Who are you? #IWSG

Have you ever taken a personality test? Back in high school, I was an ENFP. Now, I lean more toward ISTJ. Somehow, in the past 15 years, I’ve completely flopped all of my letters. (Sometimes I think I’m a narcissistic sociopath, but that’s another story.)

My sis-in-law calls me the girl with a hundred hobbies. I think that’s the residual of my ENFP side, as I jump from project to project usually within a matter of days. Drawing, wire-working, sewing, writing, digital art… but these are all hobbies for me, and I don’t feel bad leaving a project unfinished because I know I’ll eventually get back to it. Except for my blanket. Crocheting is not for me. But if someone else is depending on me to finish something, you can gosh darn bet I’ll switch into ISTJ mode and get it done.

How am I insecure? I’m starting to wonder if I’m going to finish Isto or even Lust this year. And really, I need to.

I took April off because I knew I couldn’t handle the blogging expectations along with all of the other stuff I needed to do. April was productive. I got my daughter registered for kindergarten, got my son’s hearing tested and his speech proficiency evaluated, finished two projects at work, sewed three skirts, restarted my YMCA membership, exercised M-Th every week, designed a series of book covers, plotted a book I shouldn’t have been working on, and paid off the mortgage. Actually, that last one was more of my husband than me, but hey, it’s not too bad for a couple of 30-somethings who bought a house 7 years ago when prices were their highest. But in all of that, I still didn’t finish my outline for Isto or touch Lust. I’m starting to go into catastrophe mode (see ISTJ personality).

And now, I’m wondering how am I going to get it done because I don’t like forcing anything because then it lacks passion. I can tell between when I write something because I’m obligated to write it and when I write something that was really inspired. I like the latter. And I want others to like it as well (see ENFP personality). But if I don’t force myself, will I get it done? How do you think I should handle it?

What personality type are you? Do you have any suggestions for a person with ENFP tendencies and an ISTJ personality? Are you good at finishing projects?

About Insecure Writer’s Support Group
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You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

43 thoughts on “Who are you? #IWSG

  1. I’m not sure about my personality type, but I’ll encourage you with the fact so many of those things you listed as ‘done’ are wonderful things. I say wait until your heart is in it, ’cause your writing will suffer if it’s not. And that’s the beauty of self-publishing anyway. We can set our own pace and do what we want. 🙂

    IWSG #134 until Alex culls the list again.

  2. I’m a sucker for things like personality tests and I’ve taken them many times. But darned if I can remember what I register as. It’s usually about the same and what I would say a pretty accurate assessment. I guess I’ll have to take one of those again someday.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host

    Tossing It Out

  3. It’s been years since I did it but I think I was INTP. A lot has changed in my life since then, so I’d be curious to take it again. My wife is actually a counselor and therapist so I’ve done all kinds of these personality assessments, often with weird and contradictory results. (Basically I’m an artistic realist, which doesn’t often jive well)

    And f*ck writing if you paid off your mortgage! (see, there’s the realist part, conflicting with the artistic part again…)

  4. Anne BB

    The last time I took the Briggs-Meyers’ test, I came up INTJ, but the data points were all pretty close together. It fit me (especially at the time). The instructor said my particular graphing pointed toward a balanced perspective and I could shift into another mode if needed very easily. That means to me that if I keep my emotions under control, I can be what any situation requires. .However, sometimes this strengthens what I view as my negative qualities. I can easily play the devil’s advocate.

    Since you completely flipped your letters, I’d say your experiences have brought out what were weaknesses before and strengthened them into positives. You can choose which to be and which attributes to use when you need them. The fact that you can be okay with knowing you’ll get back to a project eventually is a sign of your acceptance of yourself.

    Insecurity comes when we judge ourselves against other people and what we perceive society values. Do it your way and embrace it. It’s working!

  5. Congratulations on paying off your mortgage! That’s huge.
    I’m slow to start new projects, mostly because I plan to death. Once I begin, I finish no matter what. I wonder what personality type that is?
    Go back through whatever you have already written and just read it. That might rekindle your excitement for it.

  6. Sometimes I find that even when I’m writing something uninspired, it will stir up some ideas inside my brain and I’ll eventually get that “a-ha” moment. I may eventually throw the original, uninspired words away, but now I’ve got that nugget I can work with. Just keep noodling around and it will come. Good luck.

  7. Emma Adams

    I seem to get different results every time I take the test. My theory is that it’s because I’m a writer and have multiple personalities. 😛 Sometimes it depends on mood, too!

  8. Stephen Tremp

    I’ve progressed, or regressed, from

  9. Stephen Tremp

    Oops, looks like I posted half a comment. Anyway, I’ve become more introverted as the years go by and take time to think things through rather than blurt them out with no filters as I used to do. Either way, I’m great at finishing projects. I’m also good at killing a project when it becomes necessary to do so and move in a new direction.

    Stephen Tremp
    IWSG Co-host
    http://www.stephentremp.com

  10. I have no idea what personality type I am… 🙂
    I need to take one of those tests.
    (I think I have some OCD tendencies… in a positive way… I think…)
    Happy IWSG Day!

  11. I took that same test in high school. I was INFJ. I had to do an essay on being INFJ. I should do the test again because I know my personality had changed a lot since then.

