Saturday

Myers-Briggs and Writing

Is it possible for a writer to be an extrovert? To clarify that question, I need to explain how I'm using the term "extrovert."

Myers-Briggs personality tests are based on the identification of four tendencies that form our personalities.

By taking a test, you will find out if you are:
I (Introverted) or E (Extroverted)
N (Intuitive) or S (Sensing)
T (Thinking) or F (Feeling)
J (Judging) or P (Perceiving)

None of the tendencies is positive or negative in itself. Each simply describes a way we tend to interact with the world.

Back to my original question. The most difficult characteristic to figure out for many people is whether they are Extroverted or Introverted. For example, I'm a highly-social person who likes other people and loves to get to know them. Nonetheless, I'm an Introvert according to Myers-Briggs. That's because I derive my energy from private time alone. If I spend time with other people for too long without getting my private time, I become tired and crabby. Contrast this with my husband, who is a true Extrovert. He derives energy fom being around other people. If he spends too much time by himself, he feels out of sorts and will go seek company.

When I think about the nature of writing, I can't imagine that anyone who is an Extrovert would find herself drawn to a writer's life. The solitary task of writing can even wear on an Introvert after a while; that's why online groups like ACFW are so valuable. I don't think an Extrovert could handle the amount of time that a writer spends in an inner world of her own.What do you think? Are there any writers out there who can call themselves Extroverts after reading the Myers-Briggs definition? Let me know if you are out there!

Here's a quick explanation and mini-test to help you take a guess at what your type might be. (Scroll down for the mini-test.)

http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html

I'm an Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging type (INTJ). Here's what that means:

http://www.personalitypage.com/INTJ.html

If you can figure out which four letters describe you, type the letters into Google and you should find a number of sites explaining your personality type. Look for the ones that include drawbacks as well as strengths; they're more accurate than the glowing positive descriptions!

I would love to hear from a few writers who either know their types already or have a good guess. Post in the comments section if you have a chance!