No, I don’t just sit around taking online quizzes. Okay, I hardly ever sit around taking online quizzes. What got me started this time was an excellent guest post by Joanna Penn over at writetodone.com, which you can find here. The topic, “Know Thyself. 7 Truths About Writers” kind of freaked me out a little too, so I ended up taking the online Myers Briggs personality quiz to see if she was right. And she was. Creepy, right?
The truth is, her seven truths nailed me to the wall. If I didn’t know better, I’d have thought she was peeking in through my windows. I would encourage you, again, to read the original article, but the seven truths are summarized here for your reading pleasure.
Truth #1 – We are loners. This is so true for me. I can live my entire life inside my own head. I’m very thankful to have such an amazing husband and daughter who force me to get out of my own head each day, as least for a little while.
Truth #2 – We want recognition. Yes, I know we’re not supposed to want recognition but everyone does. “I do my job simply because I love it,” you might say, and you probably do. But I think writers are a different breed. We really would write anyway but the idea of someone seeing our words in print – and liking them – is akin to the rush some people get from bungee jumping or sky diving (and the idea of someone seeing our words and not liking them is akin to the feeling one would get when the bungee cord breaks or the parachute fails to open).
Truth #3 – We’re scared and we doubt ourselves. I could write an entire book on this one topic. Writing is the single most rollercoasterish thing I’ve ever done. If the words come easy on Tuesday, I can rest assured that writing will be pure hell on Wednesday. That’s just how it goes for me. Those hard days come prepared with doubts and insecurities aplenty with the sole purpose of making me doubt myself and my writing.
Truth #4 – We’re quite creative but sometimes we forget we’re creative. I couldn’t agree more. The author of the original post referred to her time in a corporate setting that caused her creativity to dwindle. I’m in the same position now. When I allow my day job to consume me, it impacts my ability to create.
Truth #5 – Execution matters and we know it. I’m currently rewriting my current WIP for the third time. And you know what? I’ll probably rewrite it a fourth time before I ever send it to anyone other than my primary beta readers. I’m passionate about this story, and that means making absolutely sure I tell it right. Anything else just isn’t worth my time.
Truth #6 – We’re always improving. Amen to that. I think this goes beyond being an avid reader to also forcing myself to write other things to help hone my craft. This blog is an example of one of thoseother thingsfor me. I always find writing fiction to be easier when I’ve kept my writing strong in other areas.
Truth #7 – We know about the dark places. Yep, those places others are afraid to talk about. I’ve found that open analysis of human nature, especially regarding human motivation, is unsettling for most people. I’m still somewhat confused by it but I also find it fascinating. As a writer, I have to know why my character is doing something before I can commit to the words. That requires me to dig deeper into what makes people tick. I’m not jaded, don’t get me wrong. I still believe the vast majority of people are good and honest people. But I’m also fully aware that their motivations are definitely more self-centered than most would ever admit.
That brought me to the Myers Briggs personality test. If Joanna Penn could describe me so perfectly in a single guest blog post (keeping in mind that she doesn’t even know I exist) I couldn’t help but wonder what Myers Briggs would have to say about me. Let’s just say it was creepy-accurate, and I highly encourage you to take one as well.