I was on the phone with a client yesterday while we talked about her marketing strategy for her new book. She told me she was on Instagram and posted there regularly, but she found it draining and was also having a bit of anxiety about how present and available she was able to be on the platform. Readers had reached out to her with positive feedback about her book, which was great, but she was feeling the pressure to have conversations with all of them. As an introvert, this was quickly becoming exhausting.
Luckily, I’ve seen this very same problem countless times before with introvert writers on social media. The solution is one quick pivot in mindset about how to approach social media as an introvert author, and that one quick pivot changes everything.
All writers have problems with writing at one time or another, but writers who are also of the INFJ personality type tend to have a very specific set of problems when it comes to writing. INFJ writers don’t always link these problems to their personality type, but each one of them is rooted in their temperament as intuitive, emotionally-centered introverts. Once the connection is made, that’s when the INFJ writer can begin to overcome them.
Here are the 3 biggest writing problems an INFJ writer struggles with:
Writer’s block comes in many different forms, but two of the most common types are procrastination and perfectionism. All writers struggle with one or both at some time during their writing life, but some writers struggle more than most, to the point where one or both of these conditions feels utterly paralyzing and the writer never finishes (or even starts) any creative project, ever.
For the writers who struggle with severe procrastination, or severe perfectionism, they also experience a sickening feeling of shame that accompanies the writer’s block that’s causing them so much trouble. They assume that they’re not motivated enough, or that they need to try harder, or “just get over it.” However, if the procrastination or perfectionism is of the severe type (and not just experienced occasionally or fleetingly), then the roots of the block go much deeper than most writers suspect.
The INFP writers I work with report one big problem to me: they can’t stick with one creative project. INFP writers will frequently get a really great idea, start the story, and then a week or two later they find that they’ve lost interest. Then they try to double down on their efforts to stick with it and force themselves through it. But it doesn’t work. They not only end up feeling like they killed off what little interest in the story they still had, but they also feel guilty and ashamed because they “failed” again.
They couldn’t stick with a project to the very end.
However, what most INFP writers don’t know is that it’s not a lack of willpower that’s the problem. The real problem is resulting from the fact that they’re trying to get themselves to work in a way that isn’t natural or right for them. They’re trying to force themselves to follow the mainstream methods for learning and creating that they’ve always been taught to follow. But what no one ever told them is that those mainstream methods absolutely do not work for INFP personality types.
As a writing coach who has worked with hundreds of writers over the past decade, I’ve found that most of the writers who come to me have the same types of problems, and one of the biggest struggles they deal with is finishing anything.
This type of writer always tells me the same thing:
“I get really excited in the beginning of the project, and then the excitement dies.”
“I was off to a strong start and wrote a lot, but now I have no idea where the story is going and it feels like a chore to figure it out.”
I feel a deep sense of shame about the fact that I haven’t finished anything. This must mean I’m not a real writer, or not a very good writer.”
This type of writer also tends to feel isolated and alone in their struggle. They constantly compare themselves to other writers who seem to be thriving, creating, and most importantly, producing.
I love it when I get a new client like this, because I immediately know where to start. And once I reveal what’s really going on, the writer experiences this immense feeling of relief. They finally understand that they are NOT wrong as a writer. They are just using the wrong type of writing method for them.