It’s hard to believe that the year is almost over. How do you feel about your writing life over the past year?
As I look back, I see that I had a lot of learning to do. I had to make significant changes to my writing practice, especially when it came to my mindset towards it. However these adjustments has made me much more satisfied with my writing.
So here is a short list of mindset shifts that have helped me to improve this year. I hope this helps you to nourish your writing life no matter where you are as an INFP writer, be it writing privately or sharing your work to the world. And maybe you’ll get some ideas of what to work towards next year.
Take a moment to notice what’s working with your writing right now.
Even just a little bit.
I’ve mentioned this concept of noticing what’s working in a couple of my books. The beauty of using this approach with your writing process is that it pulls you out of feeling powerless. Yes, some things about your writing may not be that great, but when you see what’s working, you also know what you can do more.
As an INFP, this is also a healthy way to use extraverted thinking. Extraverted thinking is all about looking at systems and structures and noticing what is working and what is not. We usually default to the negative, to the things that are failing. So it’s constructive to have a change of perspective.
Notice which projects are calling to you
For while, I had been ignoring many of the project ideas that spoke to me, especially if they were related to my blog or a book to publish. I would look at my blog stats and book sales and use that information to determine what to write next. But, the projects that are supposed to be “practical” are the ones I never finish. I finish books that call to me–book ideas that pop into my mind on repeat.
Do you have any writing ideas like that? If so, try going for them and see what happens. I’ve found that the ideas I can’t get rid of have so much emotional momentum, I can’t stop working until I let it all out.
Extraverted intuition loves novelty, and you’ll maintain momentum with your projects if you give yourself space to follow your curiosity.
Listening to your intuition may not fit with the numbers or what’s popular, but at least it can result in finished work. This is much better than going with a practical yet boring idea that makes writing something to suffer through. And unfortunately when you find a writing project boring, it shows, even if you manage to finish it.
Where are you pushing yourself as a writer? What can you do to push less?
And by pushing, I don’t mean simply working hard. I mean forcing and striving to where it feels unnatural. You may get the sensation of hitting a wall. This is an important question to ask because the reason you aren’t making progress has nothing to do with how much effort you’re putting in. It’s more about doing the wrong thing at the wrong time in a way that doesn’t suit you.
I faced this back when I was trying to do all of the social media. Honesty, I’m terrible at social media, and I was putting in so much effort to make it work with little benefits. I had to step back and reanalyze things.
Which social media sites did I feel like I was pushing myself to use? Facebook and Instagram. So I deleted those. Which social media accounts did I enjoy using or at least didn’t feel a crushing amount of pressure while trying to use them? Pinterest. So although I may dabble in other social media sites, Pinterest is what I use the most, and it has served me well.
(Update: I’ve recently joined Mastadon, and it really fits what I want out of a social media site. I see it even eclipsing my use of Pinterest. You can follow me at @firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Pushing is a sign that maybe something isn’t working. It’s time to step back, reanalyze the situation, and see what truly fits you.
Don’t force yourself to write flowery descriptions if you prefer keeping things to the point. Don’t use huge words if they have no meaning to you. Conversely, don’t push too hard to completely whittle down your writing if you enjoy lush descriptions.
This mindset also goes for the pressurized (and sometimes toxic) productivity advice that is often given to writers. Try to be more accepting of the way you actually want to approach your writing life while maintaining the quality of what you want to create.
What is naturally coming into your life as a writer?
This is one of those things that sounds perfectly logical in my brain but absolutely crazy when I write it, so be patient with me here.
I have noticed that the information, guidance, or resources I need to improve as a writer tend to unexpectedly show up in my life. Call it serendipity or synchrony or whatever, but I’m always impressed by the writing resources that find me. I think part of it is that I’m always on the lookout for things that will help me to improve as a writer.
And I feel that, these little pushes towards improvement have always been right in front me, it’s simply that I’ve failed to notice them before.
So what things related to writing are coming into your life right now? What books, sources of advice, or tools are showing up? Are any of them teaching you anything? If so, what lessons are you learning?
The more you notice, the more lessons appear right when you need them.
Hopefully these four mindset shifts will give you a starting point on setting next year’s writing goals. I have one more mindset shift I want to share: Think about how you want to feel as a writer.
My blog posts tend to run long (this one’s over 1000 words!), and I end up having to cut them for ease of reading. But I’ve decided to start sharing the “deleted” scenes of my blog posts as exclusive posts on my Buy Me a Coffee page. So my last tip will be available $1 supporters.
If you need some more inspiration for creating writing goals in the upcoming year, here are some other posts from this blog to check out:
- 25 Ways to Thrive as an INFP Writer
- How Journaling Helps Me as an INFP Writer
- Using Lists to Be a More Organized INFP Writer
- Too Busy to Write? Here are 4 Flexible Writing Schedules to Try
- 10 Tips on Working With Your Strengths as an INFP Writer
If you would like some one-on-one help with this process of figuring out what you want to get out of your writing life, I’m available for short consultation sessions. We can chat about these introspective questions and more to help you find your path as an INFP writer.