Writing routines are for all personality types

What’s this episode about?

Welcome to the final episode of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to it in full and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways.

The Pen Garden is the place where I share my little nuggets of knowledge about writing and mental health and empower writers to take control of their writing routines. I hope this new season, jam packed with interesting tidbits about how to be a productive writer by knowing your personality, will be useful to you. I can’t wait to hear about your new and improved writing practices.

In this episode, I will talk about the favorite topic of this podcast – routines. This time, I will look at them through the lens of personality research. This means I will delve into which personalities thrive on routines and which struggle – and how to power up your practice so you can include a routine that complements you and doesn’t stress you out.

I will be using the terms set out by 16personalities.com – there is a table below where you can double-check your type if you forget its name or its letter combination, as well the group your personality type falls into. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, before you continue listening to this, go listen to episode 2 from Season 1, where I explain why your personality type is important and how to find yours.

MBTI personality types table

   Analysts    Diplomats    Sentinels    Explorers
   Architect (INTJ)    Advocate (INFJ)    Logistician (ISTJ)    Virtuoso (ISTP)
   Logician (INTP)    Mediator (INFP)    Defender (ISFJ)    Adventurer (ISFP)
   Commander (ENTJ)    Protagonist (ENFJ)    Executive (ESTJ)    Entrepreneur (ESTP)
   Debater (ENTP)    Campaigner (ENFP)    Consul (ESFJ)    Entertainer (ESFP)

Routines are important

If you’ve been with me from the beginning of this podcast, you already know that routines are sets of learned behaviors that free up mental space for dealing with the unknown. They are different from habits because they are intentional and as opposed to habits, require a lot of conscious effort to maintain. Some people, maybe even you at some point, have said that not everyone can keep a routine, that some people have a knack for it, while others don’t. And that makes sense, on the surface.

But I argue keeping a productive routine is difficult for everyone, it is just that some personalities have an affinity towards being more easily able to muster that conscious effort consistently and keep their eyes on the prize, whatever that might be.

Psychology teaches us that routines make us happier. The whole view that people need adventure and constant newness is romanticized in mass media, setting out unrealistic standards for most of us. Not everyone needs to set out on an Eat, Pray, Love journey to find themselves, some people would have found their happiness in their well-established routines that leave no room for fear of the unknown, stress of change and damage control after an impulse bad decision. And that’s the thing – we humans form habits with or without us really wanting it, and repeat the habits longs enough, you get yourself into a place where you DO have a set of known responses but they’re so negative and unbeneficial to your life that you don’t even deem to call it what it is – a routine. This all relates as much to your writing practice as to every other part of your life.

Routine Lovers

Website 16personalities.com wanted to find out to what extent personality type influences people’s feelings about routine. So they asked their readers whether they agree with the statement “You like having a routine you do not deviate from.” It turned out that overall, people seemingly had a neutral opinion: 50% of readers agreed with that statement. What I found more interesting in this was the breakdown of the data by personality type. Some types had an agreement percentage of over 75, while others had as little as 25% which meant that the responses were far from neutral. The four personalities who really love their routines are, ordered from most to less, Logisticians, Defenders, Architects and Advocates. They all share the Introverted trait but thinking introverts are the best at keeping a routine is not a correct deduction – from all Logicians and Mediators, also sharing this trait, only 36% agreed. 16personalities.com concluded that ‘persistence and flexibility are major factors in how comfortable we are with routine. It’s one thing to create a schedule or a process, and another to actually follow it and appreciate the intentions behind such organizational strategies. As creatures of habit, some personalities […] feel right at home in the structure of a routine, while others […] may make a routine of avoiding routine.’ 

Do it like Tarantino

So what about if you are one of those people who don’t like having a routine you do not deviate from? What if you’re one of those Debaters or Campaigners that prefer spontaneity and improvisation to planning? We all want to be productive on our own terms so you’ll have to spend some time and think about this. What does writing productivity look like to you and what are the best ways to achieve it? Can you spot any behaviors that you’re willing to repeat consistently so you can maintain progression towards your writing goals? Even if you’re one of those personality types that values routines a lot, think about this. Routines should only be hard if you hate what you’re doing. And I know you love writing because you’re listening to this podcast. To drive this message home, I want to share with you the writing habits and routines of two writers who have personality types that are well-known for their aversion to planned living.

Quentin Tarantino is a master of visual storytelling but behind the films, there’s lots of writing to be done. And as a Campaigner personality, he is observant, energetic and enthusiastic when it comes to new ideas and inspiration.  He has that spark of mad genius that allows him to create great art – but productivity is not something he scoffs at, he has found his own way of doing things. He doesn’t just have a writing routine, he has a ritual. A ritual is a step further than a routine. Ness Labs explains that ‘rituals are viewed as more meaningful practices which have a real sense of purpose. With rituals, you are fully engaged with a focus on the experience of the task, rather than its mere completion.’

