The ISFP Writing Personality: Quiet Music

The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present
in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation.

Michael Jackson

Can knowing your personality type help you grow as a writer?

ISFP writers are acutely aware of the sensations in their physical world. They are adept at conveying the feelings associated with texture, color, and sound. ISFPs want to connect with their audience on a personal level and can have difficulty writing if unsure of the audience’s expectations. Their focus on others is so strong that they may hesitate to express their own deeply held beliefs. But if they learn to trust their voice, they can communicate their gifts of quiet joy and keen perceptions to their readers.

The ISFP personality type is one of 16 identified by Isabel Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs. Influenced by Carl Jung’s book Psychological Types, Myers and Briggs were the original authors of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a popular psychometric instrument used to determine how people prefer to gather information and make decisions. The initials ISFP stand for the following:

I: Introversion preferred to extraversion
ISFPs 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.

S: Sensation preferred to intuition
ISFPs are concrete thinkers, placing more trust in past experience than in flashes of insight. They’re more interested in sensory data than in the patterns perceived by the unconscious mind. ISFPs tend to be intellectually content—they want to enjoy the world.

F: Feeling preferred to thinking
ISFPs prefer to use their rational feeling function when making decisions. They place more emphasis on the effect that actions have on people than they do on adhering to the impersonal rule of logic. They tend to give other people the benefit of the doubt.

P: Perception preferred to judgment
ISFPs like to keep their options open. They enjoy beginning new projects and exploring opportunities as they arise. ISFPs think in terms of possibilities rather than likelihoods.

Are you an ISFP 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 ISFP

ISFPs may approach a writing project in the following ways:

  • Want clear instructions and a personal connection with their audience. You may find it helpful to see an example of what your editor, instructor, or project sponsor expects. Even if you don’t want to imitate this model, it will give you a concrete starting point.
  • Benefit from first-hand experience of their subject. Immersing yourself in the sensory experience of a place or an object helps you understand it and capture its essence.
  • Engage in a physical activity before writing to unlock their creativity. If the topic is abstract or impersonal, reflect on its tangible implications, particularly its effect on people or animals.  This connection may help motivate you through the project.
  • Enjoy writing about the natural world. Focusing on a sensation, such as fragrance or flavor, can open a pathway into the subject matter. Look for ways to relate the topic to your personal experience. Think about the feelings that the experience evoked.

Potential Blind Spots of the ISFP

ISFPs may experience the following pitfalls:

  • May gather too much information if they don’t have a clear sense of direction. If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help or talk to a trusted friend. Connect the topic to your values. Write without inhibition and let your voice shine. Remember, your drafts are for your eyes only. They’re the rough stone from which you sculpt the finished product.
  • Can become blocked by criticism or by discord in their environment. Try writing in a quiet, outdoor space, where you can release your stress and immerse yourself in the natural world. Meditation or yoga may also help. Isolate yourself from negativity and listen to the music of your own thoughts and feelings.
  • Feel paralyzed if expectations are too vague or too rigid. Seek clarification where possible, or find a mentor who can offer advice and serve as a model. Consider how your writing can help people in practical ways.
  • May focus more on correctness than on content. Don’t be afraid to take a stand. Recognize that your insights are unique—most people lack your sensitivity. Consult a close writer friend to ensure that your points are logically developed and organized.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong approach to writing. Each person is unique, so don’t let generalities limit you. Do what works best for you.

Do you have any tips for ISFP writers? Leave a comment and share your experience.
Also, for more information on this subject, check out the sources below.

Sources:
Write from the Start
by Ann B. Loomis
Writing and Personality by John K. DiTiberio and George H. Jensen
What Type Am I? by Renee Baron
Your Personality Type and Writing: ISFP
from the Villanova University website
Michael Jackson Quotes at BrainyQuote.com

ENFJENFPENTJENTPESFJESFPESTJESTP
INFJINFPINTJINTPISFJISFPISTJISTP

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5 thoughts on “The ISFP Writing Personality: Quiet Music

  1. I just found this through a friend, and I love your insights. As a recent graduate in creative writing, I can relate to a lot of what you said about what works/doesn’t work, and the hesitation to share beliefs or insights. Thanks for sharing yours!

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