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Introverts, INFJs, and INFPs

Why INFP Writers Struggle with So Much Shame Around Creativity

If you know anything about the INFP personality type, you know that INFPs are one of the most creative types out there. I have many INFP clients and, in my experience, they really are super creative. INFPs have these magical brains that come up with all sorts of cool stuff. As creative writers, they tend to pair striking imagery and poetic phrasing with deeply perceptive insights about human nature.

However, even though the INFP personality type has this incredible talent for creativity, they are also one of the types that suffer the most from self-doubt, and who also struggle the most with shame around the creative process itself. Almost every INFP I’ve ever worked with has expressed to me, at one time or another, that they believe they’re “doing it wrong.” They almost always feel like they’re not organized enough, they jump around too much, or they can’t stick with one thing all the way through. And almost every INFP feels that all of these things are flaws they need to work on so that they can become better writers. Continue Reading

Why INFJ Writers Are So Deeply Triggered by Criticism

A few years ago, I gave one of the first drafts of one of my novels to a friend who said she was interested in reading it and giving me feedback. I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about getting her feedback, but I figured this was something I had to do if I wanted to grow that “thick skin” that I’d heard every writer had to have. So, against my better judgment, I gave it to her.

“I didn’t like the ending,” she said when I met with her the next time. “It felt like the main character was too dependent on the people outside of her. She should have been more independent, more feisty. I like strong female characters.”

Well, I was immediately crushed. And then instantly spiraled out. This didn’t just feel like feedback to me, it felt like stinging, crushing, excruciating criticism. The ending of my story was all wrong. The main character was all wrong. She wasn’t strong enough, she wasn’t independent enough. She just wasn’t…enough. And neither was I. Continue Reading

How Can I Know When to Trust My Intuition (in Writing and in Life)?

In my last article, One Easy Way to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition, I talked about the exact way that fear feels different from intuition, and how you can learn how to feel this difference yourself and use it to separate the two.

That article triggered a flurry of questions from my readers about how to know when you can trust your intuition at all. Many people said that they’ve gotten “intuitive hits” in the past that turned out to be true later on, but they didn’t know how to listen to that intuition in the moment, when it was trying to steer them in the right direction.

The key is to know that each person has a unique set of inner cues that will come through the body, in a very specific and reliable way, every time their intuition is trying to get their attention. It’s just that we usually either brush off these signals from our body, or we don’t realize that’s what they are and so we don’t slow down to see what’s really happening.

Once we learn our unique set of body cues, we have a solid starting point with our intuition, and once we can get comfortable with intuitive tools like these, we can begin to use them in our everyday life and in our writing practice.

I talk more about this in the video below:

Learning how to use your intuition and building self-trust can transform your writing practice at a deep level that you’ve never seen before. Instead of feeling like you’re always trying to push your writing forward, it feels more like a path is opening up right in front of you and all you have to do is be open to following it.

I’m teaching these concepts and so much more in my upcoming online class starting May 2 (next week!) called Finding Your Writing Magic. We’re going to be learning about getting comfortable with the unconscious, working with story as a co-creative process, and writing as an act of power. If this sounds like something you would really like, be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE to get the announcement when I open registration on April 27.

(Please note: This class will contain completely different material than my Intuitive Writing video course. We will touch on Intuitive Writing briefly as a tool, but only briefly. This is a new class with entirely new material.)

I won’t be teaching this class again, or making a video course from it, either. So, this is your only chance to take this class. Replays will be made available for those who can’t make the class live, and class members will get lifetime access to those replays, which is a great option for those who want to do it as a self-paced class in the weeks or months ahead.

If you want in, make sure you get in during the five-day registration window. And if you have any questions, you can contact me here.

I’ll see everyone in just a couple days when doors open for registration!

Lauren Sapala is the author of The INFJ WriterThe INFJ Revolution, and the creator of Intuitive Writing, an online video course for INFJ and INFP writers who struggle with traditional writing methods. You can get a free copy of her book on creative marketing for writers by signing up for her newsletter HERE.

