THE HARDWORKING CREATIVE // On Inspiration, Goals, & Journeys With Hailey Hudson

Hi, friends! Today, I have a wonderful interview for you in store with Hailey, the blogger behind Hailey Hudson and the founder of The Hardworking Creative! Hailey is such a bright and humble human being who enjoys novel writing, softball, and fangirling over Broadway musicals. She’s also such an incredibly insightful person—let us listen to her discuss her latest project and her artistic thought process.

// Can you tell us what The Hardworking Creative is, for those readers who don’t know?
The Hardworking Creative is a new website/blog for anyone who's bursting with a dream. Its goal is to give young creatives the tools they need to make their dreams become their reality.

// What are some short term and long term goals you have in relationship to the site?
Short term, I want to focus on growing a tight-knit community of creative people who value hard work and who can encourage each other. Long term, I see THC expanding into merch, an ebook, and an online job board where creatives can find reputable remote jobs.

// Can you tell us what inspired you to form THC?
Since I'm not in college right now--I'm just pursuing my writing career on my own--there's really a tangible void in my life of people to create with. So I decided to go and seek those people out and create opportunities to collaborate with them.

// Where do you typically seek inspiration?
I find inspiration in any and every form of storytelling. I read books, I listen to Broadway soundtracks, I watch movies, and it all kind of gets mixed together in my head and then ends up helping me create something new and fresh and beautiful (or at least, that's the plan).

// What is one art form you’re enamored with but you don’t personally do?
Honestly, I think I've dabbled in just about everything over the years! Although I'm obsessed with theater, I've never had the time to pursue it the way I'd like to. I spend all my free time obsessing over Broadway, but unfortunately, memories of middle-school plays and my current work as a freelance voiceover artist will have to do because of my extreme lack of time.

// Do you have any words of encouragement for those lost on their artistic journey or feel external opposition pushing them away from their dreams?
Keep going, keep experimenting to figure out what's right for you, and remember that there's no rush. I used to feel this huge self-imposed pressure to do something amazing while I was young; I wanted to publish a book or be in a movie before I turned fifteen. But these days, I'm learning that there really is no rush--it's not a race. Keep pushing, but if you feel lost and need some perspective, it's okay to take a step back.

// Success is an elastic word, varying from person to person. In your own words, could you define your definition of what it means to you?
Success to me means achieving the (lofty) goals I've set for myself in every aspect of my life. As a follower of Jesus, though, success also means that I achieve those goals for His glory.

// How would you describe your artistic style?
In a word, I would describe my artistic style as "simple." My fiction is written in clear, simple prose; my photography is clean and streamlined; my blog designs are straightforward and uninvolved. I'm not an over-the-top person--I like things simple. (And I think I've broken a record for how many times I can use that word in one paragraph.) I find beauty in simplicity, and although my artistic style isn't flashy, I think it still stands out.

// What’s one significant thing you’ve learned from your journey?
I've learned the value of hard work. When I was fifteen, I decided to play softball even though I'd never played a sport or even really worked out before. Within a year of touching a softball for the first time, I had multiple college coaches recruiting me. And when I took that principle of working hard every day and applied it to my writing career, things took off. Excuse the cliche motivational sports quote, but although there may be people who have more talent that you, there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you. 

Have you checked out The Hardworking Creative? What have you learned on YOUR blogging journey? Do any of Hailey's answers resonate with you?

Five Reasons Why Introverts Are Awesome & Should NOT Be Underestimated

Hi, friends! Like many of you dear readers in the world, I am an introvert. Like many others, I enjoy spending time reading novels, plotting the latest pen escapade, or just fuming a brainstorming session. It's not that I possess an animosity towards interacting with individuals-- I love collaborating with others, especially in projects out of the outside world to get out and explore the world outside of my house-- but after all of my time interacting, I need some time to recharge. Currently, my recharging station is in a in a makeshift blanket fort as I relax a week before the final quarter of my high school career comes to a close and so many events get thrown in the last nine to ten weeks-- senior fun day, prom, and graduation-- inducing a sense of vertigo. It’s comforting to be in a community which understands this need of seeking rest, but from those foreign with the quiet nature of interaction, basking in silence seems like an anomaly.

