Wednesday, June 5, 2019

IWSG: Wednesday, June 5, 2019 ~ Searching for Meaning

It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.

To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh are:
Diane Burton,  Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.

Every month the IWSG that members can answer with advice, insight,
a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is:

Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?


Happy IWSG Day, Everyone!

I hope May has been a good month for each of you!
We took a break from house hunting late in the month,
after a stressful couple of months of searching and bidding.
The right house will turn up when it turns up.
Meanwhile I am loving early summer  in Colorado.

Writing is going much better, 
because in the last couple of weeks I have been able to focus.
It is such a relief!

I finally made it to the end of The Mueller Report.
It was a slog, because I am not used to reading dense legal reports.
The documentation of Russian interference in the 2016 election
was really informative,
and I found the Russian inventiveness and reach chilling.
As for the rest of the book, this is not the time or place to delve into it.

I am thrilled to be on to reading more typical fare for me,
and I started Damien Larkin's Big Red last night.
Science fiction is much more my style, 
and I always enjoy stories set on the Red Planet.
The book has gotten off to an intriguing beginning.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how fellow IWSG members answer
this month's question about which writing genre is their favorite to write in and why.

I've been tearing my hair out trying to answer this question,
and I can't wait to see the brilliant, insightful, succinct answers
that I'm sure everyone else will have.

I primarily write narrative nonfiction/personal narrative,
with my memoir, blog, journal, and letters demanding most of my writing time.
This has been my consistent choice throughout my life.

Since I spent twenty-five years in the company of second and third graders,
I'll borrow the answer a third grader used once
when I asked her to explain how she solved a challenging math problem:
"My brain did it."

How do you explain the path your creativity takes?
I'll go with the third grader! ~ It's what my brain does!

Seriously, I think the answer lies in C. G. Jung's theory of psychological types.

I gained a sudden and illuminating answer as to who I am and why decades ago.  
Shortly after we were married, my husband and I participated
in a well-attended workshop given by the priest at our Episcopal church.

Father Rick passed each of us a sharp pencil
and a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory;
and our sanctuary was soon filled with chatter, laughter, and excitement as we worked,
our assessments supported on hymn books, pew seats, the floor,
whatever flat surface we could find.
And then, all of a sudden I found me, so to speak.

Our Wedding 
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
Parker, Colorado
September 1, 1984
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

After thirty plus years of wondering why I always felt like
a square peg being rammed into a round hole,
I had an answer that made sense:  I am an INFJ, a rare critter.

This is one of sixteen personality types defined by Isabel and Katherine Briggs, 
and based on Jung's theory of psychological types.
It's their effort to make his theory understandable and useful in people's lives.  

Without getting lost in the weeds of the interactions of human preferences
among the four dichotomies in Jung's theory,
I'll just say that INFJ stands for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judging.

That means that I am energized by spending time alone
that I focus on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details,
that I make decisions based on feelings and values rather than logic and consistency,
and that I like having a plan and being organized
rather than keeping my options open and being spontaneous.

MBTI® Type Head

INFJs Distressed 
MBTI® Type Head

In short, I am drawn to writing narrative nonfiction/personal narrative
because I am constantly seeking meaning in my life
and looking for patterns and connections in my life and the world around me.

It's not enough for me to know a rock is a rock;
I want to understand why it is what it is.

It's not enough for me to know I had a father;
I want to understand why he was who he was
and how he impacted the person I am.

Tying me on with a harness and rope
during much of my early childhood
did not deter this serious seeker.
Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
Summer 1952
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I'm going to stop now.
I feel like I'm getting lost in the weeds after all.

That's why I love that third grader's answer.
She solved that math problem because her brain did it.
I write what I write because my brain does it!

Happy Writing in June!
I'm looking forward to visiting around!

Me and My Beloved Scottie MacBeath
Westport, White Bay, Newfoundland 
March 26, 2019
Photo by Terry Barbour
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


  1. haha hey, your brain has to do the work, so may as well give it credit. I think I can let a rock just be a rock, but other things I sure want to look further into. At least being a square peg rammed into a round hole you get to stick it to all the round pieces who can't get in after you.

    1. Hey, Pat! Where you're at! That's all the rhyming I can handle this morning, because I was up way late last night. Your comment started my day off with a big laugh. You gave me a great reason to love being a square peg, one I'm not going to forget. I dearly love rocks, but that's me. You have other wonderful passions and strengths that make you an original writer and a fun human being. Fortunately you share them with those around you and with the writing world. Have a good one!

  2. Glad you had a good month writing and took a break from the house hunting. I kind of feel like a square peg too. Just didn't think of it that way.

    1. Happy Wednesday, Natalie! I've always felt different, never quite fitting in. That's one reason I enjoy blogging so much. I connect with awesome people who accept me for who I am, and I don't feel so different. Take care!

