Lately, I’ve been fascinated by personality tests. From the Myers-Briggs personality test, to Astrology, to figuring out my Love Language (I’m bilingual!), I find a lot of comfort in taking these tests and seeing myself reflected in the answers. It’s almost like someone holding up a mirror and saying, “This is you, isn’t it?” Often times, they put words to feelings or behaviors you don’t understand, or they validate characteristics of yourself that you have possibly doubted in the past.
The Two Types of Writers
When it comes to writing, there are two “personality types”. Generally, writers fall somewhere between the “pantser” – someone who writes by the seat of their pants, figuring it out as they go along – and the “planner” – someone who has all their characters, plots, themes, settings, and scenes figured out before they start. Understanding your writing identity helps you to draw from your strengths and work around your weaknesses.
Personally, I discovered which type of writer I was through experience. I was acting like a pantser for a long time before I figured out that something wasn’t working. I could never finish a story, and I found myself getting lost somewhere in the middle.
For NaNoWriMo last fall, I decided to embrace my inner planner and take the month of October to plan out my novel. And what do you know? I wrote a 50,000 word draft that month of a novel I had been working on for years.
I didn’t follow my plan completely – there was a bit of pantsing going on, but having that plan there helped to keep me on track and reach my word goal by the end of the month.
Why does it matter?
Understanding my writing process and embracing my writing identity helped me to reach my goal. Knowing that these types exist and are each valid in their own way helped me to find confidence in my own identity as a writer and use it to my advantage.
Good news for planners!
I’ve put together a resource guide for my fellow writers who want to embrace their planner side. I’ve included all the tools and techniques I use to plan my novel and gather inspiration to carry me through the writing process. All you have to do is sign up below or click here. If you’re already a BrightMail Subscriber, click here to go straight to the WBT Library and download it there.