The INTJ Writing Personality: Creative Precision
Neither a wise nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history
to wait for the train of the future to run over him.
INTJ writers are single-minded in their pursuits. They tend to envision the conclusion even before they begin writing. With a talent for analysis, they’re skilled at communicating about technical subjects. But pragmatic INTJs tend to dismiss subjects that don’t seem rational or useful. Visualizing the big picture, they integrate the theoretical with the practical.
The INTJ personality type is one of 16 identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a popular psychometric instrument used to determine how people prefer to gather information and make decisions. The initials INTJ stand for the following:
I: Introversion preferred to extraversion
INTJs get their energy from the internal world of thoughts and ideas. They enjoy interacting with small groups of people but find large groups draining. They generally reflect before acting.
N: iNtuition preferred to sensation
INTJs are abstract thinkers, placing more trust in flashes of insight than in experience. They’re less interested in sensory data than in the patterns perceived by the unconscious mind. INTJs tend to be intellectually restless—they want to change the world.
T: Thinking preferred to feeling
INTJs prefer to use their thinking function when making decisions. They place more emphasis on the rule of logic than on the effect that actions have on people. They tend to be skeptical in evaluating ideas, whether their own or someone else’s.
J: Judgment preferred to perception
INTJs are drawn to closure. They feel satisfied after finishing a project or reaching a decision. They think in terms of likelihoods rather than possibilities.
Are you an INTJ writer? If so, the following information may give you some insight into how temperament influences your writing style. Use these insights to help you play to your strengths and compensate for your natural blind spots.
Writing Process of the INTJ
INTJs may approach a writing project in the following ways:
- Are conceptualizers who tend to explore a narrow topic deeply. They take a systems approach, rather than a linear one, during the planning stage. They may start a project early to test their concept, then quickly drive toward the conclusion. Once the bones are in place, INTJs further develop the content, adding facts to flesh out their ideas. If you take this approach, you may find it useful during revision to challenge yourself to consider alternatives, rather than locking yourself in to your original premise.
- Like to work independently. INTJs require long periods of concentration to form mental models. They focus deeply on the task, blocking out distractions. To facilitate this, find a secluded place to work. Schedule your writing for a time when you won’t be interrupted. Let others know that you need time alone.
- Are innovative problem-solvers who want control over the product and the process. INTJs are confident in their vision and want to bring it to life. Their writing can have a sense of inevitability, presenting an orderly progression of facts and ideas that can lead to only one possible conclusion. Their authoritative voice can instill a sense of comfort and trust in readers. Make sure that trust is warranted—use your natural skepticism to seek out possible flaws in your reasoning and research.
- Are motivated by their personal vision. Original thinkers, they have little regard for convention. They want things to make sense according to their own logical standards, and they will discard anything that doesn’t. For this reason, they tend to enjoy technical subjects. They often use visual aids that support and clarify their writing. If you’re an INTJ, one path to success as a writer is to draw on your natural curiosity about how things work and your talent for explaining this for others.
Potential Blind Spots of the INTJ
INTJs may experience the following pitfalls:
- Tend to be good at weeding out information that isn’t pertinent to the project. Be sure to keep audience needs in mind, however. Concise is good; terse is not. Where appropriate, include personal anecdotes to engage the reader. Don’t scale down to mere facts.
- Want to control their work and express their original ideas. Make sure you do so within the parameters of the project. If you’re a freelance writer, for example, remember that you’re writing for an editor, not for yourself. If something about the assignment doesn’t make sense to you, don’t ignore it—seek clarification.
- Set a high standard for themselves and can become frustrated if they can’t achieve it. Avoid pushing yourself toward an unrealistic goal. Tap into your desire for efficiency and recognize when 99% is good enough. And if you need help, ask for it. Other people don’t want you to be perfect—they want you to be human. Human is much more interesting.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong approach to writing. Each individual is unique, so don’t let generalities limit you. Do what works best for you.
Do you have any tips for INTJ writers? Leave a comment and share your experience.
Also, for more information on this subject, check out the sources below.