One Easy Way to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition

In my last article in this series, Why So Many INFJ and INFP Writers Have Problems Using Their Intuition in Writing, I talked about how difficult it can be to listen to your intuition sometimes, and how hard it can be to tell the difference between fear and intuition.

In fact, this is one of the most commonly asked questions I get from clients and students. In both cases, fear and intuition feel like a strong urge or nudge to take action or go in a certain direction. Both can also feel pressing, necessary, and very immediate. For those who don’t have a lot of practice in accessing their intuition or listening to it, it can feel impossible to tell the difference on whether these inner signals are coming from a place of fear, or if they belong to that small, still voice within that will never steer you wrong.

This can be particularly tough for writers. Should your character really take that next step in the timeline, or are you just pushing them ahead because you feel panicky about the lack of progress with your story? It’s questions like these that plague writers who might be naturally intuitive people, but are not able to trust their intuition to the point where they can let it lead them creatively.

A lack of trust in your intuition in writing is directly related to a lack of trust in yourself in life. Writing and life are not two separate things to be put into two separate boxes. What affects one will always affect the other. This is why it’s so important for writers who are intuitively centered to give their intuitive skills priority, and do everything they can to develop self-trust from within.

The most basic place to start is learning how to tell the difference between intuition and fear. I talk more about this in the video below:

I’m teaching an online class this May called Finding Your Writing Magic and I’m going to be teaching writers how to work with their own natural intuitive style, how to access the magic in their creativity and everyday lives, and how to deeply connect with their own power in writing. If this resonates with you, then please make sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE to get all the updates on the class.

Please note: This class will contain completely different material than my Intuitive Writing video course. We will touch on Intuitive Writing briefly as a tool, but only briefly. This is a new class with entirely new material.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me here. First day of class is Monday, May 2 so please get those questions to me ASAP. I’ll see you all very soon with the last video in this series, all about how to know when you can trust the information your intuition is bringing through to you.

Lauren Sapala is the author of The INFJ WriterThe INFJ Revolution, and the creator of Intuitive Writing, an online video course for INFJ and INFP writers who struggle with traditional writing methods. You can get a free copy of her book on creative marketing for writers by signing up for her newsletter HERE.

Why So Many INFJ and INFP Writers Have Problems Using Their Intuition in Writing

The INFJ personality type and the INFP personality type are two of the most intuitive personalities on the spectrum, and they are also the two types most likely to be creative writers. However, it can be particularly difficult for both INFJ and INFP writers to access their intuition while writing. This is unfortunate, because once an INFJ or INFP writer can begin tapping into their intuition while writing, they will almost always experience greater creative flow and a better experience writing.

The reason most INFJs and INFPs have problems using their intuition while writing—which is such a strong, natural skill for us—is because intuition is not valued in our culture. We live in a society that is heavily skewed toward the rational, logical side of life. Anything that comes across as intuitive, emotional, or vulnerable is feared in our culture, and usually denigrated. Of course, the intuitive side of life is also strongly connected to feminine energy, which is another thing that is feared and ridiculed in our society.

This means that most INFJ and INFP people grow up in a situation where our intuitive gifts are not valued, and they are definitely not encouraged. Instead, we are taught to ignore or suppress our intuition, and to discount our natural creative style, and our intuitive gifts. So, we end up as adults who feel cut off from our own creativity, who struggle with writing, and who have no idea how to use our natural intuitive talent to thrive.

I talk more about this in the video below:

I’m teaching an online class this May called Finding Your Writing Magic, all about the link between intuition and writing, and how to learn key intuitive tools that will help you tap into your greatest creative potential.

If this sounds like exactly what you need right now, be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE to get all the updates about the class. You can contact me with any questions here. And please don’t hold back on the questions! I’m really excited about this new class and I would love to answer any questions that might come up for you.

I’ll see you soon with the next video in this series, all about how to tell the difference between the voice of fear and the voice of intuition!

Lauren Sapala is the author of The INFJ WriterThe INFJ Revolution, and the creator of Intuitive Writing, an online video course for INFJ and INFP writers who struggle with traditional writing methods. You can get a free copy of her book on creative marketing for writers by signing up for her newsletter HERE.