Tarantino doesn’t use a computer or even a typewriter. He writes by hand, in notebooks, methodical about his ritual. Here is what he said about it: “I just write it all by hand. It’s a ceremony. I go to a stationery store and buy a notebook — and I don’t buy like 10. I just buy one and then fill it up. Then I buy a bunch of red felt pens and a bunch of black ones, and I’m like, ‘These are the pens I’m going to write Kill Bill with.’” And to be honest with all of you, I found that super inspiring, though my personality type is very different from Tarantino’s. I’m currently working on a romantic thriller duology and I’m going to get two notebooks and fill them with all the ideas I get for those books. I don’t know if it will stick as it’s something new but I will give it a try and let you know.

Mark Twain and his daily audience

If Tarantino’s quirky personalization wasn’t inspiring enough, listen to how writer Mark Twain spent his days: “He would go to the study in the morning after a hearty breakfast and stay there until dinner at about 5:00. Since he skipped lunch, and since his family would not venture near the study — they would blow a horn if they needed him — he could usually work uninterruptedly for several hours. […] After dinner, Twain would read his day’s work to the assembled family. He liked to have an audience, and his evening performances almost always won their approval. On Sundays, Twain skipped work to relax with his wife and children, read, and daydream in some shady spot on the farm.” Mark Twain had the Debater personality which as a baseline doesn’t do great with routines. But they are original thinkers, energetic when it comes to knowledge and new ideas. They also love to discuss matters so it’s no surprise Mark Twain personalized his routine to include an audience for his genius who would listen to him daily.

sO, TO SUMMARIZE…

Everyone can have a productive, original routine. It is all about thinking through all the things that motivate you as a person and as a writer, finding a space and time to write that don’t interfere with your natural affinities and tailoring the steps of your routine to be rewarding, so you can maintain it consistently. Like it not, you already have some sort of routine around your creative self. You owe it to your best writing self to take charge of that and mold it into something that is useful, sustainable and doesn’t add additional stress to your life.

And that’s it for my deep delve into how personality type can inform the way you approach your creativity. This is the final episode of this season. Listen to the 4 previous episodes for more insight into MBTI and writing. In the next season, which starts in two weeks on Tuesday, on 20th October, I will be looking at inspiration – where it comes from, how to foster and maintain it and how to change your thinking about productivity and allow any down time you have to turn into a potential time for new ideas without any effort. I’m very excited to share all of this with you so I hope you will join me after a short one week break.

If you want to continue the conversation, you can poke me on The Pen Garden Facebook page or tweet me @laineydelaroque. Thanks very much for listening everyone. Hope you have an awesome week and speak to you soon.

Sources

 

 

Listen to all Available episodes of season 2:

Writing routines are for all personality types – Your Personality Episode 5

    Writing routines are for all personality types What’s this episode about? Welcome to the final episode of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to it in full and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. The Pen Garden is the place where I share my little nuggets of […]

Discover your best writing environment – Your Personality Episode 4

    Discover your best writing environment What’s this episode about? Welcome to the fourth episode of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to it in full and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. When I was younger I thought the only thing I needed to be able to […]

Find your most creative writing time – Your Personality Episode 3

    Find your most creative writing time What’s this episode about? Welcome to the middle of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to the full third episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Today, 22nd September, is “Dear Diary Day” – a day in the year when […]

Uncover you inner writing motivation – Your Personality Episode 2

    Uncover you inner writing motivation What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the full second episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. The Pen Garden is the place where I share my little nuggets of knowledge about writing and mental […]

Theory of habits & writing – Your Personality Episode 1

Theory of habits and writing What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the full first episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. In this episode, I will talk about habits – what they are, how they’re different from routines, why it’s so […]

Season 2 – Your Personality – Overview

SEASON 2 OF THE PEN GARDEN IS HERE! What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. It’s titled Your Personality because it’s important we know ourselves before we begin making any changes to the way we lead our lives, with writing and everything. Listen to the overview above to […]

 

Or the episodes from season 1, beginnings:

 

Self-care & Writing – Beginnings Episode 1

Writing and self-care What’s this episode about? Be kind to the writers in your life This podcast starts in the wonderful month of September. This whole month in United States is National ‘Be kind to Writers and Editors’ Month. It’s a wonderful time to appreciate all writers and editors in our lives, give them some […]

Burnout in writers – Beginnings Episode 4

Burnout in writers What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 4 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. I’m a writer just like you and as I’ve said before, I have been writing actively for the past 8 years. […]

Your social bubble & writing productivity – Beginnings Episode 3

Your social bubble and writing productivity What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 3 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Following the previous two topics, it is only fair that we look at what outside factors can affect […]

Your personality & writing productivity – Beginnings Episode 2

Your personality and writing productivity What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 2 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. In this episode I talk a little bit about how to determine your personality type and how that can […]

Writing routines are great – Beginnings Episode 5

Writing routines are great What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the final episode 5 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Routine is a word which sparks both joy and dread depending on your outlook on life. If you […]

Season 1 – Beginnings – Overview

Season 1 of The Pen Garden is here! What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. It’s titled Beginnings because we all start from somewhere. Listen to the overview above to find out what I’ve included in the first season and then jump straight into it. This season of […]

 

 

Discover your best writing environment

What’s this episode about?

