After years of coaching writers who struggled with procrastination issues, high sensitivity to criticism, and crippling self doubt, I realized that almost every one of my clients was an INFJ or INFP. I used the insights I gained from these clients—as well as my own personal story as an introvert and Highly Sensitive Person—to show how the experience of the intuitive writer is radically different from the norm.
When I first started seriously writing I also started seriously looking around for writing advice, and the most common piece of writing advice I found was, “write every day.” It didn’t matter if I didn’t feel like it, wasn’t inspired, was overwhelmed and busy with other things, I still needed to write every single day. That was what real writers did, and according to the same body of advice-givers, that was what separated the real writers from the wannabes.
One of my writer friends sent me a video yesterday that made me drop everything and think about INFJ writers, creativity, and problem-solving for the rest of the day. The video was a TEDx talk from a woman named Jane Kise who is an expert in Jungian type and works with kids who are having trouble learning math. She used real-life examples of different kinds of kids (introverted sensors, extraverted intuitives, introverted intuitives, etc.) solving math problems to show how the different types use different areas of the brain when trying to find the answer to something.
I was engrossed by the entire video, but most especially the part about introverted intuitives and how we learn and figure things out because I couldn’t help but see the connection between how an INFJ child might go about solving a math problem and how an INFJ writer might go about creating a story.
Since publishing The INFJ Writer over two years ago I’ve talked to hundreds of INFJ writers and the number one complaint I always hear is that they feel creatively blocked in some way. These INFJs have big goals, and even bigger dreams, but they can’t seem to get started.
INFJs are hit harder by writer’s block, that’s the truth of it. They don’t just feel stifled in their creative efforts, they feel like they’re trapped in despair. They know they have a book inside them waiting to come out—they can usually even see the outline of the story or the main character already—but when they sit down in front of the page nothing happens. Then the voice of the inner critic shows up and starts picking them apart. When it’s all said and done, the INFJ ends up feeling frustrated in the present, and terrified of the future. What if they never write their book and it dies a quiet death inside them?
I’m one of those people who believe paper books will never go out of style. Whatever book I’m reading at the moment travels with me everywhere, ready to be whipped out at a bus stop or in a waiting room. I love airports and long flights because I always have something to read. Because of this life-long love affair with books I know what a huge difference there really is between a book sitting on my Kindle and a book sitting in my hand.
And now, The INFJ Writer can be sitting in your hand.
Because The INFJ Writer is now available in print!
For those of you who don’t have a Kindle, don’t want a Kindle, or like to take a break from your Kindle once in a while…For those of you who love loaning books out to friends and use every birthday as an excuse to buy someone a book they just have to read…For those of you who process things better if you can see physical words on a physical page…this is for you.
Happy reading everyone!