving the best sourdough pizza in town, is worthy of your custom too, and super affordable.

Comedy at Komedia

Finally, if you’re in the mood to end the evening with some entertainment, head to Komedia on Gardner Street. You might have to pre-book depending on when you go, but there’s usually something on, usually comedy, that you can turn up for. I love a good giggle (as demonstrated in episode 17), and I’ve always been impressed by the comic standards at Komedia, though I do have friends who will tell you it’s hit or miss.

 

Few! I think after that you’ll be running to get home and into bed, because I’ll admit – Brighton can feel a bit full on, especially if you’re an introvert and/or an HSP.

But I love this city, and all it’s quirk and the people here are second to none on the friendliness level (especially for the South of England, not the warmest part of the world.)

Ooh and don’t dilly dally – the last train home to London is around 11:30 and I have had the joyous experience of being stranded here in my youth, so – check your train times! And I wish you a lovely day in Brighton.

Fun rating: 9/10

 

POWERED BY PATREON

This podcast is made possible only by means of my generous supporters on Patreon. Thank you! Supporting this project gets you lots of goodies, including a copy of my soon-to-be-released BOOK, The Creative Introvert: How to Live a Life You Love on Your Terms, monthly Masterclasses and much more. Hitting milestones also funds future projects, and ideas guided by you, my supporters.

Dec 17, 2018

I'm a massive fan of 'best of' lists, especially when it comes to books, and I figured it would be a nice way to start rounding up the year.

For the first time, I was pretty consistent this year in keeping track of what I was reading, averaging about 4 books a month - but I will admit I finished probably half of them. I'm a big believer in putting a book down when it stops interesting you. There are too many good books out there.

All but one of these are non-fiction, so apologies if that isn't your jam, but if you listen to this podcast you'll likely be interested in most of these topics anyway, so fingers crossed you find at least one book that piques your curiosity.

I'd also love to know what your favourite books were this year, I'm always up for recommendations.

 

1) Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

I've been an embarrassingly big fan of Tim Ferriss for many years now, his books and his podcast - and this book kind of combines both. It is basically a reference book Tim created for himself, asking his world-class most expert buddies for advice on some of his most pressing questions. Questions like:

How could I be kinder to myself?
How could I better say “no” to the trivial many to better say “yes” to the critical few?
How could I best reassess my priorities and my purpose in this world?

I love the concept, of seeking council from the best, and if you have the contacts - you might as well use 'em. And if you don't well you can read this book.

 

2) Shrinking Violets by Joe Moran

I stumbled upon this author at a talk he gave in Brighton last year, and I knew I had to have him on the podcast. Fortunately, despite being a shrinking violet, he said yes. This book is a fascinating and really quite sweet look at what it means to be shy, and as someone who often avoids the subject of shyness because I don't want people to confuse it for introversion, it was an important read for me.

 

3) Your Press Release is Breaking My Heart by Janet Murray

Another hero of mine, Janet Murray is the author of this next book and one I prescribe regularly to any of my clients or just people I meet, anyone who wants to get their work out to the masses via the press and influencers.

I love how detailed yet simple Janet manages to make this topic of PR and how she does acknowledge what it's like to be an introvert when you're trying to reach out to the press.

 

 

4) 12 Rules For Life by Jordan Peterson

If you've been listening to this podcast recently (or if you listened to the episode of The Seeker and the Skeptic on the book club we went to), you probably won't be surprised to hear this entry. Some of his ideas are questionable, yes, but there is so much wisdom buried in this book - which is basically a self-help book. But unlike most other self help books I've ever read, there's something about Peterson's words that hit me at a deep level, it kind of shakes your core - at least, it does for me.

Regardless of what you think of the man, I think it's worth giving this book a go, at least to understand what he's actually trying to say.

 

5) The Creative License by Danny Gregory

Another podcast guest, this book comes from Danny Gregory who has been a real inspiration to me. I read this book during the summer while I was feeling particularly uninspired and well, sweaty, and this was a reminder of all the possibilities that creativity holds, and how you can start super small - just putting pen to paper - and what a difference that makes.

