Dear fellow INFJ,
“I have stories still to tell, they’re of the healing kind…”
I have been told that I have been writing since I was able to hold a pen. For years, I kept handfuls of journals tucked under my bed and in desk drawers—and I suspect many other INFJs do the same. I have memories of journaling the happenings of elementary school dramas. So-and-so was the official hot boy of the 5th grade and he looked at me. You know, things of that nature. Real hard-hitting stuff. I attempted to write poetry, but didn’t find my stride with writing until my late teens. I lived for my English Composition and Creative Writing courses in high school. Let’s just say I was never exactly disappointed when we were assigned to write a paper.
My love of writing followed me to college. About halfway into my degree, I added a Creative Writing minor. With my declared major, I was required to have a Business minor. The university I attended is well known for its business school, however I knew I needed to study something that would soothe and lift my creative soul. I decided poetry would be just the thing. I realized I had very little knowledge of how to read and interpret poems. Luckily, I found famous poets that I adored, including Pablo Neruda and Edna St. Vincent Millay.
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One memory from a course I took is when I was assigned to write a sonnet. I didn’t think I could ever enjoy writing structured poetry (c’mon, I’m an INFJ—a free spirit!), but it turns out having limitations only forces more creative outcomes. My professor commented that my sonnet was something Edna St. Vincent Millay would appreciate. In that moment, I was actually proud of something I had written.
I absolutely loved my poetry courses. But, sadly, I didn’t write much after I graduated from college. I was transitioning into my adulthood, with a full time job and bills to pay. I was trying to find my footing in a new city. I’m sure I tried to write every now and then, but I lost the spark that I once had when I wrote poetry in college. It wasn’t until late 2014 that I began to find my voice again. You see, I stumbled across this very blog and sent an article pitch to the editor. I spent an embarrassing amount of time editing and perfecting the first article that was published. I was scared to send it into the world. That was two years ago.
I never expected the feedback it has since received. I don’t know who I would be if I didn’t write. There is a common theme amongst INFJs with writing. We tend to prefer communicating with the written word versus speaking aloud. I know that for me personally, writing allows me the time to think of what I actually want to say. I do not enjoy being put on the spot to answer a question. I need time to contemplate before I give my response.
Not only does writing help me communicate more effectively and eloquently, but it helps me sort out my feelings. I only ever know how I feel about something until after I spend time writing about it. Writing is my healer. And I hope maybe the things I write can heal someone else.
Reading the words other people have written also heals me. Translating emotion and experience into a language we can all understand is the closest thing to magic, at least to me. I recently got a tattoo to represent my love of writing. It is inspired by a song lyric by City & Colour that goes, “I’ve got stories still to tell, they’re of the healing kind…”
The tattoo is also inspired by you, my readers. The last two years writing for Introvert, Dear have meant a great deal to me. I want to thank each and every one of you for reading my words. I never thought I would muster up the courage to put my thoughts so publicly into the world. Your kind words have encouraged me to keep going, even when I doubt myself.
Writing is an intimate thing. I put so much of myself into the things I write, as I'm sure all INFJs do. Putting my writing into a space for others to read is putting myself into that space. It’s vulnerable. It’s scary. It’s surreal to think that there are people out there who want to hear what I have to say.
Again, thank you for being here with me while I explore my writing journey. My only hope is that I can be here for you, too. Writing here means a lot to me. And so do you.
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Love, your INFJ friend,
Image credit: Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock
Read this: 4 Reasons Why I Love Being an INFJ