Welcome to the fourth episode of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to it in full and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways.

When I was younger I thought the only thing I needed to be able to sit down and write was my imagination, my computer or a piece of paper, and some time. As the years passed and the need to sustain my impromptu writing sessions grew, I realized I also needed some drinks, some snacks, a comfortable seat, a place that didn’t stress me out and an actual plan of what to write because my patience as a discovery writer started running a bit thin.

I know I’m not the only one who searches for the perfect writing environment, the one that is just the right amount of loud for you to be inspiring and comfortable enough to keep wrist and back cramps at bay so health issues don’t distract from your ultimate goal of sitting down to write.

This episode explores what the perfect writing space and social environment look like for all the personality types. As with all the things we’ve covered so far, it will be different for everyone.

I will be using the terms set out by 16personalities.com – there is a table below where you can double-check your type if you forget its name or its letter combination, as well the group your personality type falls into. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, before you continue listening to this, go listen to episode 2 from Season 1, where I explain why your personality type is important and how to find yours.

MBTI personality types table

   Analysts    Diplomats    Sentinels    Explorers
   Architect (INTJ)    Advocate (INFJ)    Logistician (ISTJ)    Virtuoso (ISTP)
   Logician (INTP)    Mediator (INFP)    Defender (ISFJ)    Adventurer (ISFP)
   Commander (ENTJ)    Protagonist (ENFJ)    Executive (ESTJ)    Entrepreneur (ESTP)
   Debater (ENTP)    Campaigner (ENFP)    Consul (ESFJ)    Entertainer (ESFP)

Writing environment matters

What we have around us as we sit down to do our writing practice is important. In fact it is so important, it can help us with our work or hinder it.

A study in classroom spaces for children between 5 and 11 years confirmed that physical space impacts on our learning and concentration processes. One of the measures of the spaces was called ‘Link-to-Nature’ which in the study was defined as ‘a measure of natural elements in the classroom (wooden furniture and plants), views of nature from the windows, and whether there is direct access to an outdoor learning zone from the classroom’.

For the writing tasks students had, Links-to-Nature was found to be significant – ‘views that included vegetation and objects in the far distance appeared to support better outcomes for student learning in general’.

And if you think this is just something that affects children, another study a few years earlier showed that adults performed better on creative tasks after spending an extended time in natural settings. So what I’m trying to say here is that the creative mind doesn’t work in a vacuum. And I’m not saying we should all ditch our home offices and our desks and roll in the grass while dictating our next writing project. Instead, I want to encourage you to think about where you do your best writing.

Where isn’t just about physical space, it is about what the whole environment can offer you. That also involves interactions with other writers and engaging in activities that supplement your writing, like eating and drinking. Different people will find different spaces appropriate for their writing practice.

To give you some starting points for your thinking, I’m going to look at each the personality types as defined on 16personalities.com. Hopefully some of these ideas will resonate with you and you can start improving where and how you engage in writing.

Me, Myself and I

If you are an Architect or a Mediator, you probably find your most productive writing sessions are when you’re alone, away from distractions. These two personality types share the Introverted and Intuitive traits, which means their creativity responds best when they can take some time in the company of their thoughts only.

The Executives and Virtuosos also fare best when left alone to write but for a different reason – as Sensing and Thinking personality types, they crave control over their environment and can create when they know they can be safely on top of things without interruption.

A friend is best

Then there are those of us who do our best writing when we share it with someone else – be it a writing friend, a coach or a mentor, or even an editor. Logicians and Advocates are both personality types which revel in being in their own head and creating without much influence. But when they’re done, they crave to share it with someone who is close and will appreciate their creative genius.

The other two types that benefit from having a familiar influence to support their writing environment are Logisticians and Defenders. Unlike the previous two, their creative process doesn’t always drive them to share out of excitement; instead they can get overwhelmed and overload their practice with unhelpful feelings of insecurity. They both need a strong personality to alter the course of their thinking and set them back on the path of productive creativity.

The more the merrier

Back to our topic of writing practice environments, we move away from the people who like peace and quiet and dive straight into the four personalities that are at their best when they’re surrounded by like-minded creatives. Writing groups, workshops, conferences, retreats – this is where they shine. They all share the Extroverted trait.

