It seems like all INFJs are writers. Is that true? When I first found out I was an INFJ I didn’t feel like I was a writer or that I wanted to be. But as it turned out, here I am a writer. So… are ALL INFJs meant to be writers? Is it a requirement?
And if all INFJs are writers, why? What is it that makes us drawn to writing?
Are all INFJs writers? Is it really required?
The short answer is that no, it’s not required and not every single INFJ in the world feels the need to write. But most do. Every INFJ that I’ve spoken to either is a writer or wants to be. And those that want to generally have a personal journal that they write in. Why is that?
Writing is more than just a hobby for INFJs. It’s a healing process. We are very good at soaking up other people’s emotions. We’re also really good at taking care of others, often at the expense of ourselves. These are things that we do naturally. We don’t have to learn them, they are just engrained in us from the time we are born.
It often takes us years and years to learn about our personality and realize what’s going on. I was 27 when I learned my personality type and 29 when I really started studying it. That’s 29 years of soaking up others’ emotions and not knowing how to deal with it. 29 years of taking care of everyone else and not knowing how to take care of myself. That’s a lot to unpack and undo.
Writing was my refuge. Yes, I went to see a counselor and that helped. But what helped me the most was diving into what had happened to me in the past and exploring it while I was writing about it.
Writing helps me sort out what I’m thinking. It helps me put thoughts together in a rational way that makes sense to me and that I feel explains what I’m really trying to say.
Writing also helps me sort out how I’m feeling. It’s not easy for INFJs to think about how we are feeling. It often takes me months to name the feelings that I’m experiencing when I’m going through something big or heavy. Writing helps me with that process. It helps me to sort through the feelings and name them, which for me, is the first step to working through them.
I have found that the more I write the more I understand myself and the more I heal.
I strongly believe that’s why so many INFJs are drawn to writing. They are looking for a way to organize their thoughts and feelings and heal from all of the things they've gone through in their lives. No one has an easy life. I know it’s easy to look at Instagram and Facebook and think that these picture-perfect people have perfect lives, but that’s just not the case. Young and old, rich and poor, educated or not, everyone has things that they struggle with, things that challenge them, things that bring them to their knees, that they can’t even imagine they will be able to get through. Everyone has experienced something where you look back and can’t believe that you made it through.
Writing is the answer. Writing will help you heal and help you move forward.
Onward and upward
Once the healing process has started, you can start looking forward more. What do you want to do with your life? What’s your purpose in life? What mark do you want to leave on the world?
Writing will help you answer all of these questions. It’s just as important to look forward and explore as it is to look backwards and explore. We’ll talk more about this later.
I want to talk now about writing versus editing. Most people when they sit down to write get stuck on finding the right or correct words. I’ve done this myself. Instead of just writing, we start editing what we’re writing as we write it. Confusion mounts, perfectionism sets in and all of a sudden you lock up. You can’t come up with another word to write to save your life. I’ve done this so many times. When I was first starting out, this happened to me a lot.
I realized that I had to stop thinking about what I was writing and just write. Don’t edit, just write. Write as it comes to you and think about if it makes sense and if it’s the way you want to say it later. In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron calls this Morning Pages. She says to write for 30 minutes every morning without stopping or editing. I’ve done this a lot, though I’m not good at writing in the morning. It helps to put what you’re thinking down on paper (or the computer) and to explore it a little bit. See where some of your thoughts go without judgement or criticism.
The INFJ purpose in life
Many INFJs struggle to figure out what career they want to pursue or what their purpose is in life. It’s something that some of us struggle with for years. There’s a lot of fear in talking about something that you want, especially if it’s completely different from what you’re doing now.
I’ll give you an example: In 2017 I was unemployed and bored, looking for a job, but still trying to come to terms with the fact that I had been laid off and lost my whole world. I mentioned to a friend that I was thinking of starting a YouTube channel. She said, “OMG no. Don’t be one of THOSE people. No one every hits it big on YouTube. You’ll just look like another annoying idiot who’s involved in what’s essentially a pyramid scheme. No.”
Idk what kind of reaction I was expecting, but that certainly wasn’t it. Even though I felt like she didn’t understand YouTube, I still let her words get to me. It was another 2 years before I actually started making videos.
The point of me making videos was to help people, not to make a bunch of money. But instead of helping people, I let her opinion and fears hold me back. When I started my blog I didn’t tell anyone about it because I was afraid of the same kind of reaction and afraid that their fears would get to me and stop me from doing this thing that I really wanted to do.
Instead of talking about it, I wrote about it. That’s how I worked out how I felt without the influence of others. Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong to tell people what your plans or share what you’re thinking about doing, just make sure that their opinions and fears don’t hold you back.
Writing can help you sort through a lot, especially when it comes to your purpose in life. You already know what you want to do. There’s a voice inside of you that’s pulling you in a certain direction. Maybe it’s something completely different that you’ve done. Maybe it’s something that requires you to be really brave or to make a big change in your life. Regardless of what you have to work though, writing will help immensely.
Writing Essentials for INFJs
Writing is such an important part of our lives as INFJs. It’s truly life changing in so many ways from problem solving to communication to healing from your past and planning your future. I want to help you learn more about writing and dig deeper into how it can help you, so I’ve created 8 additional episodes of The Quiet Ones that you can access for free at infjwoman.com/seasonfiveextras/. These episodes will walk you through:
Understand yourself better through writing
Organize Your Life with Writing
Solve your problems with writing
Improving your Communication skills
Getting past writing blocks
Get access now at infjwoman.com/seasonfiveextras