The Creative Mind: A Paradox

Have you ever wondered how a musician can go from a superstar, large stage presence to trapped in mousey-quiet during an interview? How an introverted author goes from spending long days avoiding people to talking openly, animatedly about their work to an audience? It may be old news to us creative types, but according to an article from from Fast Company, creative people are a paradox.

(creative quote by Sean MacEntee via CC

Creative minds are full of contradictory personality traits that may not appear on the surface. Like the musician who blossoms as they step on stage, we can be both introverted and extroverted. I can fully relate to this as I can turn it on and off depending on the situation. I am confident and in charge while at work, but I am quiet and introverted in my personal life. I am animated when speaking of my creative pursuits, but I am reserved when speaking of my ordinary hobbies.

In my opinion, the truest point about the paradox of creative people goes to good ole number 6: “Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.” Creative types can be self-effacing and are often hardest on themselves. As a writer, rarely am I ever satisfied with my work. Even if I know it’s good, if I know I’ve coined the perfect phrase or built a beautiful scene, I know I can do better. I find myself wondering if it’s a blessing or a curse because that same drive that makes me want to do better also makes me second guess everything. I guess we just call that editing. At the same time, I am proud of what I write and love to talk it up to anyone who is interested. I’m hard on myself because I want to be proud of my work.

So, creative types speak up: which paradoxical trait do you most embody?


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Krista Johnson
Krista Johnson
6 years ago

I've always known I'm introverted, but it's all on the table when I'm passionate about something. I think a lot of creative types can relate.

6 years ago

Love this!
I've always been a bit conflicted between whether I'm introverted or extroverted haha
It is quite a paradox