Commanders and Consuls find inspiration when they can write and inspire by example. They would be the leader of a write-in or a speaker at an event. Protagonists and Entertainers would also be great at that, although their motivations are slightly different. They like to be surrounded by people and are interested in perspectives different than theirs. They would thrive in environments which encourage diversity and discussion which gives them a chance to shine with their writing and communication skills.

Anywhere and everywhere

The last four personalities don’t really like settling down and having one particular space where they get their best writing done. They need flexibility to be their best selves and instead of change hindering their creative processes, it inspires them, leading to some of their greatest work in terms of productivity. Debaters and Campaigners, both Intuitive and Prospecting, get their creative urges not from planned research but when they find something interesting and new, no matter the environment around them. This pursuit of knowledge is fun and does wonders for their writing practice.

Adventurers and Entrepreneurs both thrive on opportunities for improvisation, sharing the Sensing and Prospecting traits. Being stuck in a rut can bring about writer’s block and unlike the other two personalities, they don’t seek out flexibility because it’s mentally invigorating, it’s because the other option brings their creative output and enthusiasm way down.

sO, TO SUMMARIZE…

All of these environments could be great for any personality. Maybe you don’t have access to some of those alternatives to sitting at a desk and writing, maybe your life experiences and your goals don’t align with those commonly associated with your personality type – and that’s fine. All this is just data, prevalence and a bit of fun. All these statements are based on personality type research shared on 16personalities.com so take what inspiration you can from it and if it doesn’t work, try something else.

In the next episode, the final in this season, I will talk about a favorite topic on this podcast – routines. I will look at them through the lens of personality research and will delve into which personalities thrive on routines and which struggle – and how to power up your practice so you can include a routine that complements you and doesn’t stress you out.

If you want to be up to date on Pen Garden news, subscribe to the show and sign up to my newsletter. I promise no spam, only cups of writing joy.

If you want to continue the conversation, you can poke me on The Pen Garden Facebook page or tweet me @laineydelaroque. Thanks very much for listening everyone. Hope you have an awesome week and speak to you soon.

Sources

 

 

Listen to all Available episodes of season 2:

Writing routines are for all personality types – Your Personality Episode 5

    Writing routines are for all personality types What’s this episode about? Welcome to the final episode of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to it in full and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. The Pen Garden is the place where I share my little nuggets of […]

Discover your best writing environment – Your Personality Episode 4

    Discover your best writing environment What’s this episode about? Welcome to the fourth episode of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to it in full and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. When I was younger I thought the only thing I needed to be able to […]

Find your most creative writing time – Your Personality Episode 3

    Find your most creative writing time What’s this episode about? Welcome to the middle of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to the full third episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Today, 22nd September, is “Dear Diary Day” – a day in the year when […]

Uncover you inner writing motivation – Your Personality Episode 2

    Uncover you inner writing motivation What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the full second episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. The Pen Garden is the place where I share my little nuggets of knowledge about writing and mental […]

Theory of habits & writing – Your Personality Episode 1

Theory of habits and writing What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the full first episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. In this episode, I will talk about habits – what they are, how they’re different from routines, why it’s so […]

Season 2 – Your Personality – Overview

SEASON 2 OF THE PEN GARDEN IS HERE! What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. It’s titled Your Personality because it’s important we know ourselves before we begin making any changes to the way we lead our lives, with writing and everything. Listen to the overview above to […]

 

Or the episodes from season 1, beginnings:

 

Self-care & Writing – Beginnings Episode 1

Writing and self-care What’s this episode about? Be kind to the writers in your life This podcast starts in the wonderful month of September. This whole month in United States is National ‘Be kind to Writers and Editors’ Month. It’s a wonderful time to appreciate all writers and editors in our lives, give them some […]

Burnout in writers – Beginnings Episode 4

Burnout in writers What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 4 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. I’m a writer just like you and as I’ve said before, I have been writing actively for the past 8 years. […]

Your social bubble & writing productivity – Beginnings Episode 3

Your social bubble and writing productivity What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 3 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Following the previous two topics, it is only fair that we look at what outside factors can affect […]

Your personality & writing productivity – Beginnings Episode 2

Your personality and writing productivity What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 2 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. In this episode I talk a little bit about how to determine your personality type and how that can […]

Writing routines are great – Beginnings Episode 5

Writing routines are great What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the final episode 5 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Routine is a word which sparks both joy and dread depending on your outlook on life. If you […]

Season 1 – Beginnings – Overview

Season 1 of The Pen Garden is here! What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. It’s titled Beginnings because we all start from somewhere. Listen to the overview above to find out what I’ve included in the first season and then jump straight into it. This season of […]

 

 

Find your most creative writing time

What’s this episode about?

Welcome to the middle of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to the full third episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways.

