I’m on the Hearts Rise Up podcast today!
I had a good long talk with Carol Chapman about getting past my own addiction and creative paralysis to become a writing coach for INFJ and INFP writers. We also talked about the ways empaths and sensitive intuitives can begin to accept ourselves AND our unique gifts.
INFJs and INFPs don’t experience life the way other people do, and we don’t make art the way other people do either. That doesn’t mean we’re defective, it only means that it’s up to us to learn more about our intuition—our biggest strength—and begin to use it to write our book, launch our business, and rise up to be our best self.
Today’s guest post comes from Angela Schenk, a Success Coach for Bold Introverts, a writer, and the founder of Quiet Creative, LLC. She is focused on helping Bold Introverts—the quiet ones who have something to say—get their ideas out of their heads and into the world.
In one of my Mom’s old albums, there’s a photo of me in dance class when I was around four or five years old. The sight of it used to leave me feeling broken and embarrassed. Why? Because I was doing the wrong move. There’s a line of leotard-clad little girls all doing the same thing. And then there’s me doing something else entirely. For years, when I turned the page and saw the photo, I’d feel the urge to peel back the protective film and slip it behind another picture. There was a way things were supposed to be done—a perfect way—and here was concrete evidence that I wasn’t living up. This amounted to nothing short of a glaring character flaw in my mind.
INFJ and INFP writers aren’t like other writers. For us, writing is an emotional process first, and an intellectual exercise second. But because most of what we find in writing craft books and online writing sources only approaches writing from the mental side of things, we find ourselves continuously at a loss on how to move forward.
Once INFJ and INFP writers begin using the Intuitive Writing method, their entire world changes. After that, they might still hit roadblocks, but now they have tools and strategies to use. Now they know how to handle it when the anxiety kicks in and it seems they’ve come to standstill with their novel or memoir.
When writers are first learning the Intuitive Writing method one of the immediate shifts that happens is the way they work with characters. Instead of characters existing to serve you, you exist to serve them. This can be hard for intuitive writers to do, initially. Most of us are so used to assuming that we “decide” what our characters do, and their motivations and choices should come from a place that makes logical sense for the story.
Well, in the Intuitive Writing method we don’t assume that we know what is best for the story, or that deciding what our characters should do is necessarily helpful. In Intuitive Writing, we let the characters take the lead and set the pace. We concentrate on building our emotional connection with them. Our creative process shifts from achievement-oriented (trying to finish our book as fast as we can) to relationship-oriented (focusing on the characters and letting go of expectations).
Over the past seven years I’ve coached and taught hundreds of INFJ and INFP writers and I can say one thing with certainty: most traditional writing methods just don’t work for us.
The sad thing is, most INFJ and INFP writers think that the problem is with them, not with the approach they’re using. So, they end up feeling horrible about themselves and their writing. I can’t tell you how many intuitive writers I’ve talked to who have told me, “I guess I’m just not cut out to be a writer,” when nothing could be further from the truth.