children's writer

The Truth About INFP Writers (by an INFP Writer)

Dec 7, 2015

With our art, we're saying, "This is who I am."

Hello! Fellow INFP here. Now I admit I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to Myers-Briggs. I only discovered I was an INFP about one or two years ago, but ever since I've been so enthralled by everything I've read about INFPs and the other types. It is truly fascinating and has been so accurate for me. This post is about some of the things that's been true for me as an INFP writer, but you might also feel the same way. Who knows. These can also apply to non-writers as well. The more the merrier.

  • INFP writers might be discovery writers, which means they might prefer to discover the story as they write. For the six years I've been writing this has been my process. Yes, I've tried outlining but the thrill of finding the story as I write just feels too good.
  • INFP writers crave magic in everyday life. There isn't a day that goes by where I'm not searching for some sort of creative stimulation. Whether through music, art, or books, I feel my best when my heart and my soul have been touched. As I write,  or before I begin, I might have to listen to my favorite playlist or spend some time on Pinterest.
  • INFP writers love to see themselves in their work. I'm one of those people who loathed working in groups for creative projects. In my opinion, creative work is meant to be personal. I never felt like there was any of me in the group projects I did in school. That's why we work solo.
  • The heart of an INFP writer is always hungry. I don't write every day, but I'm always thinking about writing. What will my next story be? And how can I make it better than the last? These questions are always swimming through my mind. Once an INFP writer sets their heart on something, it'll be hard to change their mind. I'll never stop writing.
  • INFP writers sometimes find it hard to zoom out. We might be good at looking at the details, a line we love or that one scene. When it comes to the big picture, I find I have to go all the way back to the beginning and outline the scenes I've written so far. This is the only way. A light bulb always goes off in my head. And I think, "Ah, so this is what I've written."
  • INFP writers can take criticism. It might take us a while to come to terms with the fact that our critique partner was right about that character needing more fleshing out, but we usually come around eventually.
  • INFP writers can get really passionate at times. I for one know how hard it is to let go of a project I swore would be the one. It usually takes another bright idea for me to fully let go of the previous one. 
  • INFP writers live in their imaginations. I wasn't always writing, but I was always dreaming and telling stories to myself. Even now, I find it hard to quiet my thoughts. There's always some adventure to be had in this mind of mine.
  • By writing and making art, INFP writers are trying to find themselves. We often feel so lost in this world, not knowing where we belong. With our art, we're delving deeper into ourselves, trying to make sense of who we truly are. I don't often know what I want to say until I write it down. I don't always know what I like until it's in front of me.
  • INFP writers might secretly want to disappear inside of their favorite books. This needs no explanation. In fact, I think all book lovers feel this way, wanting more than ordinary life.
  • INFP writers suffer from perpetual loneliness. The characters in our minds are our best friends. 
  • INFP writers will try to find a place for other art they love in their own work. Maybe it might just be me, but coming home the other night I was listening to a song I used to love. I thought, I'm going to write a character who loves this sort of music as much as I do.
  • INFP writers might think they're weird. We tend to feel like there's no one else in the world who feel and think the same way we do, which is why Myers-Briggs is so wonderful. On the same note, we might also take being called weird as a compliment because it means there's no one else out their like us, no one can write or paint as we can.
  • INFP writers are romantics. We don't always flaunt it, but we love the idea of being able to share a deep connection with someone through our art. The best compliment an INFP can receive is someone saying, "I understand you."
  • INFP writers just want to make beautiful things. That's it really. We love the act of creating, even if it might not be very good. We sometimes find it so hard to articulate who we are and why we like something. With our art, we're saying, "This is who I am."

If you're an INFP, I'd love to know if any of these resonate with you. Is there anything you'd like to add to the list?
7 comments on "The Truth About INFP Writers (by an INFP Writer)"
  1. Oh my gosh. As a fellow INFP writer, this resonated with me so deeply! I agree 100% with everything you wrote. So glad to find that I'm not the only one! Thank you so, so much for writing this!

    1. Hey! You're welcome. I'm glad you think so. It's nice to connect with a fellow INFP. Thank you for commenting.

  2. Hello Tracy,
    Thanks for sharing all of your beautiful nuggets of truth. As an INFP they all speak to me. I wonder if you can help me? I have so many characters, stories, images, insights that are constantly swirling in my head. I love to do things when I feel the inspiration but I don't know what to do. I'd love to transfer this from my head/heart to paper/sculpt/??? but I just don't know how... Do you have any words of advice on how to start to write a story... I look forward to exploring the rest of your site and see your posts on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing your INFPness. It is beautiful.

    1. Hello, Hope! Thank you so much for such a kind, thoughtful comment. It's nice to meet another INFP. The reason it took me so long to respond is because I've never been asked for writing advice before, but I'm so glad you asked.

      The best advice I've received is quite simple, just write. I think we start to doubt ourselves when we worry about getting it right the first time or being like another author. Do try to push all of that aside. If you have a wonderful idea, then see where it takes you, let the story be your guide.

      Let the words flow. No one will be watching. It'll be just you and the blank screen, and some amazing things can happen if let go of those doubts that you won't get it right. No one gets it right the first time.

      I love this quote by Shannon Hale, “I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”

      I hope this helped. Again, thank you so much for stopping by.

  3. I thought it was funny that you said you have to go back to the beginning of a story and outline the scenes you've written so far to continue writing. I spent all yesterday writing an outline, and my sister said her outline of a chapter would be one sentence "this happens", my chapter outlines are a paragraph, a rundown of everything that might be important.

    My issue when it comes to my own writing is when I'm reading it back, sometimes I wonder if it would come across as being overly melodramatic to a reader. I don't know if that kind of thing annoys people. Do you experience any doubts about your writing, like how it would come across to someone else?

    1. Hello! Of course I experience doubts about my writing, like everyday. In fact, I've been feeling more than a little discouraged lately. I had to send an emergency email to my critique partner for a pep talk.

      We really never know how our writing will come across to readers. It does help to get some distance. I find, if I'm cringing whenever I read a line or a paragraph, putting the manuscript away for a few days works. You might see it with fresh eyes.

      When it comes down to it, the only thing you can do is tell the best story you can. Let your instincts be your guide. Of course, there'll be people who don't like it. But there also might be someone who does.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  4. I agree 100% with the last point. I do just want to create something beautiful in this world. The world is ugly enough as it is and I want to at least do something to make it better for some people!