 

6) The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

Danny takes a lot of his inspiration from this legendary book by Julia Cameron, and I decided to read this for the second time earlier in the year. If you haven't heard of it, it's basically more of a course than a regular book, and Julia walks you through 12 weeks of 'artist recovery' - yes, it's based on the 12 Steps program and has a lot of God talk - but regardless of how you feel about that, it has some real gems that I think I'll be using for the rest of my life.

 

7) How To Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

Increasingly one of my interests has become the use of plants and plant medicine for healing, both physically and mentally - and let's say it, spiritually. You might have caught the Year of Fun episode back in March where I talked about my trip to Peru, and my experience with plant medicine there.

Again, not for everyone - seriously not for everyone - but we are definitely at a turning point in our cultural attitude to these consciousness-altering substances, and I can't but help be excited for the possibilities they have, if used correctly. Michael Pollan is brilliant at explaining the why behind all this renewed attention for psychedelics, the history, the science and everything in between. One for the seekers and the skeptics.

 

8) Volcanic Momentum by Jordan Ring

One more podcast guest for you here, and like I mentioned on that show, I've read a hell of a lot of books on productivity and time management - but this was a truly great read. I flew through it, and never once felt patronised or like Jordan was trying to get me to do something unreasonable - this guy walks the talk, and I really clicked with his message. If you're looking to get 2019 off to a momentous start, then this one is definitely worth checking out.

 

9) Mythos by Stephen Fry

Oh my... this is the one I'm most excited about now because I'm still currently reading it. Since I picked it up, I basically haven't been able to stop thinking about it or how much I just want to be reading it. And it definitely sticks out of this list, because it's entirely based on myth - the Greek myths to be exact. And I've been interested in the Ancient Greeks since I was at school, but always felt frustrated when I tried to dig deeper. For one, there are a LOT of characters to keep track of. Plus, the stories are so nutty that when you read them without some of Stephen Fry's humour, they don't seem to reach modern minds properly.

Fry is the perfect person to retell these tales, in my opinion, and if you have any interest in archetypes, legends, bizarre stories and the etymology of words (which I am very much) I highly recommend this tome.

 

10) The Creative Introvert by... Me.

Awkward... Yes, I am putting my own book on my list of best books I read in 2018 because what kind of a message would I be sending to you otherwise?? Honestly, it took me a while of battling with this - it's been officially in the works since January 2018 but I really have been working on it for a good three years in terms of the ideas and activities in there.

It was only in the very last edits back in November that I started to LIKE this book though - which, if you've ever written or created anything you probably know how that feels. We're our own worst critics. And whilst there'll always be bits I'll want to change and update, I have come to the conclusion that this is the best I could do up to this point, in explaining to others HOW to build a business or freelance career in a way that not only works as a creative introvert, but specifically for YOU - a reference book that allows you to pick and choose what appeals to you, specifically. I don't know many people offering something like that, so I hope it provides a missing piece in the entrepreneurial creative self-help space. And I hope you enjoy it, should you choose to get yourself a copy.

 

And I'll mention the bonuses I'm offering one more time before the offer runs out on December 31st - basically, if you order the book BEFORE then, you'll get your hands on goodies worth around $700, including access to the League of Creative Introverts (my online community), a companion guide eBook and 6 months of book club calls that will begin in the new year.

Phew - all done. Hope you enjoy any of the books you pick from this list, and again - I'd love to read your recommendations too.

If you leave a rating and review on iTunes (here's how to do that) I will be as happy as a kitten playing with a laser beam (or sob into my pillow, depending on what you write.)

 

POWERED BY PATREON

This podcast is made possible only by means of my generous supporters on Patreon. Thank you! Supporting the Creative Introvert podcast also gets you lots of goodies, from a Monthly Ask Me Anything to a copy of my soon-to-be-released BOOK, The Creative Introvert: How to Build a Business You Love on Your Terms. Hitting milestones also funds future projects, and ideas guided by you, my supporters.

BECOME A SUPPORTER

Dec 10, 2018

It was a pleasure this week to have my first repeat guest back on the show, Martin Stellar (he's also the business and mindset coach I mention in The Creative Introvert: How to Build a Business You Love on Your Terms.

