Have you ever thought about how one’s personality impacts their story? Or the delivery of their story? That was just part of what I chatted with friend, Linda Gilden, with on a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast. If you missed it, you can listen here (You Have a Story to Tell – Episode 73.) Linda’s with us today to share how understanding personality types helps writers.
Read to the end to enter the book giveaway!
How Understanding Personality Types Helps Writers
By Linda Gilden
Is it really important for a writer to understand personalities? After all, isn’t writing a solitary vocation? If you don’t see many other people during your working day, do you need to worry about the personalities of others?
I discovered several years ago that understanding the personalities made my writing much stronger.
There are several reasons I think it is important for writers to understand personalities.
4 Personality Types for Writers to Consider:
- the mobilizer, your get-it-done personality,
- the socializer, your life-of-the-party personality,
- the stabilizer, your keep-it-peaceful,
- the organizer, your everything-in-order personality.
Here are a few areas that understanding the personalities can make huge differences as a writer.
Many writers are introverts, therefore, don’t think they need to worry about relationships. However, relationships are important to writers of all personalities.
First of all, understanding personalities will help us understand more about our relationship with God, the relationship upon which we should base everything we do. God is all personalities—the best of the best. But our personality distinctly affects the way we relate to and worship Him.
Those who have mobilizer personalities come to Him and want to receive Him in a matter of fact way. Waiting for God to answer their prayers is really hard for them.
Socializers see the Bible as a great book full of amazing stories and for this personality, they see Him in the midst of those stories.
Stabilizers will read their Bibles, relieved to see the God of peace at work. They love to implement that in their own lives.
Organizers love to go deeply into the Word to learn more and more about God. They follow all the study notes to discover all they can about the lesson God has for them.
In order to network, writers must build relationships with other writers, editors, publishers, bookstore owners, and many others on the road to publication. An understanding of the personalities makes getting to know people easier as well as giving you an idea of the best way to communicate with those you are working with.
For example, if you are dealing with an editor who has a mobilizer personality, you know that your information will be best received if you eliminate most of the small talk and get right to the point.
If your editor is a socializer personality, however, he or she will be glad to “catch up” for a few minutes before getting down to business.
When talking to a stabilizer editor, you know that brief small talk is fine but he or she won’t want to prolong the call any longer than necessary. If he or she has negative feedback on your work, it will be sugarcoated to soften the blow.
Your organizer editor will want to hear what you have to say and be thoughtful before replying. If you understand the organizer personality, you realize that this personality thinks before s/he speaks and you should not become anxious during the wait. Be patient.
Your readership contains readers of all four personalities. Knowing that, you can write and include styles that appeal to each personality. Each of the personalities will stick with you as long as your book is interesting and contains blocks of information written in the style they prefer.
If you are writing fiction, you will have characters of all personalities in your book. Keep a chart of the personalities as well as the physical characteristics of your characters. Not only will a chart help you keep your characters acting consistently and not get them mixed up, it will also help you get into their minds and their actions and reactions will come more naturally.
One of the very best uses of the personalities is to understand yourself and what makes you the kind of writer you are.
If you are a mobilizer writer, you probably make a checklist and tackle it full speed ahead to get your project done.
If you know you are a socializer writer, then you know you are likely to chase “rabbit trails” and have a hard a time staying on task. Perhaps it would work for you to divide your work into sections, write in chunks (be sure to set a timer), and give yourself something fun to do as a reward when your project is completed.
A stabilizer writer may have also have trouble staying on task for different reasons than the socializer. A stabilizer must sometimes work hard to keep the original level of interest in order to finish the task in a timely manner.
Organizer writers will have outlines the project at the onset of work. He or she will stick to the plan and complete the project on time. For all these personalities frequent breaks and stretches will keep them energized and focused on their tasks.
Personalities are not the only thing you need to know to be a writer. But understanding the personalities is a valuable tool to make your writing stronger, understand your writing habits and needs, and create characters who come to life on the page. Most of all, your relationship with God will grow and expand the base from which you write so that you can make a difference in the world—one reader at a time.
Which personality do you identify with most? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
About Linda Gilden:
Linda Gilden is an experienced writer, speaker, editor, writing coach, and personality consultant. Author of the popular Love Notes series, she is also the author of several dozen books including Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, Personality Perspectives – Clues to Building Better Relationships, Called to Write, Why You Do What You Do, Words to Live By, Called to Speak, Articles, Articles, Articles!, the LINKED Quick Guides to Personalities series, and many ghostwritten books. With over a thousand magazine articles to her credit, she is a prolific writer who loves to share a great story. She speaks nationally throughout the year, is a frequent radio and television guest, and welcomes the opportunity to help others become better communicators. Her favorite activity is floating in a lake or pool reading a book surrounded by splashing grandchildren, a great source of writing material.
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