Introverted and Intuitive? Why the Writing Rules Probably Don’t Work for You

Alien GirlI’ve always known that I have great intuition, but I didn’t always know that I was an intuitive.

In fact, I was almost 35 years old before I really grasped what that meant.

It didn’t help that I tried to actively hide almost all of the traits that came from being an intuitive. I was empathetic to a fault. Too sensitive. I let my emotions “get the best of me” at inopportune times. Sarcasm and snark were lost on me and teasing people made me uncomfortable. In short, I seemed to be everything that popular culture implied was uncool and nothing about me fit in. I felt like an alien.

So for years I camouflaged myself. I put on my outgoing extroverted mask at the office and social gatherings, and I kept my interests to myself. I learned the art of small talk. I tried to act like someone else and I second-guessed myself at every turn.

But little by little my façade cracked. The first chink in the armor came when I started writing again and all of my old bottled-up emotions came pouring out. And when I got into personality theory and discovered I was an introvert AND an intuitive, the walls really came tumbling down. Finally, I had proof! I wasn’t crazy. I really was different. And not different from being crazy, but different just from really being different. Then I discovered there were other different people out there too—intuitives and introverts and highly sensitive people. Empaths and artists and lightworkers.

If I hadn’t been born into the age of the internet, I might have assumed I was one in a million. Because in real life, I had only met two or three other people like me, ever.

I started lurking around forums and reading blogs written by other creative souls. Then I started my own. When I jumped into Twitter I was astonished how many there were of us, and how easy it was to find each other. I read through profiles smiling and nodding the whole time. Loves animals….Writer of the dark and weirdEccentric BuddhistPoet with a soul purposeBelieves in Magic. These were my people!

As I learned more about what it meant to be deeply intuitive person, I realized I was also a deeply intuitive writer.

Another ah-ha! moment.

This is why the rules of writing had never worked for me.

Write every day….Always work from an outline….Characters should have motivations that everyone can understand.

Nope, nope, and nope. I struck out on all of those every single time.

Up until this point I had assumed it was because I wasn’t cut out to be a writer.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Through my research on intuitive personalities I discovered a few things about intuitive writers. Most intuitive writers don’t work with a linear method, for one thing. Meaning they usually write in bits and pieces, all over the place, and then join them up later when they have enough information to put together the pattern.

Intuitive writers channel material from their subconscious mind, which can’t be pressured into producing by using the “write-every-day-or-you’re-not-a-real-writer” whip.

Instead of pressure, intuitive writers need to use tools that help the information they’re looking for float to the surface of their mind where they can access it directly.

Many intuitive writers also instinctively rebel against goal-setting, schedules, or word counts. And they tend to feel stifled if anyone is looking over their shoulder when they’re up to their elbows in a work-in-progress. This is why they don’t tend to do great in critique groups either.

An intuitive writer is not so much interested in following a rational, point-A-to-point-B plot that provides conventional suspense, characterization, and a satisfying ending for the reader.

The intuitive writer is concerned with exploring the depth of an intuition. Their goal is to reveal a poetic image to the reader through the work.

That doesn’t mean that the stories of intuitive writers don’t have plots, just that they’re not plot-driven.

What does drive the work of intuitive writers is the overall feeling of the work, or the energy suffused throughout the story. Think about William Faulkner, or Cormac McCarthy, or Kafka. Each of these writers submerges the reader, not just into a different world, but into an entirely different consciousness. Things happen, the characters follow their plot, but the plot isn’t the point.

The point is the submersion into a different consciousness.

That’s an intuitive writer at work.

When intuitive writers are first getting started on their path they can become very easily discouraged, and they may give up writing altogether. That’s because most of the writing guides, blogs, and rules they come across just don’t work for them. This is the sort of stuff I work on with people when I coach them. How to build their work using the intuition they already know so well, and how to trust it will lead them to where they need to be.

If you’re interested in learning more about coaching and how it can help you as an intuitive writer, contact me at writecitysf@gmail.com. I do free consultations and much of the time just the consultation itself helps the writer more than they thought possible.

If you’re an intuitive writer, know that you’re not crazy. You’re just different. And different is good.

And if you’re interested in learning more about introverted intuitive writers and how we work check out my book:

The INFJ Writer

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