We discuss what Martin has been up to in the past couple of years, what it means to calibrate reality, and discuss how we can be better decision makers, how we can stop people pleasing and start doing what we're here for.

Connect with Martin:

 

You can leave a rating and review on iTunes (here's how to do that) and I will be as happy as a kitten playing with a laser beam (or sob into my pillow, depending on what you write.)

 

POWERED BY PATREON

This podcast is made possible only by means of my generous supporters on Patreon. Thank you! Supporting the Creative Introvert podcast also gets you lots of goodies, from a Monthly Ask Me Anything to a copy of my soon-to-be-released BOOK, The Creative Introvert: How to Build a Business You Love on Your Terms. Hitting milestones also funds future projects, and ideas guided by you, my supporters.

BECOME A SUPPORTER

Dec 7, 2018

Dammit - I promised myself I'd recorded my last woo-woo Year of Fun adventure, but here we are. Getting an astrology reading.

After growing increasingly curious about astrology over the past year or so, I figured it was finally time to see what it would be like to get my birth chart - the map of the planets at the exact time I was born - interpreted by a human. I know you can get your chart interpreted online for free (and I recommend this, if you're curious) but I also know the value in speaking to a real live human, and getting their spin on things.

I should let you know my beliefs around astrology, just to be clear. That said, I don't blame you for already jumping to the conclusion that I've lost my mind. I AM still skeptical about the value in attributing what's happening in our lives, and what our personalities are like based on the stars. I can see how nutty that sounds.

But... I also know that we don't know everything. We don't really know what makes what happen. Astrology has been around for a long time, and has existed in multiple parts of the world, across thousands of years.

If there's anything to it, I'd say it's much like the Myers Briggs personality test: YOUR interpretation, YOUR insights from the results and even from the questions - that's where the value lies. If I look at my birth chart and see my sun is in Aries, a fire sign, a bold, strong and somewhat self-centred sign: I will take what I want from that. I might think YES! This explains my fiery temper, my passion and intense drive. I might ignore the self-centred, egotistical tendencies OR I might take them into account and try to temper those aspects of myself, arguably for the better.

Of course there's more to me than those qualities and weaknesses, just like there's more to you than being an introvert or an INFP. But sometimes it's useful to have a helping hand in identifying those characteristics, and that's what Astrology - I believe - does. It's one more torch you can use to shine a light on yourself, and question what makes you, you.

OK, now that's out of the way I'll let you in on my first ever chart reading.

What I cover on the episode:

  • The setting
  • The personality of my astrologer
  • Diagnosis #1: an indigo child?
  • Am I a creative introvert, according to my chart?
  • Business tips (from the astrologer, not the stars)
  • What's in my future...

Fun rating: 9/10

I'd recommend this to pretty much anyone who has an open mind, and is not prone (too much) to blaming external events for their reality.

You can find out more about my astrologer here (spoiler alert: highly recommended!) and if you'd like to hear a much more in-depth podcast about astrology and a discussion with my skeptical co-host, subscribe to the Seeker and the Skeptic podcast. The show will air 1st Jan.

 

POWERED BY PATREON

This podcast is made possible only by means of my generous supporters on Patreon. Thank you! Supporting this project gets you lots of goodies, including a copy of my soon-to-be-released BOOK, The Creative Introvert: How to Live a Life You Love on Your Terms, monthly Masterclasses and much more. Hitting milestones also funds future projects, and ideas guided by you, my supporters.

Become a supporter

Dec 3, 2018

I thought it would be wise to share an excerpt from my very first book, The Creative Introvert: How to Build a Business You Love on Your Terms to celebrate it pre-launch. Well, it’s available for pre-order now and the reason you might want to order it before December 31st, is because of all the goodies I’m giving away to you early birds!

