Every November I get tons of emails from INFJ and INFP writers asking if NaNoWriMo is a good fit for them. And the answer is always yes and no. No, because intuitive writers tend to write slowly. We need time to go into the deepest depths with our characters and our stories, and 30 days isn’t much time. There’s also the issue of feeling pressured, which doesn’t work well for many introverts, and aiming to write 50k words in one month is definitely a fair amount of pressure.
However, NaNoWriMo can also be beneficial to intuitive writers because it pushes us to actually get going, and we intuitive writers tend to spend a lot of time up in our heads, planning and thinking and dreaming, but not actually DOING. It’s the doing part that can be the most difficult for us. So, with something like NaNoWriMo, we’re kind of forced to jump into the cold water, get used to it, and start swimming.
The only danger with this is that if we don’t reach 50k words, or if the completed novel we were planning on doesn’t materialize in full by the end of November, then we can easily beat ourselves up about it and tell ourselves that we failed. And then, because we feel like a failure as a writer, we go into the same old cycle of discouragement and depression about not meeting our writing goals or being what we think of as a “real writer.”
The truth is, NaNoWriMo actually CAN work for intuitive writers, even if they don’t end up hitting 50k words or coming out on the other side with a completed novel. The key is to shift our perspective and reevaluate our “goals” with NaNo. The secret is to take the focus off word count, because focusing on word count is honestly never a great idea for intuitive writers. Instead, we shift our focus to time and energy. When we commit to devoting time and energy to our creative projects on a regular basis, everything changes. So, even if you don’t hit a goal of writing a certain amount of words every day, the fact that you are sitting down for a committed block of time on regular days, makes a real difference.
I talk more about why it’s so hard for intuitive writers to do this in the video below, and how we can overcome it:
I’m launching a new, live class this November called the Creative Commitment Challenge. The class includes a 90-minute weekly teaching/live Q&A session on Monday evenings, and also one-hour, live, silent writing sessions over Zoom every single day. Class members can show up to every single Zoom session, or pick and choose from the sessions to make a schedule that feels right to them.
Our focus in the class is not going to be on accomplishing specific goals, although it can also definitely support you with that if that’s what you’re being called to do right now. We’re going to be participating in a creative experiment, all together. What happens when you commit serious blocks of time to your writing over the course of 30 days? And how much easier is it when you’re part of a community of people all working right alongside you and cheering you on?
That’s what we’re going to be finding out during the Creative Commitment Challenge. I’m really excited about it, and I hope you join us. If you have any questions about it, or you’d like a copy of the schedule of silent writing sessions to see how many you can attend, please feel free to contact me HERE.
I’ll be opening up registration for the Creative Commitment Challenge on Tuesday Oct 27, so be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE to get all the updates and announcements as they’re released. I’ll also be releasing the third and final video in this series in just a couple of days. I’ll see you then!
Lauren Sapala is the author of The INFJ Writer, The INFJ Revolution, and the creator of Intuitive Writing, a six-step online video course for INFJ and INFP writers who struggle with writing. She is also currently offering a free copy of her book on creative marketing for INFJ and INFP writers to anyone who signs up for her newsletter. SIGN UP HERE to get your free copy of Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers.