In the words of Esther Perel’s relationship therapy podcast:
Where do we begin?
I assumed our last conversation was me having reached my lowest point.
Because the renovation was over right?
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, as it turns out, if you’ve been worn down by months of renovation, a post-yoga career burnout AND whipping your own ass into Discipline Gear?
Surprisingly little is needed, in order for everything to go wrong.
Since our last call, my productivity has been the lowest of the lowest.
I thought I had strayed from the path, when I was writing every day instead of working on my books, in those weeks when I was working at my mother’s because my temporary housing didn’t have Wifi.
Writing was the only thing I could do.
I didn’t have the concentration for “real” work, when my life was literally all over the place; In two different houses and an office at my mother’s.
But those weeks turned out to be the productive highlight of 2019 because I m still nowhere when it comes to publishing my books. And I blame it all on having chosen the wrong path, based on the wrong assumptions.
Because that whole idea about me being an extrovert (ENFP) in Meyers-Briggs?
Now my initial, pre-brainwash, response to that “E” in ENFP had been:
“Extrovert? Oh well, we ll just ignore that letter. Because that’s obviously not true.”
And I studied my type, focusing on the last three letters NFP.
But then the E just seemed to grow on me.
Apparently, underneath the emotional facade of being an introvert, mentally unstable artist, there was a happy, employable extrovert. My inner Will Smith, and Jennifer Aniston were just dying to come out, and have a lighthearted laugh.
Suddenly I vividly remembered all the times I had been happy to shine in a group.
Not realizing that it was just the occasional party; I didn’t take on any obligations for group performances.
In retrospect I think it was because I wanted to be saved, Sara.
I needed to hear that I was a normal extrovert and that I wouldn’t kill myself if I had to work in an office environment.
As long as it was a fun workplace, I, an ENFP would thrive!
Meyers-Briggs said so, so it must be true.
So that’s the shitty news: I m still clueless how to make a living, after my savings are gone.
Maybe we can look into this? The INFP workplace things?
So that was the big reveal: This second test from a YouTuber tested me an INFP.
And that description was nothing like the profile of someone who reads Tony Robbins affirmations for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It was like coming home.
I was unstable, like Vincent van Gogh.
Strange, like John Lennon.
Forever searching, like Jim Morrison.
I was unpredictable, like Johnny Depp.
And of course suicidal like Ian Curtis and Kurt Cobain.
But most importantly; I was an introvert.
I read a funny meme on the INFP Facebook page, and it said something like:
Q: Who are we?
Q: What do we want?
A: A better world!
Q: How do we want it?
A: Without social interaction!
Oh yeah, that’s me.
So the bad news is I need a better plan because I m not Will Smith after all.
Nor an Elizabeth Gilbert, who’s also ENFP.
But the good news is, my chances of becoming a successful writer have increased exponentially because Tolkien, JK Rowling, and Anais Nin are all in the INFP legion. As well as a certain W.Shakespeare.
Oh! And INFP’s make up like half of all YouTubers!
Which may explain why I ve rebooted both my YouTube channels.
I ve created a Coffee Talk and a yoga video from/for my new yoga book (which I ve also picked up writing) under my real name.
And for my LS Harteveld channel, I ve created a 15 minute video on relationships between creatives and preservers.
Still have to clear that one, because I m afraid I may have accidentally called the preservers, “preservatives” at one point!
Maybe I should post it either way.
The final clue that me being The Employable Entrepreneur was not exactly coming natural, was the fact that my workweek schedule was getting me absolutely nowhere.
Do you remember what the plan was?
After winning Meyers Briggs’ gold star for employability, I thought:
“Oh cool! Do you know what I m gonna do? I m going to work for 40 hours a week (you insisted to make it 30) and only do “real” work in those hours! No writing!!
I ll publish my books, do marketing, sales posts, and so on.
Just REAL entrepreneurial stuff!”
With writing banished to the weekends and evenings, I was going to behave as if I was working a job.
So if I wouldn’t make enough money from my books, I could transfer this “workweek” to an employer, without going crazy thinking how on earth I was going to stay sane without writing during work hours.
This would boost my chances of having a good business, as well as feeling confident I could handle a real job.
And it was a great idea.
If it had not cost me two extra workweeks, waiting in vain for this whole thing to work.
But reading on my new INFP type also brought me a solution:
Instead of trying to be employable, just do a Frodo.
Frodo from Lord of the Rings, who s also an INFP.
“This task was appointed to you. And if you do not find a way, no one will.”
Galadriel to Frodo in Lord of the Rings
Seeing my goal of publishing my books like the quest to destroy the Ring – something that has to be done, no matter what- feels a lot more doable than thinking this is the time to get sensible with my working hours.
I mean, sure, there was extended renovation mayhem.
But I think the main characteristic of a work “schedule” is that it should work, no matter what you throw at it.
If it only works if your life is perfect, then it’s not the most efficient way to work at any time. Good or bad.
So I ve let all rules go and just gone rogue.
Publishing the books will go as it goes.
Including detours and unexpected shit in the beginning. I mean where WAS Gandalf in the Prancing Pony, right?
Frodo and his friends were almost stabbed to death by ring wraiths in their wee little hobbit beds.
Yet in the end none of that mattered, because the ring got cast in the fires of Mount Doom and Middle Earth was saved. No one remembered all the things that slowed them down in the first film.
So I m no longer investing in building confidence that I can work normal workweeks, and have a Plan B if I can’t make a living as a writer. I m even using another scene from Lord of the Rings, to get myself going:
At one point Frodo looks into the mirror of Galadriel and sees the Shire, his hometown. All the hobbits are enslaved by Sauron. Everything is black, burned and horrible.
Frodo looks up, and Galadriel speaks:
“I know what it is you saw, for it is also in my mind.
It is what will come to pass, If you should fail.”
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living
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About this blog
Do a Frodo is Chapter 32 of my diary 7-figure Rock Star Writer
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With a little help from the Lord, I will now go all in on publishing my new books:
1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2018
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4. Blote Kont- verhalen over mannen, macht en dagjes uit (Dutch)
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