The pre-order goodies include:

  • Access to the Creative Introvert Book Club: 6 live monthly calls with live coaching, Q+A and a read-along for each part! (value $600)
  • Membership to the online community, The League of Creative Introverts for 6 months (value: $150)
  • A copy of The Creative Introvert Troubleshooting Companion – a self-coaching guide to work through any last niggles you might have in creating a life you love, on your terms (value: $11)

“The woman leaned over, smiling kindly as she offered me a fruit pastille. I graciously accepted candy from a stranger, as though in doing so the sugar would somehow absorb into my bloodstream and make life sweet again, rather than simply causing an insulin spike.
If this isn’t evidence of the kindness of strangers, I don’t know what is. To really set the scene: this was a rainy day in the October of 2010. I was still proverbially wet behind the ears, having recently graduated from the University of Reading with a fairly respectable degree in Graphic Communication and Typography.

I was three months into my internship at a small digital agency in London’s West End, and I had stormed out of the office in tears approximately 45 minutes prior. I was still sobbing, red-faced, as I sat on the train, urging it to leave the station and take me away from the hell of London Victoria as swiftly as possible.

Come to think of it, the kindly, sweet-bearing lady didn’t have much of a choice. You can’t really enjoy your fruit pastilles if you’re sat opposite someone showing signs of hysteria, increasingly turning as red as her hair by the second. Might as well offer her one.
So… what was the reason for the waterworks and the storming out, two hours before the day’s end? There were a multitude of reasons, from unfair salary to a narcissistic CEO, but what persisted – and what sparked this book into being – was the dawning of a discovery I wouldn’t fully grasp for another three years.

I left that sadistic internship the next day – yay – but the underlying problem causing my chronic distress and dissatisfaction followed me into my next job. There, I found a much more fair, friendly and above-board company to work for. Yet whilst my circumstances improved on paper, the storm brewing inside me did not.

Let’s piece the evidence together and see if we can diagnose the Cat of circa 2010–2013 with the real underlying problem:

• The highlight of her workday is the first hour. Quiet time to herself before the remainder of the office (comprising 30–40 individuals at any given time) clocks in.
• After this, she starts to exhibit signs of quiet distress. Her brow furrows, and grooves get deeper throughout the day, until 5:30pm comes and she resembles a raisin you might consider putting on your cereal.
• She is in a state of constant lethargy, despite the fact she spends approximately 80% of her day sitting.
• The kindly co-workers around her, who mean well with their table football and darts, just can’t understand why she is spontaneously crying. Is it something they said?

When I looked at these symptoms in the thick of my malaise, I assumed that I was fatally flawed. A broken human who couldn’t hold down a respectable job that plenty of other young graduates would have given their left eyebrow for.

I actually never figured it out whilst I remained (miraculously) employed there. It took a leap of faith and a holiday to Japan for me to finally pack it in and save my boss and colleagues the discomfort of keeping Mount Cat from erupting.

My plan was to simply take a shot at this thing called freelancing, for the six months of savings I had. I can honestly say I had no idea what I was doing: I just had to test my hypothesis; that the 9–5 office grind was not a match for me. It turns out, I was on to something.

Overnight, I discovered energy I hadn’t had in over three years. I woke up without the need for an alarm (and several snoozes), eager to open my laptop, inspired to start creating and refining and emailing and tinkering each and every day.

So what changed? What was it about my newfound lifestyle and work day turned me from Sourpuss to the Cheshire Cat? Did I just hate people? That didn’t seem fair: I liked my colleagues very much. Plus, the more ‘difficult’ clients hadn’t disappeared: I was still dealing with some of the same people and arguably some even more prickly characters now.

Was I just spoiled with years of schooling and university that sheltered me from the grind of commuting each day to an office full of diverse characters and pressure to demonstrate initiative? But I’ve always been highly conscientious, hard-working and tolerant of rigid routine. Again, this didn’t add up.

Eventually, discussing my confusion with a friend, he casually diagnosed me.

“You’re an introvert, then.”

“An introvert?!” I balked.

I could admit that I was a shy child, and had my own share of social anxieties, but on the whole I’d made huge progress in my social skills and increased my confidence over the years. I couldn’t be an introvert!

Then he explained what the original definition of introvert is, coined by Carl Jung, Swiss psychoanalyst, and later expanded upon by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers.

