5 Mistakes for INFJ and INFP Writers To Avoid

Expecting Perfection
INFJs and INFPs are idealists, dreamers, and visionaries. This is really cool when it comes to seeing the potential in a person or project, but it can become a huge obstacle when we refuse to settle for anything less than perfect in our finished manuscript.

After a reasonable number of revisions, accept your writing for what it is. Good enough and yours.

Keeping It Secret
INFJs and INFPs are introverts, which means we don’t usually enjoy showing off a work in progress. But we’re also highly secretive, and that can translate into never showing anyone any of our writing, ever. And if the world never gets the chance to even see what you’re doing, it becomes impossible to share your artistic gifts.

Choose one or two trusted confidantes and let them in on the secret. Show your writing to someone who you can count on to be supportive.

As idealists and catalysts, we deeply care about making the world a better place. But sometimes INFJs and INFPs take this concern for others to an unhealthy place. We might view the time we need to write, or any monetary success that could come with it, as things we don’t deserve or time that is taken away from the other people in our lives.

Move out of the scarcity mindset and into creative abundance. The world can afford to give you the time you need to write, and any payment that may result from it. Really.

Relying on Our Intuition to Solve Everything
As an INFJ, I’m definitely guilty of this one. I can predict how things will turn out so much of the time that it’s hard for me to admit when I’ve lost all perspective while working on the fourth revision of a manuscript. But every writer gets muddled at some point in our story, and that’s when we most need an outside opinion.

In addition to those one or two trusted confidantes who will always give you the support you need, every writer also needs one or two straight-shooter writer friends who know when to cut through the bullshit. Someone who will say, “No, obviously it’s not the worst thing ever written, but it could be improved here…and here… and here…”

Going Turtle

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My close friends know that when I say “I’m in turtle mode this weekend” what it really means is that I need to withdraw from the world and process. Withdrawing suddenly and severely is a hallmark of INFJs and INFPs. It’s how we handle a wide range of events, from our whole life falling apart to fielding a slightly unpleasant phone call. So when we receive criticism or feedback on our writing that we don’t like, it’s normal for us to withdraw for a little while. But it can get problematic when we never come back out.

Give yourself a reasonable time limit on how long you stay in the shell. Every writer receives criticism on their work at one time or another that hurts. Do your best to take what’s valuable from the feedback, learn, and move on.

If you found this article helpful, you might also be interested in:

Why INFJs and INFPs Have Such a Hard Time with Criticism
Why INFJs Have Trouble Writing
Understanding the Introverted Writer
Introverts, Empathy, and the Art of Creating Character
Know Your Type and Then Sit Down to Write

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

The INFJ Writer

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