Almost every INFJ or INFP writer I’ve ever worked with gets stuck at some point. Their story isn’t flowing the way they think it should, or, their story has “gone dark” and they can’t see the next piece so they have no idea what happens next. This is almost always when the INFJ or INFP writer in question freaks out and tries to push harder on the story—meaning, they try to think their way out of the problem. They try to figure it out mentally. But this never works, and it only makes things worse in the long run.
I actually did a coaching session with a client just this past week who is an INFP writer. When I mentioned that he’d been writing a lot lately and his output seemed to be strong and steady, it made him nervous. He almost didn’t even want to talk about it for fear of “jinxing” it, he said. He’d had periods like this before, and then his inspiration had ebbed and he’d panicked, thinking that his connection with the story was lost forever and he would be doomed to going years without writing again, which was something traumatic he had experienced in the past.
Today’s guest post comes from Ritu Kaushal, the author of the memoir The Empath’s Journey, which TEDx speaker Andy Mort calls “a fascinating insight into the life of a highly sensitive person and emotional empath.” Ritu was recently awarded the silver medal at the prestigious REX awards, instituted by the United Nations & iCONGO in India, and given to people creating social impact through their work. Ritu writes about highly sensitive creatives on her blog Walking Through Transitions. Her work has been featured on Sensitive Evolution, Tiny Buddha, and Elephant Journal, amongst others.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones.
But words will never hurt me.”
When I was younger, I used to think this rhyme was true. At the very least, I thought I “should” try to live up to it. I “should” try to not let people’s words affect me, not let their jagged edges leave me cut and bleeding. After all, they were just words.
But the older I get, the more I think the opposite is true.
It’s easier for many of us to heal more quickly from physical wounds than to separate ourselves from the sting of words. Words dissolve quickly. They are amorphous. We don’t often acknowledge their power and, so, negative words can worm their way into our hearts. They can even cause us to turn against ourselves.
As a writer, every day, I become more and more conscious of the power of words. Words can heal, and words can break.
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Through my work I come into contact with hundreds of highly intuitive, highly creative people who want to work for themselves as writers, coaches, and/or teachers. They are rock solid on the fact that they want to help people, and they know they have excellent skills as counselors and listeners. They can feel that they have so much to express inside that wants to come out.
But then they get stuck on the “business” part of it all.
The thought of coming up with a business plan or a business model deflates all that juicy creative energy, fast. And that’s where almost ALL of these people get stuck, sometimes forever.
Back when I started coaching in 2013, I had no experience. And when I say “no experience,” I mean ZERO. I didn’t go through any training or certification programs and I didn’t practice doing calls with friends. I just put up a coaching page on my website and started getting on the phone with strangers.
It was a bit nerve-wracking to say the least, but it was also the best course of action for me. Why? Well, before I actually started coaching, I had wanted to coach for a long time. I loved writing and I wanted to work with writers. However, I felt like I was in no position to coach other people because I had not yet published anything of my own. In my mind, I was still an “aspiring writer,” and if I was still aspiring, then how could I possibly offer anyone else guidance that would actually be of any value?