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Hello there, INFJ's!

I think of myself as being very creative, in fact, sometimes it's the other thing about myself that I feel secure about. If I feel I am not this or that, I feel at least I am creative, and am sure about that one thing. However, creativity can be sometimes linked to other types. I think it's easily attributed to ISFP's as they have been dubbed "The Artists". I have some creative friends, but even with them, I feel like our creative energy is completely different. I can't do artwork in the way an SP would. My Ni will give my work a certain specific flair that may not be considered classically artistic. Can any of you relate to this?
I feel my work is sometimes undermined because it's not exactly what people expect. I sometimes don't share my work because I suspect people will not understand or appreciate it. I don't mean that in a pretentious way. I mean, it honestly frustrates me and sometimes hurts my feelings to have something I create and really enjoy being criticized. It seems whatever I do, there is always someone who basically has the complaint of "I think you should have made this how I would have made it instead of how you decided to make it." I want to say "If I wanted to make it that way, i would have." My Ni gives me the vision, I simply follow it. It's not like I aim for some vision and fail. It just seems people don't see my original vision I was aiming for and criticize my creative work for not being like the majority of artwork they have seen.
This turned into a mini vent. Sorry.

But I would love feedback on this. Thanks! :]
 

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Whenever I'm creative, it's usually symbolic. It's always like that when I'm doing art, poetry, stories, playing music, singing, teaching, etc. It's always working with Ni. It's a way for me to push my internal perceptions into the external world. I have a thing for metaphors. I also have a thing for symbolism and hidden meaning.
 

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-----I read somewhere that although INFJs are one of the rarest types, that we make up 25% of the authors out there. I have found this to be uncannily accurate. Of the four authors, including myself, I know personally (all of whom I met before I knew I was an INFJ), three of them are INFJs.
-----Like you, I find the stories "just come." I can understand why many INFJs believe that their stories are divinely inspired. I do not really choose what to write--I write what comes to me to write.
-----I agree that criticism can be hard to take--given that these stories come from the depth of our souls. Sometimes we think of them as part of us. And very often these stories are crafted by talented hands--that yield works of beauty that do not always connect with our more down-to-earth brothers and sisters. I agree with the snippet, below, in that criticism during the process is often counter-productive--but after it is complete, I think I am able to see it more objectively. The problem is by that time it is too late to revise without substantial effort. But honestly, I think too much input during the process is paralyzing. Here's the snippet: "Too many suggestions or feedback on a project while it is still going on may interfere with the INJ's creative energy. Much of the interest in actually doing the project comes from the INJ's drive to prove their inner visions and independence. Any 'interference' from the external world will confuse the INJ, and it may cause them to doubt themselves or their idea. In any event, it will usually cause them to lose interest in the project and abandon it. It's probably best to wait until an INJ's project is finished before commenting." See: (Portrait of an INJ Child).
-----I've written two novels, and they are both heavily symbolic. I am prouder of my second novel than my first, but I've only published my first novel. See: (The Greening: Geoffrey James Aguirre: 9781477687123: Amazon.com: Books). You can see the first few pages of the book for free. It is heavily symbolic, and from the popular perspective (as well as the pretentious perspective) that can seem downright hokey, I suppose. Nevertheless, I enjoy reading it, myself, and I try to draw from the teachings of past famous authors out there and remember that it is my standard that matters--how it is received is secondary to my writing meeting my standards.
-----You wrote, "I feel my work is sometimes undermined because it's not exactly what people expect." Your work not being what people expect--well, there's another word for that: originality. Or perhaps uniqueness. Do you know how many artists work their whole lives just trying to accomplish that? Your ability to create original things (things that defy popular expectation)--my friend, that is a strength (not a weakness). Neither the expectations of other people nor the popular reception of your work can undermine your work. Not unless you let them. So, I encourage you to keep creating--and to keep true to your vision! For your vision is the only one that matters.
 

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@Jamie.Ether
Are you having a difficult time with a particular teacher?
I've always been criticized by my working method but not so much the end result. That's why I used to loiter in class or skip class (if it wasn't figure drawing etc.) and stay after school to paint when there was not but a few people there to see me do it. I do stretch the task description to breaking point often times. The best work I do is when there's minimal interference and just a clear concise bare bones instruction of what it is exactly I need to deliver. It's the easiest way for me to work but it caused friction with the staff as there is a procedure they need to follow.
My teachers were established professional artists of some caliber and weren't expecting drone like copying. That is to their credit.
I've always been a terrible student. I take instruction poorly (as in don't follow it unless it's purely technical), deliver what's been asked for but the work is always otherwise a bit rebellious, I had anxiety that made me skip school a lot, I'm hard to reach in a way though I'm polite and nice... Sometimes I take too many chances with my work or get lost in the details. That's where for schooling purposes it helps for me to be in class. So I can see how much effort others are putting into their work. As an example of what I mean was we were given pastels (this was in regular school) to produce a copy of a Rembrant. I was sick so I took the work home and as I was doing it I really got pissed off as the colors obviously didn't closely match the original, you could not produce a close enough representation for my liking...I labored over it like a nut trying to match the tiny specks of light with my pastels and ended up taking a partially finished work to school. As it turns out the others had just done the basic blocks of color and my work was though impressive a bit too much effort for the assignment.
For me I take the technical advice seriously as there is nothing like experience really. I'm grateful when someone teaches me what they've learned. But that said I don't like to take much input into the what of what I'm expressing. ;)
It's not easy to just do what you want when you're sensitive to other people but for me personally I know it's an area of no compromise...
I mention visual arts here as I was a bit precocious in that area. When I was young I was years ahead of my peers in aesthetic development. I was doing symbolic works while other kids were drawing my little ponies. I've given up on visual arts for a long time and used the last decade on songwriting and singing. It was the same. I was an odd duck out and at first people were very confused as to what I was doing. As my skills evolved (yes...this is not something I understood at first but it takes time to come to your own. In music it's taken me ten years to have my vision clear enough and skills to the point where I feel I can actually manifest my POV properly) people begun to see I had a clear point. Some people who have a talent like that you need in artist development gave me encouragement but 80% thought I was just a weirdo bimbo. LOL. Then after ten years the same people were like "Oh so this is what you were trying to do...". :tongue: ...and some still really hated what I was doing. :laughing:
Oh well... cover your ears. :wink:
 

