Although I have always considered myself a writer, I have also spent many years not writing. In fact, for most of high school, college, and my 20s, I didn’t write at all. Not one story, not one poem. During that period, I was mostly entangled in living the life of a depressed alcoholic, while trying to keep my shit somewhat together in the meantime. So, you could say I didn’t have time to write, but the truth was that I was really in no place to write.
I didn’t start writing seriously—and by seriously I mean that I committed to sitting down and doing it at least once a week—until 2006, one year after I got sober. Two things happened when I committed to the practice of writing. Number one, I found that it was hard. It challenged me on nearly every level and forced me to look honestly at my addictions, my demons, my self-loathing, and my depression. Number two, it felt better than anything I had ever done before. It felt like a huge relief to open doors within myself that had been closed for years and let all those long-buried thoughts and feelings pour out of me onto the page.
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Last week I did an interview for the Art Stuff podcast with Jessica Johannesen. Jessica originally contacted me because she’d read The INFJ Writer and was curious to learn more about how intuitive personality types have their own unique struggles when it comes to creativity. However, as we started talking, the conversation focused on one topic in particular: the specific challenges INFP artists face with creative projects.
This is a topic I’m very familiar with, as fully half of my clients are INFP writers. I see the same problems over and over again when working with INFPs. It’s gotten to the point that when I do an initial consultation call with a new INFP, I pretty much already know what they’re going to tell me.
As an introvert, a solopreneur, and a creative person who puts a lot of thought into how my creations can both serve the world AND bring me income so that I can continue doing the creative work that I love, I’m always on the lookout for resources that help creative introverts thrive on the business side of things. So when I was contacted by Introverts Mean Business to see if I would be interested in trying out their digital subscription box for introverted business women that “helps you stay true to your introversion and build your business at the same time” I jumped at the chance.
I started a new novel last week. I had been thinking about the story for at least two months. The characters kept popping into my mind at all hours of the day. I could see them so clearly. I felt so connected to them. I thought about them while I was driving, while I was in the shower, effortlessly seeing them in vivid scenes, some of which even brought tears to my eyes.
Then I sat down and wrote the first chapter.
It was awful.