Today, 22nd September, is “Dear Diary Day” – a day in the year when people journal with extra passion or turn to journaling for the very first time. Letting the stresses of the day pour out of you or putting your hopes for the next waking hours has been long believed to be therapeutic. A blank page doesn’t talk back and doesn’t judge. And today is a great day to talk about writing – and especially about how to pick a time to write so you’re most productive. Both journaling and creative and business writing require you to sit down, take your writing implement and transform the blank page into something new. But before you do that today, come join me in the Pen Garden.

This episode is about exploring what your most creative writing time might be according to your personality. I will also talk about some interesting research into creative times and sprinkle some celebrity inspiration to help you get in the mood of thinking how you can best utilize your most creative time in your daily writing habit.

So bring up in your head the memory of your personality type. I will be using the terms set out by 16personalities.com – there is a table below where you can double-check your type if you forget its name or its letter combination, as well the group your personality type falls into. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, before you continue listening to this, go listen to episode 2 from Season 1, where I explain why your personality type is important and how to find yours.

MBTI personality types table

   Analysts    Diplomats    Sentinels    Explorers
   Architect (INTJ)    Advocate (INFJ)    Logistician (ISTJ)    Virtuoso (ISTP)
   Logician (INTP)    Mediator (INFP)    Defender (ISFJ)    Adventurer (ISFP)
   Commander (ENTJ)    Protagonist (ENFJ)    Executive (ESTJ)    Entrepreneur (ESTP)
   Debater (ENTP)    Campaigner (ENFP)    Consul (ESFJ)    Entertainer (ESFP)

Most creative time by personality

Website 16personalities.com asked its readers whether they agree with the statement “You are most creative early in the morning.” It turned out few people find early mornings conducive to creative activity: only 37% of readers overall agreed with that statement. What I found more interesting in this was their breakdown of the data by personality type.

Out of the four big type groups, Sentinels had the highest rate of agreement – 42%. The personality trait behind this result is the Judging trait – one that is not often associated with creativity, but Judging types find comfort in structure and routine, planning their days deliberately, which is usually what you would expect from a morning person.

Explorers, on the other hand were on the opposite end of the scale – only 30% of them agreed they’re most creative in the mornings. 16personalities.com says “Explorer personality types share the Prospecting trait, which makes them open to change, opportunity, and inspiration at all times of the day. Because they can engage with creative projects quickly and spontaneously, they may like to relax in the morning, let inspiration come to them, and begin their efforts when they’re ready to.”

And this is an important thing to note – the fact that only 37% of responders claimed they were most creative in the morning doesn’t necessarily mean they’re night owls. The way the question is phrased means that disagreement might mean people do like to work in the evening or at night, or it might mean they don’t have a preferred time. Or it could mean any other time in the day – lunch time or maybe afternoon.

 The responses from Analysts and Diplomats matched with the overall average – 37% agreed.  16personalities.com explain that “driven by curiosity and imagination, these personalities generally spend more of their time and energy on creative pursuits than the Observant Sentinels and Explorers do. But since they also have a tendency to defy convention, they can have widely ranging ideas about whether morning or night is the best time to be creative.”

Night owls have it harder

Whether you’re an early bird, a day-time warrior or a night owl, you will face challenges when creating the routine to write. And this is inevitable, because writing is hard work. As I was looking into this episode, I came across some very interesting research that argues that people who do work at night face some unique challenges that might sometimes prevent them from doing their best work.

This is because society generally sleeps at night and is active during the day. The journal article suggests that our historical entanglements with the night led to the overall view that it is not a time to be working, thus creating a space where day work was viewed as safer and healthier.

“In medieval times, night was feared; it was inhabited by supernatural creatures and people therefore rather remained indoors. With some exceptions like harvesting, night work was illegal due to religious objections.” It was time for moral introspection and prayer. Poor quality of light like candles and oil lamps made night work dangerous due to risk of fire and lessened the quality of everything produced. “Night work was considered arduous and unhealthy, while sleep […] was considered important for the body and mind.”

So as you can see, a lot of the issues with night work were practical issues and had nothing to do with personality and creativity. Nowadays, working at odd hours is more accepted but it still poses challenges brought by it being outside of the general societal norm. If you have a day job, you will probably have to get up early no matter what creative endeavors you were pursuing just hours before. If you live with other people, your wakefulness might cause tension if it clashes with their sleep. If you’re a light sleeper and everything else aligns, the world might prevent you from getting your much-needed sleep as it wakes and produces it’s normal, loud day sounds. Night-time writing also limits your writing spaces options – cafes and libraries are closed and parks, if open, might not be safe enough.

In any case, for most writers it is ‘write when you can fit in the time’ – and if that’s late at night when the distractions are less, go for it. As I said before, no practice is without challenges, you just have to make it your own and stick to it.