The confusion I had over my work history – and much of my school years – started to vanish. When I understood this new (old) definition of what an introvert really is, a whole world of self-knowledge and understanding of others opened up to me.

An introvert, defined in this book is:

• Someone who gets drained by socialising in groups and recharges by being alone.
• Someone who processes information slowly and deeply.
• Someone who is NOT necessarily shy or quiet!

Newly armed with this information, my fascination grew. I started to understand why networking was so exhausting. I realised why in-house freelance contracts were not ideal, why I couldn’t stomach networking, why I grew tired long before my more extroverted friends at the pub. I started to shape my business around remote work and clients who could accommodate that. I started turning to more strategic ways of getting my work in front of people. I started letting my friends know why I had to pull an ‘Irish Exit’ so often.

The biggest relief was knowing: I wasn’t broken. I wasn’t a freak. I was in the 30-50% of the population who also fell on the introverted side of the spectrum. A real ah-ha moment came as I started to see a correlation specifically between the creatives I knew and my newfound self-diagnosis. I was finding that the vast majority of these creatives; illustrators, animators, writers, even musicians (who I had assumed were all extroverts if they performed on stage) were also introverts.

We lamented, over tepid pints of dutch courage, how much we wanted to relax into a hermit lifestyle and commit to our art. Self-promotion, social media, talking about what we do, pitching clients and agents… that was the drag, the painful side of our creative path we would do anything to avoid.

I felt this pain acutely. I also felt called to doing something about our conundrum. I committed myself to first working out an introvert-friendly way to make a career that suited my personality type and preferences, then to helping my fellow creative introverts. I committed to finding a way we could have our introverted cake and eat it too. In this case, our cake is creating work we love, and eating it is… well, making a living from it without selling our soul to our extrovert overlords.

This became my obsession, the one that kicked off the Creative Introvert blog, podcast, the League of Creative Introverts and the book you’re reading.

Are you a creative introvert?

There are a plethora of tests online that will give you your introvert diagnosis, but really it’s very simple. Do you identify with more than three of the following?

• You restore your energy when you spend time alone.
• You generally dislike being at the centre of attention.
• It takes you some time to get involved in social activities with a new group of people.
• You usually find it difficult to relax when talking in front of more than one person.
• You prefer to express yourself through writing or other non-verbal forms.

Well my friend, you’re an introvert in my books!

Misconceptions about introverts

Common misconceptions about introverts are that we’re all shy and socially anxious. Whilst these traits do overlap, and it is very common to be both an introvert and shy, I do want to clarify that these are separate traits. Even if you consider yourself shy, you probably recognise that your shyness is situational: it depends on the context.

Introversion however, is less fickle. I can’t control whether or not I feel my energy drain after a few hours in a large group situation. I can’t control how my brain processes information and how long it often takes me to find the right word when I’m speaking (especially compared to when I’m writing.)

In addition, this isn’t a book about becoming more of an extrovert: that isn’t my goal and I don’t believe it needs to be yours either. Nor is it a simple description of what it is to be a creative introvert, and an excuse to rant about our struggles.
Instead, you’ll be given tailored, experience-based and evidence-based guidance on building a thriving creative career, taking into account your introversion.

Now to define creativity… oh my.

This is a little trickier to pin down than introversion. Unlike personality tests, I’m less fanatical about ‘creativity’ tests that get you to think of multiple uses for a pencil, and decide your creativity based on that.

I’m a believer in creativity being in the eye of the beholder. You can feel creative in a niche area like flower arranging, whilst regarding yourself as unmusical, a terrible painter with two left feet. Creativity comes in myriad forms and outlets, and more than anything it’s a description of how we connect the dots, how we generate novelty, and how we play.

I’m not going to ask you to take a test to bolster your belief in how creative you are: I’m going to take a guess and say that you ARE creative. How you utilise that creativity and bring it to fruition is entirely up to you, and I would love more than anything for this book to reveal how you can best do that for your specific personality type, preferences, skills and desires.

If anything you’ve read so far about introversion and creativity resonates then there is a good chance this book is for you. The clincher is this: have you experienced challenges in your career ambitions? It might be communicating with your boss or coworkers. It might be feeling exhausted in an open plan office space. It might be clarifying your target market and building a coherent body of work.

