When was the last time inspiration hit you? When was the last time you were in the flow state with your writing? For many writers, the answer to both of these questions is either, “a long time ago,” or, “I can’t even remember.” Although all of us strive to tune into our creativity and enjoy the writing process, sadly, this is a reality for very few of us.
What most writers don’t know is that there is always something specific blocking our creativity. Usually, we’re asking ourselves one particular question that not only interrupts our flow, but disconnects us entirely from the creative process. This is when we end up in a situation where we’re reacting to the creative process out of anxiety, instead of responding to our own creativity in the present moment.
Failing is a strong word to use when we talk about writing, mostly because writing is an ongoing journey, and so it’s almost impossible to say that we’ve “failed” at it. However, this doesn’t change the fact that many writers DO feeling like they are failing at writing.
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.
There is one common problem almost all INFP writers struggle with, and that’s choosing just one creative project to work on. Most INFP writers have a million ideas, and many have started multiple writing projects in an effort to bring every one of those million ideas to life. Then the INFP writer becomes completely overwhelmed because they have too many projects going on—most of them in various unfinished states—and they don’t know how to focus themselves on finishing any one thing.
If you are an INFP writer, you have probably been through this cycle many times. And you have probably also beaten yourself up for being “scattered,” “unfocused,” or “not dedicated enough” to follow through on finishing things. Rest assured, you are none of the above. What’s actually going on is that you are a highly creative person, and because of your INFP personality type, you work in a different way than most other people when it comes to creative projects.
Do you constantly compare yourself to other writers?
Do you set goals for yourself as a writer and then somehow fall short of them every time?
Do you start new writing practices full of enthusiasm, but then sooner or later you dread sticking with it?
If you’re like so many other writers out there, the answer to these questions is sadly, “yes.” And every time something like this happens to you, you end up in a pit of despair, right? You question yourself, your writing talent, and your ability to make your dreams happen.