yo yo yo dysfunctional entp here. i've been in a weird, non-creative, funk for the past week or so, i believe largely due to some very well ignored and internalized negative feelings. what is the best way for me (or any Ne user really) to get back into the idea-generating, novelty, creative swing? (im a writer working on a second novel so the whole 'tired of a single project' thing isnt helping either) thanks hot hot hottie
(Gif: Claudia, Warehouse 13. ENTP.)
Uh, well first there’s this: i believe largely due to some very well ignored and internalized negative feelings.
Have you dealt with those yet? Because as a Fe, until you get them out of your head and into the world, you cannot move on and the intense internalization of something that NEEDS made public (Fe) is going to cramp your muse. So, expel those feelings. Share them with someone you trust. Shout them into the void. Express them. You will feel better.
As for getting your Ne-dom mojo back – it’s simple.
Ne needs external stimulation to work. It does not exist in a void. Your Ne bounces off objects, ideas, and stories in the external world. This is why you watch a television show – you get ideas. Better ideas than they used. Or you read a book – and you get more ideas. Or you listen to a song – and you get ideas. Or you talk to someone and… you get the idea, right?
Being in a non-creative funk for a Ne-dom means your creativity tank is drained. Why? Not enough external stimulation. Not enough new stuff to bounce off of. Not enough exposure to things related and unrelated to your current writing project. You need new material going in your head. Start reading someone else’s novels. Start up a television show you’ve never seen before on the side. Read someone who is FULL OF IDEAS, who makes YOU full of ideas, someone EXCITED about their ideas.
Here’s some personal writing advice from a fellow Ne-dom, who quite often experiences temporary creative slumps (since I pretty much work on a novel and/or writing project anywhere from 1 to 8 hours daily, about 10 months out of the year… yeah, I don’t “do” hobbies and I don’t “do” idle time… and it kind of sucks).
If you hit a creative slump, you have two choices:
- Take it back to where your creativity was flowing, and take the plot in a new direction (write a different ending to that scene, or cause something unexpected to happen that you did not see coming)
- Change the setting of the scene (it’s quite possible the setting is boring you; whenever that happens, I go, “What will my reader NOT expect? Okay, the last interrogation scene took place inside a dim cell in the Tower of London. What if THIS TIME Henry VII decides to interrogate someone above the Tower’s lion pit, and dangle him over the side?”)
Here is something vital to remember, as a Ne-dom: you figure it out too far in advance, you’ll get bored with your own ideas.
Every time I have lain out an entire book from start to finish, and drawn up lists of what happens in what chapter, the creative spark dies. I have now started keeping an abstract concept in my mind (this is vaguely where it’s headed / what the climax will be, and what I should introduce next) and then leaving myself questions when I stop writing for the day, to trigger ideas for the next day.
So instead of writing: Heledd meets Alfred on the road and they discuss X, I ask, What does Heledd see that makes her suspicious? How should I introduce doubt into Meg’s mind? What should happen with the ring I introduced in the last chapter? How can I make the big reveal more dramatic?
Leave lots and lots of room for improvisation, too. When I sat down to write the other night, I knew I had to take my heroine through her fears up a road lined with her enemies – people who months before had tried to hang her. So, I knew I had to deal with PTSD trauma. What I did NOT know is that superstition would surround a myth of faerie lights to accuse her brother of murder (the murder, I had planned) and that other people would turn up in support of her, and sing an old Welsh tale to calm her down. But that was nice.
Ne’s delight in the unexpected, in allowing ideas to flourish and spring forth with just enough forewarning to lace together into the rest of the story; you must leave room in your novels for this to happen.
(Gif: Jo March, Little Women. ENFP. My soul sister.)
I’ll be honest here, in the hope it’ll inspire you. I started in on a sequel right after finishing my last book. I was excited about it, I wrote about 20 thousand words, and then I had to stop and do some line editing on the original novel. When I went back to my sequel, my creative spark had DIED. I was distraught; where had all my excitement, enthusiasm, and ideas gone?? So I put that draft in a folder, and tried another. It went on for about 15 thousand words just fine, and then it DIED. More distress. More staring at a blank page. More clueless pondering. More angst. So I delved into it from yet ANOTHER angle. I changed all the POV’s. I tied it back into London in addition to Wales. I invented an entirely new subplot. I wrote about 20 thousand words.
And it DIED. I lost the spark.
I spent one day utterly frustrated, near tears, anxious that maybe I’ll never be able to write another book (low Si paranoia :P) … and I opened up my original draft, the one with 20 thousand words, and skim read the first four chapters… and then sat down and carried the story forward. I’ve kept bits and pieces from each draft, and a lot of that writing can go in this book; but my forward momentum is back. The original idea WAS INDEED the best, or at least, the one my Ne is most passionate about – but it had to explore other options first, before it could settle down to tell THIS story.
Okay, the last bit of advice – you can take it or leave it.
Many high Ne’s benefit from working on multiple projects at once. You should consider, yes, working on your book; and writing a short story or a fan fiction on the side in a totally different genre, to keep your mind active.
I, however, have never been able to do this without losing focus – so I am a “one project at a time” kind of girl, to the extent where if I have an amazing idea for a different book or character in the middle of working on THIS one, I write it down on a slip of paper, stick it in a jar, and forbid my mind from thinking about it further, in order to remain focused.
Finally, write yourself a quick deadline. Given the amount of time you have to spend on this novel, and what else you have to do which might detract from it, and how fast you can write, figure out a rough estimate of how long it will take you to write this book. I spent two years on the last one and it literally almost killed me and drove my family insane (though, technically, since it went through about 14 drafts / rewrites / completely changed focus 4 times, and started out as a novel covering 20 years, went to a novel covering a decade, and wound up being a novel covering 6 months… I was working on more than one novel). This is NOT GOOD for a Ne-dom. We like to see PROGRESS. We like to see a point in our future when we are FREE to pursue OTHER THINGS. So, give yourself six months to write a rough draft. Or four months. Something doable, that keeps you motivated, because:
When I get done with this, I can write something else!
You are verbose. You are creative. You are ideas-driven. And if you’re a Ne-dom, you can turn out an incredible amount of words in a very short time.
You can do this.
Hope that helps,
- ENFP Mod (who tomorrow goes back to writing her sequel, because she did NOT write fiction today and was so bored she could hardly stand it)