  3. First of read the whole report!!! Bravo to you. And second...isn't it great that you figured yourself out? It's nice to know that your traits and differences make you exactly who you are meant to be. I am glad that you choose this blog to share your life and thoughts with the world. Even though you are much different than me I enjoy your adventures and attention to detail (especially photos and maps and reference materials). Your house is out there just waiting for you to discover it.

    1. Thanks, Peggy! You always give me such a boost of encouragement with your comments. I know we're different, but it doesn't matter. I love seeing the world through your eyes! All the best to you, my friend!

  4. That might be my personality as well.
    I like that answer - my brain did it.
    I'm almost finished with Big Red. You're in for a ride!

    1. I love a good sci fi ride, Alex! I found Damien's opening very compelling. Enjoy your very busy IWSG Day!

  5. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test was a revelation for me, too! I could not believe how accurate it was. I took it over 30 years ago, also in a church setting (Unitarian Universalist) and it's what turned me on to Jungian thought. So it was a major turning point in my life. I'm an INTJ so we share some characteristics!

    1. You're a T and I'm an F, Debra! Do you know I never registered on the T side? I was totally off the scale in Feeling, and almost off it on the Intuition scale Of course, Terry is a very strong T! LOL The test has stood over time as an accurate and valuable instrument. Every time I read about my personality type, I gain some insight into myself. And understanding Terry's type has helped me understand many of the dynamics in our marriage. We had such a wise priest in Father Rick. Wishing you a lovely day, my friend!

  6. Your Scottie dog is cute.

    I'm so glad you are enjoying Big Red.

    1. Thanks, Diane. Poor MacBeath often looked like a black mop because we were far away from groomers. I think he liked the wild Highland look. I find it great fun to read IWSG members' books. Have a great time visiting around today!

  7. That's great Louise! I love it, "my brain did it"...that's how I feel a lot of the time lol...or "my heart did it" also! I'm going to check out the Myers-Brigg link. I have to say though, when I saw the image of what stresses you, I'd have to say ALL of those things stress me too. You look so pretty in that photo with your dog!!! :)

    1. Thank you for the kind comment, Rain! My heart trumps my brain almost every time, and it's what often gets me in trouble ~ LOL I came across that INFJ stress chart for the first time last night. I was amazed to see that disorder is a huge stressor for me. It was like a flash of insight into some of the behaviors I exhibit, not to mention the real reason for a spectacular meltdown I had a couple of months ago. Instead of going around beating myself up wondering what is wrong with me, I know it's just something I need as an INFJ and the beating up melts away It's funny, I'm slowly deconstructing photo albums in preparation for our potential move, and I'm looking at pictures of myself 40 to 50 years ago. I didn't know I was pretty then ~ LOL! I couldn't see past my Dumbo ears and some other things I didn't like about myself. It's sad that girls and young women judge themselves so harshly. All the best to you!

  8. MBTI is such a great tool for learning more about yourself. In my past life working in organizational development, I used MBTI as a tool for coaching individuals on career paths, communication preferences, work styles etc., as well as with teams to help them work through their team dynamics.

    I'm an INTJ :)

    Cheers - Ellen

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Ellen! When you understand others and yourself, it's so much easier to find compromises and build consensus. Have a happy IWSG Day!

  9. Looks like you figured out it early. I'm still a work in progress. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    1. Hi, Anna! Getting that insight into myself really helped then and since; but I, too, am still a work in progress ~ LOL! Good luck as you continue to work on yourself as a masterpiece!

  10. The Meyers-Briggs test is such an eye-opener. I tend to vary depending on the test/questions. I'm either an INFJ or and INFP -- apparently depending on my mood :)

    1. :) Jemi! Lucky you! You're closer to the middle of the J-P continuum which is a great place to be. I share my life with a strong P and I'm a strong J. How I'd love to be as "go with the flow" as my husband is. I have fun sometimes settling up little experiments to watch him flow, like deliberately putting something on his favorite chair to see what he chooses to do. Does he sit on it? Does he unconsciously move to another seat? Is he bothered by it? Me? I as bad as Sheldon Cooper and his spot on the couch. Have a good one!

  11. My brain did it--I love that answer! I think that would explain a lot of the things I come up with because sometimes they seem to just pop out of nowhere!

    1. It's a great reason to explain why things pop out of nowhere, Sarah! The brain is a fascinating organ. I hope that you are enjoying your IWSG Day!

  12. Those things that stress hits close to home.

    1. Hi, Adam! Sometimes seeing stressful things laid out in a visual form really clarifies them. I found that image insightful for me. All the best to you!

  13. Hiya! I spotted your comment on Rain's Garden Thursday Art Date with Rain post this morning and I thought I'd hop over to visit your blogspace. You're on the opposite side of the country from me. We'd love to visit Colorado someday. We live in Knoxville, TN where Peyton Manning attended the University of Tennessee. :) I'm not an introvert but sometimes I feel like one being a SAHM with the nest empty. Not that I don't enjoy my alone time because I do very much so. This is when I'm the most creative and after being a 24/7 SAHM for almost 26 years then it feels nice to have a huge block of time just to myself. :) It was nice meeting you and I hope you have a wonderful day. Happy blogging!

    1. Hi, Cathy! Thanks for hopping over. It's nice to meet you too! I really enjoyed it when Peyton Manning was a Bronco. I've been briefly in Nashville, but not Knoxville. What I've seen of Tennessee was beautiful. Have a lovely weekend!

    2. Hi, Cathy! I keep having trouble trying to visit your website. :(

  14. Some say your house chooses you. I relate to the whole square peg round hole thing, too. To continue on with our creativity we all have to be a bit mad. Happy IWSG!

    1. Hi, Adrienne! I'm waiting to be chosen! Definitely my husband thinks I' a little mad. I hope that you had lots of dun on IWSG Day!

  15. On the one hand, I'd like to figure out why my brain does what it does. On the other hand? I'm too afraid to find out! :o

    1. I suspect a lot of us don't want to delve too deeply into why our brains do what ~ LOL Thanks for visiting Madeline. I hope you had great IWSG Day!

  16. I always like your posts. You touch on so many interesting topics. Seven years ago, we started house hunting to be close to our daughter and grandchildren. After 5 moves because of Hubs' job where we had to find a house fast, this was the fist time we weren't in a hurry. We ended up building a house. Fortunately, it was a great experience and we love where we are. Good luck to you.

    1. Thanks for the encouraging house hunting story with a happy ending, Diane! And thanks for your kind words about my posts. Have a lovely weekend!

  17. I love her answer and will steal it to use myself some day. Our brains are so complex, it's amazing what kinds of things they do all on their own. Have a great day!!

    1. Hi, Theresa! My trainer laughs almost every time I work out with her, because my brain figures out so many easy ways to do an exercise instead of the correct way ~ LOL I hope that you have a fun weekend!

  18. Congrats on finishing the whole Mueller Report. I still haven't done that, and not sure I want to frankly. Too depressing. 2020 can't come soon enough for me and then what if we have to deal with another 4 years? (I could rant on this subject for a while...) I've also been doing a lot of memoir writing too. It uplifts me to think there is perhaps a reason for this and "my brain" will get there eventually! Thanks for sharing that.

    Anne from

    1. Thanks, Anne! And thank you for visiting. Memoir writing is a challenging task. Wishing you well as you write!

  19. Dear Louise i am sooo happy for you that finally you are back to your writing :)))

    in my entire life i have read many big accomplished writers non native and native and i can simply feel the compelling energy and a wonderful powerful healing energy your words carry

    i don't know but your words always touch my heart and always cast spell on me and i know how they do so because they come straight from your beautiful compassionate heart and do not carry any kind of artificiality !

    you are so unique in you treatment of expressions and i always be amazed with your smooth flawless writings and overwhelming comments !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THANK YOU sooo much for sharing this PRECIOUS IMAGES my dear precious friend!!!!!!

    i absolutely LOVED each of your photo :))) such a treasure :)

    yes i agree that our fingers follow simply where our brain drives them in very natural way

    when i wrote first line of my poetry i think i was 5 or six years old and my father seemed so surprised and happy

    i did nothing i simply followed my brain that's it

    1. Hugs to you, dear Baili! And thank you for your wonderful comment! It filled my heart! It is very late here, and I'm trying to finish up several things before I go to bed. We are flying tomorrow morning, so I won't be able to catch up with your posts until tomorrow evening. Thanks for sharing that lovely memory of when you wrote your first line of poetry!!! Sending you much love!

  20. Hi Louise,
    I know that my favourite writing is Christian blogging. Although many bloggers put blog posts up every week, I find I can only write when certain things happen in my life.I seem to start off with one thing that stands out very strongly, sometimes it might be a dream or something I come across while out. The strange thing is that I have never seemed to be able to have the whole post to write in one go. This is why I have to write down bits and pieces over a period of time.
    However, I always find the pieces end up going together as one and coming across things that I may have jotted down a long time ago, but which appear to go together with the bits that I have am writing in the present. This usually happens when I am tidying up my workroom, which my husband calls a complete mess. It is obvious that the 'mess' is meant to be eh? I call it organisation.

    1. Thanks for sharing your writing process, Brenda! We all approach writing uniquely, and we find the genre that speaks to us. Definitely there is a meaning behind the "mess!" If there weren't, your writing wouldn't come together. My husband is always grousing about my methods of organizing ~ he doesn't appreciate my divergent thinking ~ LOL! Have a great week!

  21. I’m an ENTJ and mostly write non-fiction... but dabble in a lot of other things and my E and T are on the low scale.


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.