Why Introverts Need Alone Time to Be Creative

An introvert spends time alone to be creative

My introverted mind works differently. Rather than focusing on the external world, I draw inspiration from my inner world.

My extroverted friend enjoys brainstorming ideas with me. For her, talking is one of the best ways to spark her creativity. While I do appreciate occasional brainstorming sessions to gather ideas, I accomplish most of my creative work alone.

Being an introvert, my mind works differently than my extroverted friend’s mind. Instead of being energized in a group setting, I get recharged when I spend time alone. Instead of being focused on my external environment, I get more inspiration from my rich inner world. I can better maximize my creativity this way.

It’s not that introverts like me can’t “handle” group work or team discussions. Rather than coming unprepared and hoping to find ideas through brainstorming with others, I prefer to collect my thoughts first, process them, and then present them to the people I’m working with. The same goes for projects of my own — I work better on my own vs. around others. Here are some reasons this alone time, this creative space, is crucial for introverts.

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6 Reasons Introverts Need Alone Time to Be Creative

1. No interruptions, which can derail your work (and your mind)

Introverts are known for being able to focus on their work for long periods of time. We can sit for hours lost in our thoughts and juggling countless ideas in our heads. 

This uninterrupted time makes way for our most creative work. Since there are no external distractions, no time is wasted. 

For instance, when I’m alone, I don’t have to begin again after fitting together all the visual imagery I have gathered through my thoughts. I also don’t have to take a pause every time someone questions my ideas (or invalidates them). Or if they simply want to talk… 

There is a time to defend my work, as well as a time to explain and present my work to other people. But before I can do that, I need to spend time alone to finish the task at hand.

2. No criticism, which can stifle your flow of thoughts

I’m not someone who can easily shrug off criticism. To other people, a critique may be just a way to challenge an idea and help someone come up with better work. 

That’s not the way I usually work. Untimely criticism can stifle my flow of thought, including my imagination and daydreaming.

It’s similar to the way I write. Whenever I stop to edit what I’ve written, I end up exerting more time and effort than is necessary to finish the piece. It’s always a better process for me when I write everything freely then edit my work later.

3. A sense of quiet, which allows you to listen to your inner voice

To have time alone is to have “quiet time.” It is to be free from an overstimulating environment that does not allow my creative juices to flow.

After all, how can I listen to that little voice of inspiration within me if it’s being drowned out by a sea of noise and other distractions?

Silence is powerful for introverts; it provides a wide space for creativity to grow. Without it, there is no room for new and innovative ideas to sprout.

Do you ever struggle to know what to say?

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4. A time to rejuvenate your creative energy

One thing all introverts share is a need to spend time alone in order to recharge their energy. And this includes our creative energy.

If we allow ourselves to be exhausted from socializing or the hustle and bustle of life, we won’t function to the best of our abilities. We need alone time to break away from the noise of the crowd. 

5. Freedom in mind and body; if you want to dance for inspiration, you can dance (without anybody watching)

Alone time allows introverts like me to work at their own pace and schedule. It gives me the freedom to follow inspiration when it comes, both in thought and in body.

If you would like to know how that works, here’s an example. While listening to music, I can imagine a vivid world and an entire universe of ideas. To better feel some of those ideas, I might lie down, do a short walk, or even dance!

Now try to visualize how that would look if I were with other people. No doubt, someone would ask what the heck I am doing. I would probably look like a weirdo who just happens to be creative at the same time.  

The more I can be alone, the more free I am to engage with my creativity however I see fit. And you can, too.

6. A time to stay in your own head vs. losing yourself in other people’s ideas

When I’m with other people, I often gather valuable ideas that I use later on. However, I have the tendency to get carried away with the ideas in other people’s heads rather than pursue my own ideas. Instead of exploring unique ideas from my own perspective, sometimes I get lost in their thoughts rather than allowing new ideas to be born within me.

Alone time allows me to stay in my head longer. That time can be spent nurturing various creative ideas, exploring numerous possibilities, then harmonizing them into something beautiful and meaningful.

Alone Time, Within Reason

While we shouldn’t be hermits who stay away from people all the time, we creative introverts have to respect our unique temperament. This is not to say that we are better or more creative than extroverts. Rather, we need to observe what works for us so we can tap into our creative powers to their full potential.

With that said, brainstorming sessions can be a good way to gather information and see things from other perspectives. But don’t feel obliged to immediately come up with bright ideas or process everything at once. You can let others know that as an introvert, you prefer to digest things first and speak later, a boundary that they will hopefully respect.

Then, allow yourself some alone time to rest and dig deeper into your thoughts and internal monologue. That way, you can process the fruits of your labor and present your best work to the world. 

My fellow introverts, where do you do your best creative work? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

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