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Thursday, June 25

The Best-Kept Secret “Real” Writers Use to Crush Writer’s Block

By Jacqueline Myers 

Part of The Writer's Life Series 


JH: Not every writer has the same process, and the wrong process can actually 
keep you from writing. Jacqueline Myers shares thoughts and tips on how who you are influences how your write.

Jacqueline is currently happily at work on her second mystery series (under a pen name) while sharing what she's learned with other writers. Using the synergy of personality theory and brain science, Jacqueline coaches writers using a proprietary methodology that helps them overcome their debilitating creative blocks so they can write un-put-down-able books.

If you are struggling, she'd love to see how she can support you! Schedule your free story strategy session here. You can also email her at jacqueline@intuitivewritingcoach.com.

Take it away Jacqueline…

Once I’d published my first few books, I decided I wanted to become a “real” writer. In my mind, this meant becoming a full-time writer, able to make a living from writing stories from my imagination.

Thus, I began my quest for how to reach this lofty goal.

I spent hours reading and taking courses on the process of becoming a “real” writer. I downloaded detailed story outlines and researched upcoming trends in the world of fiction, so I’d know what storylines to create.

I had all the “right” tools, but when I sat down to use them, I felt overwhelmed and frustrated. 

According to the writing gurus, to be a “real” writer, I needed to:
  • Create excruciatingly detailed outlines
  • Write everyday
  • Write 4-6 books per year
  • Write to market
Jacqueline Meyers
By the time I digested (read: bought into these ideas whole-heartedly) and started implementing, I’d stopped working on my next book completely. I decided that it was okay because I was in a learning phase. But that phase went on and on, until one day I woke up with the certain knowledge that I was doomed never to be a “real” writer.

I couldn’t even get past the first bullet point. I sat in front of the recommended outline form day after day but couldn’t get past plotting the first act. I simply couldn’t “see” what happened after that. I felt like a gypsy squinting to glimpse the future in a cloudy crystal ball. The more desperate I got to see beyond that point, the foggier the plot became.

How could I write faster, thereby producing 4-6 books a year if I couldn’t lay out exactly what was going to happen to my protagonist before I started writing the first paragraph? My fans would forget about me by the time my next book came out. The gurus said so.

(Here's more on Mind Mapping: A Pantser’s Path to Planning)

The tide turned the day I realized I was an Intuitive living in a Sensing world.


Huh?

Intuitive/Sensing is the way we gather information and decide what to write/say, according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This personality type assessment is one of the most scientifically tested and is used by psychologists, as well as marriage therapists, business coaches, and corporate team strategists.

The MBTI is built upon Carl Jung’s archetype work and divides our innate personalities into four aspects.

These four aspects are represented by letters. As writers, these letters tell us about our process and our preferences.

Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I) tells us how we start our process. 

Sensing (S) or Intuition (N) tells us how we discover what you want to say

Thinking (T) or Feeling (F) tells us how we decide how we want to say it

Judging (J) or Perceiving (P) tells us how we get our writing done

Finally, I figured out why none of the gurus’ advice was working for me: I was trying to be a Sensor! 


Approximately 70% of the population use Sensing as their preferred method for gathering information. Because Sensors love to work linearly and provide structure to chaotic processes, it naturally follows that they would publish books, courses, blogs, and podcasts on how to formulate your writing process to make it more efficient.

Their writing formulas work…for those Sensors among us. For Intuitives, not so much.

Now I understood there was nothing wrong with me. My brain just worked differently than the majority of the population.

The heavens opened!

I’d been stuck and struggling because I’d been fighting the current. Going against the grain. Paddling upstream.

In other words, trying to be a Sensor.

As if by magic, when I began to embrace my Intuitive cognitive process, I finished my next book in a few weeks. 

The Intuitives’ Quick Guide to Becoming a “Real Writer” 

  • Start with the “big picture” in mind and fill out the details as you go.
  • Allow yourself time and space to develop ideas without interruption.
  • Allocate time for inspiration and imagination to percolate—this is still “writing.”
  • Permit yourself to work in intuitive leaps rather than a linear fashion.
  • Write books on topics that align with your values and connect with our humanity rather than trying to write what is in vogue.
  • Utilize your affinity for original concepts and perspectives to fulfill your natural desire to immerse readers in a different consciousness, rather than just tell a good story.
Now, I’m not dissing Sensors. They are essential to keep society stable. But so are Intuitives. We’re the dreamers, the visionaries who help change the status quo.

I’m also not saying that all Intuitives will have my same experience. We all exist on a continuum between Intuitive and Sensing, not to mention how our personal past experiences impact us. 

What I am saying is that the #1 secret to crushing your writing blocks is to understand and embrace your unique, innate writing process via your personality type.


As Intuitives, our superpowers are different than most of the people we meet, but they are superpowers, none the less.

I may never write six books a year. Heck, I’m not sure I want to.

I may never be able to create a detailed outline for my next book. It sounds like a total bore anyway.

What I do instinctively as an Intuitive is to provide alternative points of view for my reader. I make a statement about what the world could look like for all of us. And I enjoy the process of being a “real” writer, even if I have to keep my day job.

And so can you, my dear Intuitive friend!

Are you an Intuitive, a Sensor, or somewhere in between? 

5 comments:

  1. Wow, you just blew my mind! I have felt this way for years about my own process, but haven't been able to express it so eloquently. I'm 100% an Intuitive writer! This makes me feel better for not understanding how anyone can write 4-6 books a year. (I know of many authors who write even more than that. HOW.) Thank you for sharing your experience! :)

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    1. Hey, Laloga, I'm not sure anyone has ever told me I blew their mind before...I'll take it as a real compliment! :) I'm thrilled that reading about my experience gave you permission to cut yourself some slack! I truly believe that when you write amazing books, your fans will keep coming back, even if you don't publish as often as other writers. Thanks for your comment!

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  2. Amen. I have given up trying to explain my process to all this outliners I know. I simply say my outline is bigger than their's. About 80K. Revision is for that nitpicky part of my brain. Dive right in and lead with your pants.
    Bless you and thank's for the validation

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    1. LOL, Sam! That's a great way to explain it! When I try to create a detailed outline, I start feeling like I've already written the book, so it no longer intrigues me! What's the point then, eh? It's more fun for me to learn what happens in the story along the way. :) Thanks so much for your comment! I'm so pleased that it gave you reassurance that you aren't alone it this!

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  3. Yes! As an INFJ, I just cannot write with an outline. I have to let the scenes come to me (always out of order) and eventually it all falls into place. Intuition really feels like magic sometimes.

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