Sunday, October 23, 2011

Plodder, Planner, Plunger – Which are You?

What kind of writer are you? Faced with a writing project, how you advance, is determined by your character traits. I’m a planner. On longer writings, I make an outline but for shorter pieces, I only need to have an idea of my main focus and important points that show that focus. That’s when I’m comfortable.  I know some writers say planning takes away the creativity. They plunge right in without knowing where they are going.

Patterns of behavior signify our unique personalities. It is especially valuable for writers to understand how personality patterns direct their decision-making. A writer’s character is behind every word written and that is a thought that occasionally stops some writers in their tracks. Writers placated by certain personality traits are comfortable only within narrow perimeters and are less often willing to move into new writing arenas. 

The Paradox

Successful writers deal with becoming so popular in one genre that they find it difficult to change what has been the status quo of their writing. They feel it is too large a risk of losing some of their readers if they try something new. Without being willing to stretch and grow in new directions and developing new paradigms, a writer becomes bored, boring and stale.

Learning More about our Personality Traits

Building a writing career that is fulfilling to the writer as well as the reader takes introspection on the part of the writer. It behooves a writer to practice self-analysis to ascertain the best way to marry your personality traits with your writing career. Are you spontaneous or do you like routine. If you are the former, you will need to find ways to feed your muse but if you are the latter, you will want to affix a time of time to write every day. Are you extroverted or introverted? Knowing might determine whether you would be comfortable in a writing group. Understanding how your traits affect your writing allows you the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and do something you are not comfortable doing.

                                                                       Jung's Theory

As a writer/teacher, I have studied Jung’s theories regarding our psyches operating on two levels – the conscious and the unconscious. We may be conscious of some of our personality traits but it takes serious analysis to uncover what might be going on at the unconscious level. Just think that might be exactly where the best writing happens.

There are those that say personality traits cannot change. We are who we are and that’s that.  I wholehearted disagree with that notion. I feel sorry for the many individuals who live out their lives in denial of the fact that working on changing parts of their personality that are holding them back would give them a richer, fuller life. This is, of course, quite true for writers.  Planning, plodding or plunging are all fine ways to operate a writing career if the writer is happy with the results.
Which are you

1 comment:

  1. I linked to this blog post from mine at Wordpress: - Thanks for more fodder for the discussion!