I frequently hear from writers who are trying out some new system of organization. Sometimes it’s a simple bullet journal or an old-fashioned planner, and sometimes it’s a much more complicated affair, like learning organizational guru David Allen’s system for productivity. Whatever it is, I always cringe when the writer who is struggling tells me this. Because I know they’re not on the path to recovery. In fact, they’ve made the problem even worse.
Don’t get me wrong, planners and systems can work—for people with normal levels of procrastination and perfectionism. But the struggling writers who work with me don’t have normal levels of either. They have toxic procrastination, and crippling perfectionism, and they’ve usually been struggling with both for years.
I’m a presenter at the Loving-Healing-Creating Summit for artists and writers this February! You can get FREE access to it by registering here:
REGISTER HERE FOR THE LOVING-HEALING-CREATING SUMMIT
There’s a whole ton of cool stuff offered in this summit, with teachings on topics like:
Creating mindful mandalas
Using an art journal for personal expression
Embracing your sexual self to free your creativity
Making a self-portrait vision board
And of course…writing! I’m presenting on Intuitive Writing, and so is Alisha Weilfeart, whose work is amazing. My friend Sage Adderly-Knox is also teaching on writing and you seriously don’t want to miss her, she’s such a brilliant teacher.
You can buy a package where you get access to the Facebook group and a bunch of free gifts, but if you don’t want to spend anything, that’s cool too. Just register yourself and you’ll get access to the summit free for the days it runs, which is still a pretty good deal. Here’s the link again:
REGISTER HERE FOR THE LOVING-CREATING-HEALING SUMMIT
I’ll see you there and I can’t wait. Let’s get creating!
Mixing writing with editing is an easy mistake for newbie writers to make, because many mainstream writing methods actually do encourage writers to edit as they write. So, a lot of writers who haven’t yet found their own unique rhythm as an artist follow this advice. And it does work for some. I personally know writers who can’t write any other way. However, if you are an intuitive writer—if you are an INFJ or INFP personality type, highly sensitive, or an empath—the chances are high that editing as you write is going to spell disaster for you.
What does editing as you write look like? Well, it might be that you write the first chapter or two of the novel that’s been swimming around in your head for a year, and then you immediately give those first couple of chapters to your friends for feedback. Or, it might be that you’re halfway through writing your book and then you join a critique group and you give them samples and sections to critique. It could be that you write only the very first sentence of your work, and then you immediately go back and begin crossing out words and rewriting it.
Whatever it looks like for you, the idea is basically the same. You write something and then you evaluate and judge it, and usually doubt it and then change it. If you’re an intuitive writer, you almost always feel worse after the process and much less like writing anything new at all. If anything, you probably feel like you want to crawl into a deep, dark hole.
Although INFJ and INFP writers are both intuitive, and also emotionally sensitive and highly creative, they tend to approach the creative process of writing differently. Both types experience high sensitivity to any sort of criticism—whether it’s constructive or not—and both also often write slowly. Both INFJ and INFP writers also do the best if they allow themselves to use their intuition to feel their way through the story, instead of their thinking skills to rationally decide on how things should be done.
But it’s there that the similarities end. Because even though INFJ and INFP writers both experience the most healing and strength in their writing process when they give themselves permission to use their intuition to channel their creativity, there are core differences between the two types and their separate writing processes that can’t be ignored.
Creativity is a concept that seems to be discussed endlessly these days. There are websites and articles and books and all sorts of exercises on “how to be more creative,” “how to reconnect with your creativity,” and “why creativity is so important.” A lot of these resources offer helpful tips, but many also miss the mark entirely.
The thing about being highly creative is that it’s not all about thinking. This is hard for us to grasp, because as a society, we’re all programmed with the belief that pretty much everything comes down to how we can think harder, think smarter, or think faster. So, when you pick up a popular book on creativity or your manager at work tells you she wants you to be more creative, chances are that you’re being pushed to “think outside the box,” or, “think bigger,” or, in the words of Apple, “think different.”
Think, think, think.
But being highly creative is not just about thinking.