Commander Steve Jobs

I want to continue with some inspiration from one of the world’s most famous Analyst types, Steve Jobs. He was an ENTJ, a Commander, the type which had the highest score of all when asked whether they are most creative in the morning. And this link between his personality type and the way he led his life is very apparent when we look at his daily routine.

He would wake up at 6am, put the same outfit every day and then work from home until he had breakfast with his family an hour later and then set off for the office. Then he would do his work, listen to people, innovate, make decisions and then he would be done with all that by 5pm. After that it would be family walking time, meditation, listening to music and general things to relax. No productivity expected and no productivity really needed after a day well done.

Make your writing time count

Most writers say they never have enough time to write. I know, because I say it too. Even writing the notes for this podcast had to be squeezed in-between other things. But it’s not time as in the scientific measure of minutes and seconds we all lack; it’s the ability to use the time we do have as efficiently as possible.

So your perfect writing time is not simply a calendar event in your diary – it is allowing yourself to foster a mindset that will allow you to unleash your creativity and have a productive writing session. After you identify when you want to write, make sure you know what, where and how. Having a clear idea of what your writing tasks are will free up your mind and help words flow, bringing inspiration and minimizing the time you spend staring at that scary blank page.

Picking a space to write which suits you is also important – and a topic I will discuss in the next episode. This space has to minimize distractions and make you feel comfortable. And finally, how are you going to write? Pen and paper? A laptop? Old-school typewriter? Whatever your writing weapon of choice is, make sure it’s ready and functional before you begin. If something fails it will break your flow – and no writer wants that.

sO, TO SUMMARIZE…

Not many of us are morning people, and that’s okay. Listen to your gut feeling when picking a time to write and make sure it doesn’t introduce additional stress into your life. Always make decisions that align with your personality and don’t contradict your life – although it’s not as easy as it sounds, try things and you’ll get there eventually.

There’s a lot of inspirational quotes by Steve Jobs out there but I want to leave you with this one: “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.” So pick a time and an idea, and stay focused on your writing. Stay by your choice and trust yourself to have picked the best idea from all the others battling for attention. And if not, accept that, learn from it, and try again.

Next Tuesday, in the next episode I will explore what the perfect writing space and social environment look like for all the personality types. I know I’m not the only one who searches for that elusive place, the one that is just the right amount of loud for you to be inspiring and comfortable enough to keep wrist and back cramps at bay so health issues don’t distract from your ultimate goal of sitting down to write.

If you want to be up to date on Pen Garden news, subscribe to the show and sign up to my newsletter. I promise no spam, only cups of writing joy.

If you want to continue the conversation, you can poke me on The Pen Garden Facebook page or tweet me @laineydelaroque. Thanks very much for listening everyone. Hope you have an awesome week and speak to you soon.

Sources

 

 

Listen to all Available episodes of season 2:

Writing routines are for all personality types – Your Personality Episode 5

    Writing routines are for all personality types What’s this episode about? Welcome to the final episode of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to it in full and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. The Pen Garden is the place where I share my little nuggets of […]

Discover your best writing environment – Your Personality Episode 4

    Discover your best writing environment What’s this episode about? Welcome to the fourth episode of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to it in full and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. When I was younger I thought the only thing I needed to be able to […]

Find your most creative writing time – Your Personality Episode 3

    Find your most creative writing time What’s this episode about? Welcome to the middle of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to the full third episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Today, 22nd September, is “Dear Diary Day” – a day in the year when […]

Uncover you inner writing motivation – Your Personality Episode 2

    Uncover you inner writing motivation What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the full second episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. The Pen Garden is the place where I share my little nuggets of knowledge about writing and mental […]

Theory of habits & writing – Your Personality Episode 1

Theory of habits and writing What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the full first episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. In this episode, I will talk about habits – what they are, how they’re different from routines, why it’s so […]

Season 2 – Your Personality – Overview

SEASON 2 OF THE PEN GARDEN IS HERE! What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. It’s titled Your Personality because it’s important we know ourselves before we begin making any changes to the way we lead our lives, with writing and everything. Listen to the overview above to […]

 

Or the episodes from season 1, beginnings:

 

Self-care & Writing – Beginnings Episode 1

Writing and self-care What’s this episode about? Be kind to the writers in your life This podcast starts in the wonderful month of September. This whole month in United States is National ‘Be kind to Writers and Editors’ Month. It’s a wonderful time to appreciate all writers and editors in our lives, give them some […]

Burnout in writers – Beginnings Episode 4

Burnout in writers What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 4 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. I’m a writer just like you and as I’ve said before, I have been writing actively for the past 8 years. […]

Your social bubble & writing productivity – Beginnings Episode 3

Your social bubble and writing productivity What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 3 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Following the previous two topics, it is only fair that we look at what outside factors can affect […]

Your personality & writing productivity – Beginnings Episode 2

Your personality and writing productivity What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 2 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. In this episode I talk a little bit about how to determine your personality type and how that can […]

Writing routines are great – Beginnings Episode 5

Writing routines are great What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the final episode 5 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Routine is a word which sparks both joy and dread depending on your outlook on life. If you […]

Season 1 – Beginnings – Overview

Season 1 of The Pen Garden is here! What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. It’s titled Beginnings because we all start from somewhere. Listen to the overview above to find out what I’ve included in the first season and then jump straight into it. This season of […]

 

 

Uncover you inner writing motivation

What’s this episode about?

Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the full second episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways.

The Pen Garden is the place where I share my little nuggets of knowledge about writing and mental health and empower writers to take control of their writing routines. I hope this new season, jam packed with interesting tidbits about how to be a productive writer by knowing your personality, will be useful to you. I can’t wait to hear about your new and improved writing practices.

In this episode, I dive straight into what creative motivation is and then break it down for all MBTI personality types. So bring up in your head the memory of your personality type. I will be using the terms set out by 16personalities.com – there is a table below where you can double-check your type if you forget its name or its letter combination. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, before you continue listening to this, go listen to episode 2 from Season 1, where I explain why your personality type is important and how to find yours.

MBTI personality types table

Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
Architect (INTJ) Advocate (INFJ) Logistician (ISTJ) Virtuoso (ISTP)
Logician (INTP) Mediator (INFP) Defender (ISFJ) Adventurer (ISFP)
Commander (ENTJ) Protagonist (ENFJ) Executive (ESTJ) Entrepreneur (ESTP)
Debater (ENTP) Campaigner (ENFP) Consul (ESFJ) Entertainer (ESFP)

Intrinsic motivation

When I asked my friend Google what exactly was the definition of creativity, it told me it was “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something”. It’s the ability to see the world and put something new into it, something which came from within you and found expression on the outside. But for this expression to take shape, we need to find the motivation to get it out of us.

This intrinsic motivation, according to scholars has four parts: Expression, mission, passion and commitment. Expression allows for the creative mind to bring the idea into reality via a medium of choice. Mission is the feeling that the idea is worth pursuing, that it is ‘the bearer of an ideal’ of sorts. Passion is the unrelenting desire that walks hand in hand with the creative process, making the creator unable to leave an idea until it’s out there. Commitment is the patience with which the creator pursues their expression, mission and passion. When you nail this motivation, as a writer, you enter a state of flow, where words magically appear on pages and you feel productive. Different people will achieve success in this by taking different approaches. I’m going to look at each of the personality types as defined on 16personalities.com, and try to give you some inspiration about how to tackle this and hopefully reach the deep-running waters of your creative well.

Distraction haters

I will start with the personalities who are most sensitive to distractions. We all hate distraction but nothing prevents these two personalities from getting in a flow state more than being interrupted or unable to escape a situation they don’t want to be in when inspired to write. Unsurprisingly, these are the Architects and the Mediators – both sharing the Introverted and intuitive trait, they need to go deep into themselves to find their mojo. Architects need a quiet time to focus, while Mediators, 16personalities.com says “combine their visionary nature with their open-mindedness to allow them to see things from unconventional perspectives. When something captures Mediators’ imagination and speaks to their beliefs, they go all in, dedicating their time, energy, thoughts and emotions to the project.” Tolkien was a Mediator personality type, which is not surprising, because they make great authors.

Lovers of recognition

Similarly to my previous point, we all love recognition but for some us, it’s good enough if our writing is out there. Some of us write because it pays the bills and some of us do it to de-stress, without ever sharing our words with another living soul. But for Consuls and Entertainers, getting recognized is a key motivator, one that can hinder them or propel them forward. They both share the Extroverted and Sensing trait, which means they place a lot of importance in what people think about them. A famous Consul is Taylor Swift, who has put her whole dating history is song, her interactions with others clearly fueling her creativity.

Do it for the people

Some of us find the purest inspiration in people – we write to make their day a bit brighter, we write to help educate them and get better at the things that improve their life. We write to pay it forward, to inspire in return. These five personalities put people in the heart of their creativity – Advocates, Protagonists, Defenders, Campaigners and Adventurers all share the Feeling trait which makes them best at empathizing with others and providing writing that makes a difference. Marie Kondo is a famous Advocate and if you read her book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ you will feel her desire to help people de-clutter their lives and live with more joy seeping from every word.

