Posts in Writing
on finishing your book, authenticity, and 90s hip-hop

Beautiful. Industrial. Cozy.

With chrome fixtures, tabletops of knotted pine, exposed brick, and hardwood floors. Mugs had no handles but sat cupped in palms and warming cold, winter fingers with lattes and chamomile. 

Yes please, a side of honey.

I was elated to dine at this new-to-me restaurant for brunch with two friends. I was excited for the hashbrowns with peppers, eggs, and chorizo. I’d dreamed of the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. But the thing I was really excited about? The one thing I was practically giddy inside to experience?

The restaurant played nothing but 90’s hip-hop and R&B.

Be still my 1997, teenage heart.

My two friends and I chatted for hours, sampling from each other’s plates as a cool rain dusted fallen leaves on the sidewalk, and in the street. My knitted sweater was long and thick, like wearing a favorite blanket in public. We laughed about the silliest things, and each time a another 90s artist played overhead- Notorious B.I.G., 112, Boyz II Men- I was greeted by a gentle swish of nostalgia in my belly. I’d smile and dance a little in my seat.

It wasn’t just a meal, it was an experience.

And I knew my husband, a fellow 90s teenager, would love it too.

Months later, we ventured there for brunch. You know what they were playing?

Bruno Mars.

Rihanna.

Not a 90s hip-hop or R&B lyric in earshot. 

Suddenly what was supposed to be an experience turned into an everyday, $30-for-a-chicken-sandwich-hashbrowns-and-chamomile-tea, lunch. I was disappointed, and annoyed every time another 2018 song chimed overhead.

The restaurant had gone against one major aspect of its authenticity, and I didn’t enjoy it one bit. 

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That’s what it’s like when an intuitive introvert works against his/her/their authentic makeup, and tries to outline or write their book in a hyper-structured, rigid-deadline, chronological driven process: it doesn’t feel good.

It ruins the experience of turning your idea, that character or scene or conversation that popped into your head into a completed manuscript that you’re proud to put your name on. It becomes a dreaded task like any other. 

You become annoyed, frustrated, and close to giving up when you work against your brain’s programming.

You see more abstract. Your mind finds connections and patterns in the most curious of places, and wants to ponder all the possibilities that using one methodology could never give you.

Your mind wants to understand deeply. It wants to explore.

As an intuitive introvert, you’re only about 4% of the population, so you’ve had a lifetime of being told how to do it the “right” way. And that way is usually from A to Z. Which is cool unless your brain works more from D to T to M to H.

But you can write in a feelings-over-logic

process and finish your book. I promise

it’s possible.

Stay true to your personality and work style, and gain access to your complimentary copy of ‘Finish Your Book, a writing process for intuitive introvert, fiction authors.’ You can find it in The Library by completing the form below.

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5 questions to ask before writing your book
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You have an idea for a book. 

One that came to you out of nowhere (I’m looking at you, intuitive introverts), or an idea you’ve been daydreaming in your cubicle about for months or even years, and it just won’t let go.

Other people’s opinions have gotten to you. Self-doubt has crept in and taken full squatting rights on your confidence. The last thing you need is a set of questions to deter you from the very thing you can’t stop thinking about: writing your book.

But, the questions aren’t to add yet another stumbling block on your way to becoming a published author. They’re here to help you get there.

When you know who you’re writing for, you tap into your desire to serve.

When you know why your writing your book, it creates a belief and a sense of purpose (oh hey, Simon Sinek vibes!)

When you know why you’re the best person, it provides urgency- your voice is needed in this space.

When you know what research needs to be done, you can ensure you’re giving readers with an authentic experience

When you have a plan, (even an unconventional, non-linear plan for intuitive introvert authors), you know you’ll get to that feeling of holding your published book in your hands.

Whether you are struggling to start your book, finish it, or somewhere in between, answer these 5 questions to help you keep going and #writeasyouare.

PS- Get access to more complimentary tools for writing your book as a highly sensitive introvert in The Library

Holden Caulfield Sure Wasn't Created From Happiness (aka How To Write Great Literary Characters)

Literary fiction is not your surface-level, summer beach read with the tide lapping at your toes on the shore in a fleeting escape from everyday life. It often doesn’t wrap up in a pretty pink bow with all questions answered and characters living happily ever after.

 

It lets you know up front that you’re embarking on a journey, one that may be ugly at times and difficult to look at. One that might challenge you to accept hard truths and agree to crack a little inside as your heart swells with happiness, aches in brokenness, and emerges a changed creature. 

But at the end of all good literary fiction, you know this: the journey was totally worth it.

Enneagram 4s and INFPs with the talent for writing (and, if you’re a 4 or INFP, you likely read that sentence and were like, “I mean, I write but am I really talented? My work is okay, I guess? I’m not as good as her/him. Well, maybe? I don’t know. No, definitely not. I’ll stop talking now.”) These personality types are fantastic for writing literary fiction and characters, because, unlike more commercial genres, it requires deeper thinking, further exploration, and understanding more than just words on a page. 

 

3 reasons Ennegram 4s and INFPs write great literary characters (and how you can do it too)

 

  • It’s easy for them to withdraw into their feelings- And not just the cute ones (4s have cute, happy feelings too, right??) (Right.) Many people like to avoid what most societies refer to as ‘negative’ emotions. But emotions are just emotions. They are neither good nor bad; they just are. In this ‘think positive’, ‘get over it,’ ‘you should smile more,’ world, sorting through your sadness can be seen as self-indulgent and unproductive. However, to 4s and INFPs, the unpopular feelings to process like sadness and anger isn’t an obstacle, it can be damn near cozy. Asking the hard questions and being honest enough to receive and dissect the hard answers is where these personality types shine. Melancholy can be comfortable, and that comfort will bring a well-roundedness and complexity to characters, making them feel real on the page. 

 

  • They aren’t afraid to be different- they thrive on this, actually. Their uniqueness and authenticity are the core of who they are, and, while readers should still be able to relate to characters, they push their characters to be equally as authentic and with a quality or two that makes them stand out from the norm. Just look at Holden Caulfield among all the “phonies”, or read anything Anais Nin has to say about herself and life.

 

  • Understanding truth and identity is above all else- 4s gravitate toward more character-driven than plot-driven stories. They want to immerse themselves in understanding why people are the way they are. They can sometimes inherit a character’s experience as their own and when the story is done, are left feeling like they left a piece of themselves behind. Searching for identity is inherit to their personality. The plot is simply a backdrop for characters to discover who they truly are and how they fit in their environment. Who they are is far more important than what happens to them, and 4s and INFPs have no problem getting to know their characters on an intimate level in order to reveal a story layer by layer.

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