Do You Need To Reboot?

imagesMany of my friends are writers or artists and many of them are introverts. I’ve often wondered if it is a prerequisite to be introverted in order to be creative, but I haven’t done enough study of this to know the answer.

Being an introvert can be tiring. While being social and hanging out with other people can actually fuel extroverts, it’s the opposite for introverts. Because introverts spend so much time in their head, being social and engaging in small talk can be overwhelming and they need time alone to recharge.

I don’t think that I’m a true introvert. I’m more of an ambivert – somewhere in the middle. I love people. I love talking to people, being around them, helping them. But there are days when I am so talked out that if someone asks me a question I can’t even begin to answer it. In the past I haven’t been good at reading my own body/mind to know that I need down time. This is when I end up getting sick and my body tells me that I need to stay in bed. Nowadays, I know when I need to recharge and I’ll take myself away from everyone and read or sit in the bath for hours. At these times noise is especially irritating. I won’t have TV or radio on and prefer not to talk to anyone.

Knowing this about your nature will go a long way to you being able to pace yourself in daily life. If you are a creative person, too much in your head, you’ll have trouble getting to sleep and trouble functioning in social situations. Other people will misread this as you being difficult, moody or socially inept.

So how do you recharge? This will be different for everybody and will depend on you being an introvert of an extrovert. Here are some suggestions:


  • Don’t get caught up in small talk
  • Have time alone
  • Catch up with small groups of close friends
  • Meditate


  • Go to a party
  • Catch up with people on the phone
  • Catch up with your group of friends
  • Participate in a group dance class

If you have writer’s block, or trouble working on a creative pursuit, it could be because you need to reboot. What’s the first thing you do when your computer is playing up? Turn it off, then on again. Sometimes you need to do that for yourself. If a good night’s sleep isn’t enough (or you can’t switch off for a good night’s sleep) then you need to find some other way to do it.

Blaise van Hecke

Whose Story are You Telling?

10478216_897380713609499_4540340778360193946_nMemory can be a fickle business and everyone will have their own version of history, depending on their age, gender, where they sit amongst siblings in age, and the way they feel within a family. In my family of two brothers and one sister, one event from our childhood will have four different versions of the ‘truth’.

So who does your story belong to when you’re writing your family history? Should you consult your siblings, or any other members of the family before you put something out there in the public forum?

There is no right or wrong answer and I’m sure we could have a great debate about it.

Last week, when I was at the Byron Bay Writer’s Festival, I had the pleasure of listening to many writers about their writing of memoirs. One panel, ‘The Secret Lives of Mothers and Fathers’, had Kate Grenville, Ramona Koval and Barrie Cassidy. Each one of them has written about their parents and the secrets that many families might hide.

Ramona believes that Bloodhound: Searching For My Father is her story to tell, despite her sister not wanting to know the truth when a DNA test showed that they are half sisters. From hearing her speak, you could tell that she would have been like a dog with a bone (pun intended) in her search for answers. Kate Grenville, One Life: My Mother’s Story, on the other hand believes that family stories belong to everyone and that the writer needs to respect this when sharing the story.

As you can tell, this topic had both women polarized. Barrie on the other hand had consulted with his siblings and they all felt that the story needed to be told. Maybe it depends on what secrets are being shared. Either way, out of respect for anyone who might be connected to your story, you should let them know about what you’re doing and maybe let them be involved in the process. You might also find that they will add value to the story by putting forward their own memories, experiences and opinions.

Thanks to the Byron Bay Writer’s Festival, I have a few more books on my ‘to read’ list now …

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