writers’ bloc: How Personality Impacts Your Writing Life

By July 2, 2008 faith, language No Comments

writers’ bloc features topics related to the writing craft and the writing life.

Last month, I had the privilege of attending LifeWay‘s Women Reaching Women Fully Loaded conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This women’s ministry training conference was true to its name: I walked away full—informed, encouraged, and inspired.

One speaker addressed a common frustration voiced among women’s ministry leaders. It’s the disappointment in the level of participation for women’s events and services. Although the phenomenon may be spurred on by many factors, one statistic in particular caught my attention.

According to personality type studies, only 14 percent of the population could be described as proactive—these proactive gals are the ones who typically participate in (or help organize and run) events. That leaves 86 percent in the passive category—these gals may not attend unless they are invited personally or feel a connection to the event in some way. When applied to women’s ministry attendance, these numbers translate into low participation. A proposed solution is for the go-getters to reach out to the come-get-mes.

OK, I admit it—I fall into the passive category. And although I might attend women’s events more so than other wallflowers, my general state is to hang back.

Where this is troubling me most lately is in my writing life. Hanging back in writing means that I have lots of ideas but I cannot seem to commit to one of them. Very little writing is happening these days. Unless I have a specific article to work on, I tend to hang back (waiting for directives to fall from the sky, I guess).

So now I am wondering . . . could those personality numbers be applied to the writing population as well? Would it be accurate to say that 14 percent of writers are go-getters who get the writing task done by attacking it? Therefore, the remaining 86 percent of writers are come-get-mes who hang back and stand along the fringes of activity, waiting for directives to fall from the sky.

Makes sense to me! Not that I want to make a scientific case out of it, but it does ring true in my experience. But what do you writers think? Does this play out in your life and in the lives of the writers around you?

Do you think it is possible for a passive writer to be proactive enough to get some real writing done? (As one in that category, I’m holding out hope. Maybe I can find a go-getter to coax me along.)

What sort of writer are you? Are you proactive or passive? How do you get your writing life done?

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