The Personality Traits of a Writer

Think of a chef. What do you see? A vision in white smocks sometimes accompanied with harlequin checked trousers to brighten up their starchy uniforms. An envious job of getting to taste everything that comes their way before heading out to the eager diners awaiting their meal. Methodical, organised and relentless.

Now think of a Lollipop lady. Carefully encouraging our children safely across the road, staring wide-eyed at the waiting cars as if challenging them to even dare move one inch towards their brood until she removes her stick from the ground and steps back onto the pavement. Strong, confident and protective.

A writer on the other hand, can have all manner of traits. There are many different kinds of writers, which one are you?

1. The Girl Guide – everything is organised within an inch of its life. Pencils are lined up, sharpened and ready to go straight onto paper. Notes are in alphabetical/date order, chapters are detailed on post its or spreadsheets on the walls. Character descriptions are stuck up next to each other – a family awaiting introduction to your world. Punctual, deliberate and meticulous.

2. The Unflustered –  a mish-mash of paper piles covered in coffee cup rings and in no particular order. You can’t see the chair that rests underneath numerous helpful books that will guarantee you publication in 21 days or perhaps help you write the best synopsis known to man. There are no time restraints and everything is as relaxed as the music that softly plays in the background. Relaxed, laid-back and calm.

3. The Worrier – a small room filled with large teetering piles of books that slowly sway in the non-existent wind. Silence prevails as does the sound of fingers tapping on the table as you write. A permanent frown on forehead and a puzzled look on your face as you attempt the third chapter for the eight time. Marker pens cross out important facts, collecting the information in your mind once it is on the page. Lists of to-do things sitting on lists for the lists litter the area around your feet. Procrastination, coffee-drinker and utterly devoted to your trade.

4. The Optimist – too many things going on at once. Can’t say no to any job or the chance to help others fulfil their dream. Reams and reams of book/blog/novel ideas filling your mind, a notebook is carried everywhere jotting down ideas as they hit you. Too much time spent on other things when you should be writing that last chapter and finishing your book. Slight trepidation that your work just isn’t quite ready for others to see but the genuine longing to be out there takes over, deep down you know it’s the best you can make it so you press send anyway, what harm can it do! Realist, collaborator and conscientious.

I believe that I have a little bit of them all in me. Mainly no 4 and would love to be more like No 2. I like lists and having everything ‘just so’ like No 1 but then No 3 comes into play and I think I have forgotten to do something really important. Hence another list appears…

I suppose I’m just me and I’ll get there eventually!