Do it because it’s right

Another set of personalities find inspiration in their writing because said inspiration doesn’t let them sleep at night and plagues their thoughts when they should be doing any other daily tasks. It’s the people who find motivation by wanting to share their knowledge of improvement and complete projects because it’s right. They are the type most likely to start and finish writing a novel. These are the Commanders, Logisticians and Executives – all sharing the Thinking and Judging traits, they easily see the value of a finished task and motivate themselves with thoughts of completion achievements. With this attitude, it is not surprising that John Rockfeller, having the Executive personality managed to become the “wealthiest American of all time, and the richest person in modern history” according to Wikipedia. This following quote underlines his strict internal motivations: “If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” 

Do it just because

And while some find motivation in completion, others find it everywhere around them. Inspiration strikes at random times and connects seemingly unrelated things to be created and questioned. They do it for the science, so to speak, or just because they had a wacky idea that is new and exciting. They pursue their creativity always because it follows their every step, it is ingrained in their daily life. The four remaining personality types – Logicians, Debaters, Virtuosos and Entrepreneurs find their inspiration by constantly asking ‘What if’ and having debates about things. It is unsurprising they all share the Thinking trait – new knowledge fascinates them and gives meaning to their creative practice. Famous Entrepreneur type Ernest Hemingway said that ““As a writer you should not judge. You should understand.” And that is the core motivation of these four personality types – to know and understand as much as possible.  

sO, TO SUMMARIZE…

All of these could apply to every personality. I have mentioned which personalities are most affected by certain motivators and that doesn’t mean that other personalities won’t find inspiration in those too. It is just data, prevalence and a bit of fun. All these statements are based on personality type research shared on 16personalities.com.

In the next episode, I continue this deep exploration of how personality type can inspire your writing practice and delve into what your most creative writing time might be according to your personality. I will also talk about some interesting research into creative times and sprinkle some celebrity inspiration to help you get in the mood of thinking how you can best utilize your most creative time in your daily writing habit.

If you want to be up to date on Pen Garden news, subscribe to the show and sign up to my newsletter. I promise no spam, only cups of writing joy.

If you want to continue the conversation, you can poke me on The Pen Garden Facebook page or tweet me @laineydelaroque. Thanks very much for listening everyone. Hope you have an awesome week and speak to you soon.

Sources

 

 

Listen to all Available episodes of season 2:

Writing routines are for all personality types – Your Personality Episode 5

    Writing routines are for all personality types What’s this episode about? Welcome to the final episode of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to it in full and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. The Pen Garden is the place where I share my little nuggets of […]

Discover your best writing environment – Your Personality Episode 4

    Discover your best writing environment What’s this episode about? Welcome to the fourth episode of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to it in full and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. When I was younger I thought the only thing I needed to be able to […]

Find your most creative writing time – Your Personality Episode 3

    Find your most creative writing time What’s this episode about? Welcome to the middle of the second season of The Pen Garden podcast. Listen to the full third episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Today, 22nd September, is “Dear Diary Day” – a day in the year when […]

Uncover you inner writing motivation – Your Personality Episode 2

    Uncover you inner writing motivation What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the full second episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. The Pen Garden is the place where I share my little nuggets of knowledge about writing and mental […]

Theory of habits & writing – Your Personality Episode 1

Theory of habits and writing What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the full first episode and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. In this episode, I will talk about habits – what they are, how they’re different from routines, why it’s so […]

Season 2 – Your Personality – Overview

SEASON 2 OF THE PEN GARDEN IS HERE! What’s this episode about? Welcome to the second season of The Pen Garden Podcast. It’s titled Your Personality because it’s important we know ourselves before we begin making any changes to the way we lead our lives, with writing and everything. Listen to the overview above to […]

 

Or the episodes from season 1, beginnings:

 

Self-care & Writing – Beginnings Episode 1

Writing and self-care What’s this episode about? Be kind to the writers in your life This podcast starts in the wonderful month of September. This whole month in United States is National ‘Be kind to Writers and Editors’ Month. It’s a wonderful time to appreciate all writers and editors in our lives, give them some […]

Burnout in writers – Beginnings Episode 4

Burnout in writers What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 4 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. I’m a writer just like you and as I’ve said before, I have been writing actively for the past 8 years. […]

Your social bubble & writing productivity – Beginnings Episode 3

Your social bubble and writing productivity What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 3 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Following the previous two topics, it is only fair that we look at what outside factors can affect […]

Your personality & writing productivity – Beginnings Episode 2

Your personality and writing productivity What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to episode 2 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. In this episode I talk a little bit about how to determine your personality type and how that can […]

Writing routines are great – Beginnings Episode 5

Writing routines are great What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. Listen to the final episode 5 in full above and/or scan the show notes below for the main takeaways. Routine is a word which sparks both joy and dread depending on your outlook on life. If you […]

Season 1 – Beginnings – Overview

Season 1 of The Pen Garden is here! What’s this episode about? Welcome to the first season of The Pen Garden Podcast. It’s titled Beginnings because we all start from somewhere. Listen to the overview above to find out what I’ve included in the first season and then jump straight into it. This season of […]