Stepping Out Into an Introvert’s Abyss: Purposely Meeting New People

Frontal view of a brown bear's face. Could be a grizzly bear.Last week, I did something unheard of for this introverted writer: I purposely left my house to meet new people. Don’t worry: I hadn’t suddenly turned in to an extrovert. But with spending so much time in real life, I needed an artistic pick-me-up. I was super excited to meet new artsies.

The organizer was an acquaintance of mine, and she sent out the invite on social media. She and her film partner had entered a movie competition called CineCoup (http://www.cinecoup.com/cc/canada-2015). They created a trailer for a dark movie and entered it in CineCoup’s competition. The main prize is $1 million to create the entire movie and release it in Cineplex theatres. The event was to get friends together and have us all vote for their movie. I haven’t heard yet about the results.

It was inspiring to sit around people who dream big. But we didn’t just talk about their movie. I learned about Chinese culture, including century eggs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Century_egg) and other egg-preparation practices, and visiting a market in China; couch-surfing; and the possible differences between working in indie film and indie theatre. It didn’t matter which conversation I participated in, all interested me and covered new areas of life I hadn’t experienced.

This isn’t the type of stuff you learn from helping your kids with their printing exercises or by writing for work. Of course, you learn other things in those activities, but I needed to break out of my daily life for a little and learn something completely off the wall.

I could only stay about 90 minutes or so because of bus times, so I was gone by 8:30. But there was an extra pep in my step, and motivation to keep writing came back. (So did motivation to continue sewing some sleeves for my tablet and keyboard. Future post coming up about those.) After all, I wanted to broaden my horizons and my acquaintances, and that’s exactly what happened.

Even if you’re introverted, try to get out once in a while and force yourself to meet people you don’t know (so long as you feel safe doing so, of course). Art doesn’t come from a vacuum: it comes from a mixture of inspiration and perspiration. The perspiration comes out at home and/or under a mentor or teacher. But the inspiration has to come from outside of you, and meeting people who’ve had different experiences than you is one way to do that.

Hmmm…I wonder if I can conjure up a blog post on eggs?

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