All of these challenges – and many more – you might face as a creative with a degree of career ambition will be explored in this book.

The difference from other career advice books is that this will take into account your introverted nature. It will take into account your preferences for alone time, rich conversation with one person at a time and other subtleties that make being an introvert different. You’ll learn how to use your introverted strengths in your creative career and mitigate the blind-spots that you might experience.

If that sounds like something that might help you, then this book is most definitely for you.

How to make the most out of this book

This book is divided into six sections: the key areas I’ve identified in working with hundreds of creative introverts in coaching and teaching settings.

They are:

1) Prepare: Learn what you need to be at your best

This section shows you how self-knowledge, mindset and positive psychology are foundational to creative career success. Without this foundation, taking action and applying all the nitty-gritty strategy will likely fall flat; you’ll run into all sorts of sticking points and tie yourself in knots, if you don’t have these firm foundations.

You’ll find out what you need in order to thrive: to be at your creative best, both internally and externally. There will be multiple quizzes so you can identify more about your own personality type and we’ll explore the various routes to learning more about yourself, and how to apply this knowledge.

2) Plan: Get the clarity to move forward with confidence

Next, you’ll learn how to break down the daunting tasks of planning a career shift, starting a new project or building a creative business from scratch. You’ll be guided through a process specifically tailored to creative introverts: including a new take on business planning that is not going to induce sleep.

You’ll gain clarity on what kind of life you’re carving out for yourself, and how to remove the overwhelm from that grand concept, breaking down any size of dream into practical, actionable steps. This section will include helpful worksheets which can be filled in online or downloaded to print.

3) Produce: How To Actually Get Things Done

If you’ve ever struggled with the procrastination gremlin, you’ll be relieved to know that the battle ends here. You’ll learn strategies and tools you can use in any situation to finally get it DONE. Regardless of your old habits and limiting beliefs, this section will help you find a way to make strides in anything you set your mind to: on your terms.

4) Promote: Time To Get Your Art Out!

This is the section that many creative introverts will be most challenged by: but I promise you that this is where the biggest rewards lie. You’ll learn how to market your work without feeling sleazy or pushy. You’ll learn how to identify, attract and sell to your dream clients or customers and get the exposure you so deserve. Plus, you’ll do it all in a way that suits your introverted nature.

5) Progress: Taking Stock and Correcting Course

Throughout this book you’ll find an emphasis on experimentation. This section is where this scientific approach comes into its own. You’ll learn how to run your own experiments that will show you exactly what you’re doing that is working, and what you need to tweak. The point is to have fun: this is more like the Mento and Diet Coke type of experiment than the Hadron Collider type of experiment.

6) People: Introverts Need Them Too

Just because we’re introverts doesn’t mean we can do this all alone. People are on every corner of your creative journey, and learning how to manage these relationships effectively is going to be the make or break difference in your success. This section delves into collaboration, communication and energy management.

Note: This is not a straight-forward how-to guide book. I encourage you to find your own formula. All I can give you is ingredients (Tips + Tools) and recipes (Action Steps) that myself and others have tried, and have found helpful. This is a bit of a ‘choose your own adventure’, in that I want to give you as many options as possible to find what works best for you with your personality type and preferences.

This was the good news I so badly wanted to be true when I started to understand myself better: that just because something that works for someone else didn’t work for me, does not mean I’m a lost cause. It just means there is another way to get there. This book aims to show you the other way.

If you’re ready to get started and finally build a successful creative career that fits you like a tailor made glove, then let’s get going!”

Excerpt From: The Creative Introvert: How to Build a Business You Love on Your Terms 

 

POWERED BY PATREON

This podcast is made possible only by means of my generous supporters on Patreon. Thank you! Supporting the Creative Introvert podcast also gets you lots of goodies, from a Monthly Ask Me Anything to a copy of my soon-to-be-released BOOK, The Creative Introvert: How to Build a Business You Love on Your Terms. Hitting milestones also funds future projects, and ideas guided by you, my supporters.

1