Ellen Storm

Writing the White and Purple Coats

Writers and Personality


I’ve been thinking a bit about this recently, as I’ve had to revisit my Myers-Briggs personality type for some leadership and management stuff at work. I’m an INTJ (I’ve known this for about ten years), in case you know what that means. If you don’t The Myers & Briggs Foundation is a good place to start. Also 16 Personalities, Personality Page, and TeamTechnology.

I’m interested in how my personality might affect my writing, so I Googled a few websites to see if anyone else is having similar thoughts. Apparently they are.

This one is about how our personality type affects us as writers: our writing process and so on. The link is for the INTJ page, but there are pages for all types: Andrea J Wenger: The INTJ Writing Personality

This one was interesting in that it suggested that it is possible (and even very helpful) to utilise a knowledge of personality type to develop authentic and believable characters: Mandy Wallace: The Character Most Writers Get Wrong

But then she also says that INTJ is the classic villain personality type, so I’m not sure what to make of that. I like to think I’m quite nice mostly!

As far as using type to create characters is concerned, there is a risk of creating stereotypes. I do find the various descriptions of INTJs uncannily accurate, but then you look at the list of people who are INTJ’s and there are so many very different people, so it’s still only a guide.

I’m in good writing company though: apparently C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, Jane Austen and Emily Bronte were all INTJ’s.

I also found this list of writers’ types, for fun/interest only as I can’t guarantee the accuracy of the source: Personality Cafe: Writers List


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