Book Review: The INFJ Writer by Lauren Sapala

Book Cover of INFJ Writer

Lauren Sapala is a writing coach who began to realize that a number of her clients, like herself, had Myers-Brigg Temperment Types of INFJ or INFP.  In this motivational book, she outlines what she discovered about the writing process that intuitive-feeling (NF) types frequently experience.

So what distinguishes (NF) types?  Authors Keirsey and Bates (Please Understand Me: Charater & Temperament Types, Prometheus Nemsis Books, 1984) says NF’s are only about 12% of the population, yet they make up the majority of writers of literature and journalists. This, in part, is due to their need to express and explore their sense of self. “Always becoming himself, the NF can never truly be himself, since the very act of reaching for the self immediately puts it out of reach.” (p 58-59, Keirsey and Bates)  Indeed, the NF’s battle cry seems to be: Be Real.  Be Authentic. Be Meaningful. (Ibid, 64)

I have to start with a disclaimer here.  This is not a book about how to write.  It doesn’t discuss techniques or writing styles.  This book addresses the internal blocks that NF types might be experiencing with their writing and how they might be able to move forward through and past said blocks. Sapala includes exercises to combat negative self-talk, gratitude exercises to help unblock creative energies, and visualization exercises to name only a few. She explores in depth the inner motivations and struggles of the NF writer  including perfectionism, toxic relationships to people or substances and the need for healthy boundaries, workaholic tendencies, and energy drains and energy motivators and from where healthy motivation springs.  While the book focuses on the INFJ writer, the author includes chapters at the end for other NF types as well.  If applying the Myers Briggs temperament types to other areas of interest in your life is intriguing to you and you enjoy exploring the “why you do what you do or think how you think”, you might enjoy Sapala’s exploration of the INFJ Writer.  Just don’t stop progressing on your writing projects in order to read it. 😉

More Resources for Librarian – Writers :

While not a new article, the folks at Academic Librarian has a nice summary of several articles focused on librarians as writers in their post: On Librarians Writing.

Wendy Laura Belcher has come out with a second edition of her excellent text, Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks.  We have used Belcher’s book as one of our base texts for our Library Faculty Writing Group for the past two iterations. The new edition has three new chapters. According to the author, “there is a new chapter on using the workbook to write an article from scratch as well as updated research on faculty productivity and scholarly writing, new timelines and more targeted exercises and checklists.”  She is planning to revive her micronewsletter focusing on overcoming writing obstacles, so check out her website for that.

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