Due to this, we can be dismissed with a lack of confidence or are overshadowed by our extroverted counterparts, and we shouldn’t have to deal with a clumped negative generalization and perception. There are many different kinds of introverts, as you will later see! However, there are five qualities present which I think many people take for granted are are common in many introverts. Here is why we shouldn’t be underestimated.

Whether it comes to being adept at taking in details and extracting the main solution, taking command from someone else, or just listening for chances to plot world domination and procuring evil laughs, introverts are GREAT at listening. I know people who hear the most random facts and later revel in them months later when supposedly everyone else forgot! Even those who bask in their heads how world domination would be like tend to have the sharpest ears, listening for any opportunity for them to strike and plot. For me, personally, I tend to listen to other people to act as an emotional stronghold, and when I chat with people one-on-one, many remark on how my full attention is pulled at them, with my legs pointed towards them and not dozing off. It’s not that introverts aren’t capable of speaking eloquently or standing up for our own thoughts, because we certainly can and do have strong thoughts, but it’s more that we want to hear others speak first, which leads to the second point.

The reason why introverts do not talk right away when partaking in discussion is because they want to think through other answers. They want to be able to absorb their surroundings and listen to the noise, building up on their thoughts and drawing their own conclusions before speaking. This can be an advantage or an obstruction, depending on how one sees it, but when introverts respond, a lot of their answers are thoughtful with a lot of time and effort crafted into them. Introverts are not known to waste words, either. They chose the words they want to use in order to convey their message in the best, effective way. If they’re going to talk, they are doing so because they finally have enough to enter into the discussion knowing what direction they wish to go. Silence can also be a catalyst for thinking and hearing one’s own thoughts, too-- silence is never taken for granted.

Introverts typically have a smaller acquaintance circle, but have an even smaller circle reserved for close friends and families. Many can be friendly and don’t mind chatting with people, but trying to keep up with everyone is an exhausting task and for those who are able to have enough energy to do this, I applaud you. Instead, introverts interact with people by having more deeper conversations-- not deeper in the sense of, "Let us discuss philosophical thoughts about life's preponderances." As much as I love those conversations, even I would be intimidated by someone who wants me to discuss thoughts of identity and self-actualization the moment after they introduce themselves. Instead, deeper in pushing past layers of small talk, of actually greeting hello on a daily basis and just talking about random things. Even we have a smaller circle of friends, it’s still very meaningful. That’s the thing with introverts, too: want to become friends with one? Just keep talking to us and genuinely listen. We appreciate it and quite honestly? We can be some of the most loyal people you know.

If one is daring enough to go explore it. Oh, another introvert waving through a window… I wonder what could be going on inside of their heads? One answer could be “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by the Proclaimers, but no, Scottish music is not in every introvert’s head 24/7. It may come as no surprise that introverts have some of the richest minds in thinking and creativity because of their time alone. Again, introverts bask in solitude and silence, and from this, their mind meanders from idea to idea. Sometimes these ideas are implemented on a grand scale while others are pertain to a smaller audience. Just think: on the outside, it may seem like nothing much is going on, but the inside will turn any assumptions of emptiness into a one-eighty. Introverts are imaging an alternative world to pondering about assembling a rube goldberg machine in a manner of nine weeks.

An introvert’s time alone allows us to again, take the time to recharge. During this period, we’re constantly checking in with everything-- our thoughts, emotions, tiredness levels, and the like-- to make sure we are okay, and when we know one of these categories is suffering, we try to give ourselves time to rest and take care of ourselves. The keyword is “try,” because like everyone, we can work hard and push ourselves to the end of our limits but knowing how exhausted we are going to feel. Sometimes, the way we interact with everyone and everything changes, but don’t worry, because the change is temporary. Don’t take offense if we snap at you or don’t wave back. As long as we have time to recuperate, we will be okay.

Introverts, what are some other strengths do think we have? Extroverts, let us know some of your strengths!