Do you constantly compare yourself to other writers?
Do you set goals for yourself as a writer and then somehow fall short of them every time?
Do you start new writing practices full of enthusiasm, but then sooner or later you dread sticking with it?
If you’re like so many other writers out there, the answer to these questions is sadly, “yes.” And every time something like this happens to you, you end up in a pit of despair, right? You question yourself, your writing talent, and your ability to make your dreams happen.
When I work with a writer who is struggling to finish a novel—or struggling just to get through it—the first question I ask is about their characters. Specifically, how do they feel about their characters? The answers are always surprising.
In the past few months, I’ve gotten so many emails from creative people telling me they’re feeling isolated, alone, apathetic, and tired with everything going on in the world today. A lot of people have gone through big shifts in the past couple of years and they know they’re ready to step into their power and embrace their creativity, but the problem is, they just can’t seem to find the energy or guidance on how to do that.
As an empath and an INFJ, my relationships with other people have always been out of the ordinary. In my last two articles I talked about how I always attracted energy vampires in my life (Do You Always Attract Energy Vampires? This Is the Reason Why…), and how even my most well-intentioned friends still managed to drain me to the point that I felt like I couldn’t have close friendships with people (Are You an Empath Who Struggles with Relationships that Always Take Too Much? Here’s One Way to Break the Cycle).
These experiences only exacerbated the feeling of loneliness that I already had in the world. From the time I was very young, I knew that I was different, and I knew it was a difference that other people couldn’t understand. What really hurt though, was that I could understand other people so incredibly well. So, I was left feeling like, even though I could fully see, hear, acknowledge and appreciate the depths of another person, no one could do the same for me.
On top of this, I noticed early on that other people did not seem to be interested in the same things I was interested in. I wanted to explore my inner landscape and the psychological terrain of others. I wanted to talk about topics like spirituality, metaphysics, history, philosophy, stories, and dreams. Whenever I brought anything like this up in a conversation, people either gave me blank or puzzled stares, or said something snarky to let me know what a weirdo they thought I was.
In my last article, Do You Always Attract Energy Vampires? This Is the Reason Why, I talked about how empaths and intuitives (i.e., people who have the INFJ or INFP personality type) tend to go through life attracting energy vampires not only because of our heightened empathy, but also because we usually struggle with feeling overly guilty and this guilt shows up as a strong emotional charge in our energy field, and that’s when energy vampires take advantage of us.
Most empaths and intuitives I’ve worked with have told me they feel guilty for existing, or taking up space, for a variety of different reasons. Some of us had parents who were unable to handle the challenge of having a child (us), and some of us had parents who were unable to process their own emotions and so they dumped those emotions on others (again, us). Whatever the reason, most empaths and intuitives in childhood did not receive support from loving, mentally healthy people with appropriate boundaries, and so we grew up finding much the same in our adult world.
This is one of the main reasons that so many empaths and intuitives feel completely and utterly alone. Although we long to form deep connections with others that feel loving and meaningful, and actually nourish us, it seems like this just never happens. When we do make friends, we find that we most often act in the role of constant counselor to them, even if they’re not an actual energy vampire and they really mean well.