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What's a good example of INFJ creativity? (A popularish one that I might have come across if that's okay? I must judge you! :kitteh:)
@Geoffrey Ah man, if 25% are INFJ then what about INFP? Pretty much every epic author I know is INFP given a few expectations. I am genuinely interested though, for obvious reasons.
 

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I have a fun opportunity to experience this. My biological father and I are both musician and song-writers.

A similarity we have is that we both taught ourselves how to play the instruments that we know how to play and have excellent "ears", we can figure out chords just from listening to them, but we often put them together in strange ways - this gives us a creative edge that more classically trained individuals seem to like "hey, how'd you do that? that sounded cool..."

He can do things I can't - he's capable of creating songs that are "popular", and arranging songs to be "marketable." So essentially, creating within a framework that will appeal conventionally. His commentary on my song-writing is that while he likes it, it's not quite marketable as is, and he'll give me advice about what I could do to help it become more marketable. This doesn't make me feel bad, because I know there are niches for people like me in music. I know that while I'm not marketable mainstream, other artists and groups before me have managed to garner a following with their not radio-friendly music. Perhaps if my creativity was expressed through a different medium, my experience would be more difficult.

But I definitely can relate in that my creative style is unconventional. I'm very protective of my work, I've occasionally had someone say "you should do this or that" to change my songs, but I generally make decisions about how something sounds very purposefully.
 

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@Umber
Are you looking for examples of INFJ writers in particular or musicians etc...
Off the top of my head, as far as writers go JK Rowling comes to mind instantly and I suspect Isabel Allende is one... James Joyce, Sylvia Plath, Dostoyevsky, Herman Hesse, Paulo Coelho, Kahlil Gibran, Anais Nin...
I've heard INFJ is the type most likely to have their writing published.
 

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What's a good example of INFJ creativity? (A popularish one that I might have come across if that's okay? I must judge you! :kitteh:)
@Geoffrey Ah man, if 25% are INFJ then what about INFP? Pretty much every epic author I know is INFP given a few expectations. I am genuinely interested though, for obvious reasons.

-----Are you a fellow author? Cool!
-----From talking to INFJs and INFPs, I've learned about a few different tendencies (not universal, of course). INFJs tend to create new worlds and focus on character interaction whereas INFPs tend to write autobiographically or about their alter ego while focusing on the development of that single character. The INFJ motivation is usually to re-create an inner vision (usually of transformation) in the concrete real-world (a "perfect" translation). The INFP motivation tends to be focused on the drive to be understood (and to persuade), which is simultaneously resisted because to be understood is thought of as diminishing individual uniqueness and complexity. Certainly any type can become an author--but I think MBTI plays out in the process/emphasis. Check out the links, below, for more.
-----I think J.K. Rowling is a good example of an INFJ author--a completely innovative and unique world with an emphasis on character interaction. While many INFJ authors have an agenda, I think we are much less likely to focus on the transmission of value aspect of our vision than in getting the vision "just right." INFPs, being very value-oriented people, tend to have an agenda, which if not explicit is present in the code the main character abides by.
-----The source I referred to is based on one survey of authors at a convention, I think. It is empirical evidence, but it is far from solid proof of anything. I hope this answers your questions!

Personality Type% of Authors% of Population
INFJ241-3
INTJ152-4
INFP114-5
ISTJ1111-14
ISFJ119-14
ENFJ72-5
INTP63-5
ENFP46-8
ESFJ49-13
ISFP25-9
ISTP14-6
ESTP14-5
ESTJ18-12
ESFP14-9
ENTP12-5
ENTJ12-5

Source: The Character Therapist: Why The World Doesn't "Get" Writers

More:
-----MBTI Writing Styles

-----INFJ Personality Designated "Author"
 

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Like Umber, I've also heard that INFJs are the type most likely to be published authors.

On my blog, the two most popular posts are The INFP Writing Personality and The INFJ Writing Personality. INTJ and INTP come next. So, while that's not really scientific, it does suggest that the INs (by a landslide) are the types most interested in writing and personality type.

When INFJs struggle to connect to their audience, it's likely because their intuition is over-asserting itself in one of two ways:
- The writing is too abstract. Make sure your writing is grounded in concrete facts and sensory detail.
- You're making intuitive leaps that the reader can't follow. INFJs excel at implication and symbolic language, but most people don't want to work that hard when they read. Tell the audience, in so many words, exactly what you mean. It feels like cheating, I know. But your readers will thank you.
------------------------
Andrea J. Wenger
WriteWithPersonality.com
Twitter: AndreaJWenger
 
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