Today’s guest post is from Amanda Linehan, a fiction writer, indie author, and INFP. I absolutely love Amanda’s take on writing without an outline, and I think you will too.
I remember the first time I ditched my outline.
I was working on my third novel, Dragon, and the second one that I would self-publish, and I was about two-thirds of the way through. I had a loose outline that I had prepared prior to starting, of course, and something about it just started to bug me.
This week’s guest post is coming to you from a fellow writing coach, Anna-Marie O’Brien. Anna-Marie describes herself as a “little bit OCD+ADD+ESP and an INFJ.” And I can tell you from experience that she’s easily one of the most intuitive people I’ve ever met. If you’re looking for someone to help get you unstuck as you write your book, Anna-Marie is very definitely who you’ve been looking for. Big thanks to her for contributing this awesome piece on why your progress as a writer might not fit the conventional norms.
Before I started my memoir, my idea of book writing was that it was a linear process—you show up to the page, you write your 500 words a day in perfect form, and in a few months you have a beautiful, publishable book. According to the writers I was studying, there were no pauses, breaks, or blocks allowed. Daily habit is a big theme among writers, and I was assured that if I showed up to the page every day, the muse would find me and the words would flow effortlessly.
A couple of months ago I posted Writers, Poets, Misfits and Other “Weird” People: It’s Time to Stand Up and Own It and I got an overwhelming response. So many people emailed me to say that they have always felt out of place all their lives, that they never knew where they fit in, or even if they ever would. They were surprised and relieved to find that others felt the same way. Suddenly, a whole new world had opened up to them.
Over a year ago I wrote an article called, “Introverted and Intuitive? Why the Writing Rules Probably Don’t Work for You.” And I got an overwhelming response from readers. In fact, I’m still getting emails about it. Apparently, there are hundreds of writers out there who run into difficulties when they try to outline their novel, plot the plot, or follow any sort of predetermined method of creation for their characters.
What’s really interesting is that the majority of writers who have reached out to me to say this article struck a deep chord in them have been INFPs.
I just released my book The INFJ Writer on Amazon and the big question I keep getting is, “Is it just for INFJs?”
The short answer is no.
The long answer is that The INFJ Writer may be of help to you if you are:
Highly Sensitive (HSP)
INFP, ENFP, or ENFJ
A struggling writer
Interested in personal growth and development