    I’m glad April was productive for you. If forcing yourself doesn’t work, try to ease in. Do baby steps. Started reading what you’ve written to get your juices flowing and focus on doing one paragraph at a time. 🙂

  12. I’m in the same spot right now. I want to finish a project, but my passion for it has dwindled. Maybe I should take a personality test to find out if I have any hope of rekindling the fire for this one.

  13. Welcome back, Loni, and congrats on all you accomplished! Paying off the mortgage — wow, I wish I could say that.
    I wouldn’t force deadlines on yourself if your heart isn’t into it. When I do that, I just stress myself out, and things go downhill from there. When I write something because I have to, rather than from inspiration, it’s never as good. I agree with Alex about reading over what you’ve already got. That usually works for me.
    I don’t know what my official personality type is. I’ve never taken the test, but I do know that I’m an introvert and a hermit who likes solitude. Definitely not a social butterfly.

  14. I think the first question on that test should be: “Did you click on the ‘personality test’ link right away or did you wait until you finished reading the post?”

    Anyway, according to that link, I’m INFJ.

    It seems to me that you’ve done a lot recently but I do understand your frustration and completely agree that forced writing sounds, you know, forced. But if you don’t force yourself to sit down and write, will you? Quite the conundrum. O_o

  15. I recently took a personality test after Jacqueline Gum posted her results on her blog. I am INFJ. The results say that’s only 1 percent of the population. I wonder what the results would be if I had taken it straight out of high school? I know I took this same test for a college education class and should go into my files and see what the results were.

  16. You paid off your mortage??? HOLY CRAP! That’s amazing!! I have a mortgage and I am never ever ever going to pay it off (well at least not until we sell) and I seriously want to know your secret.

    Hmm, this does seem to be a theme this month, huh? I’m glad I’m not alone, but also sorry you’re struggling with time, too! two thoughts: one, you have to find a way to prioritize writing, even if it’s just for twenty minutes every night, and two, you have to cut yourself a break and try to stop worrying (I know, I need this advice, too.) The pressure only makes it that much harder, and you got a TON done in April. May can be writing month 🙂

  17. Sounds like you got a lot done during April and congrats on paying off your mortgage!!
    I definitely feel the same way about not wanting to force yourself to write something when you don’t feel the passion for it. But for me, at least, I think I’ve gone so long without working on it that I just have to force myself. Try taking it one step at a time. See what part or parts you really feel excited to work on and start from there. Maybe it will reignite the passion.

  18. I’m whatever personality type is the best! LOL

    You may not have gotten the outlines done, but you got a whole lot done in April. And that’s good!

  19. I don’t like to force the writing either, but I’m learning that, for the most part, I’d rather have something on the page to work with than nothing at all. And a lot of times, there usually ends up being a nugget or two of good stuff in the forced work anyway. 🙂

  20. I was curious so I took the test – ESFJ. 50% was feeling, 22% judging, 12% sensing, and 1% extravert. (Which is funny since I am an outgoing public speaker.)

    I usually finish projects just because it makes me nuts when they aren’t done.

  21. Deadlines help inspire me. Weird, huh? One step at a time, one thing at a time. It’s all good enough.

  22. INTJ for me, first time I took one of those in a while.

  23. I’m a crazy loon that hops from one project to the next. I do much better concentrating on one at a time, but life gets so busy at times. It might take more time now than years ago, but I usually complete all my projects.

  24. I remember doing those tests many years ago, back in high school and college. I was an INFP at first, though I think I was an INFJ when I took the test a few years later. I hardly remember what any of the letters mean, though, aside from the first one.

    But I hear you on not wanting to force writing. (I’m definitely with you on working on things you’re not supposed to be working on. Eh heh heh.) This is why I can’t write too quickly; I know if I force myself to work faster I’ll just churn out crap. I say, just listen to yourself and work on what you think it’s best to do next. I know that sounds ridiculously stereotypical for writing advice, but it’s really true.

    And I’d love to say “Finish what you start, no matter what”, but I’ve abandoned projects at various stages before, so I can’t. >_<

  25. You’ve done so much in April! And holy cow – paid off the mortgage? That’s huge! Congrats on now really owning your home. I hope you continue to make such awesome progress in May! 🙂

  26. Whoa. That is a lot to get through. Congrats on doing so. And you’ve paid off your mortgage? Double congratulations!

  27. I haven’t taken the test yet (just woke up – must consume exorbitant amounts of coffee first) but it sounds like you’re getting *tons* done. Me, I still have to take out the trash. And move the broom across the floor. But your April sounds pretty productive and I know you’re going to get your projects done. Because they’re important to you!

  28. Hey, Loni,

    Congrats on being free and clear on your home! That’s AWESOME. I like the fact that you are all over the place with projects… I am very similar in that respect. And I manage to finish all of them EVENTUALLY. LOL. I’m thinking of the enormous knitted aphgan which took me two years to complete. LOL.

    I came up ESFP… that was the first time I took one of these tests… very interesting.

  29. Wow, I’d say you got a lot accomplished. And I definitely think to wait until the inspiration strikes you for writing – I’m totally with you on not forcing it. 🙂

  30. Wow, you rock GRRL. So many interests. But to finish a book, you do have to just sit down and write whether you want to or not. I don’t think your boss at work would accept you can’t do a project because you aren’t inspired or don’t feel like it!! I make an appt with myself to write and keep it just like a dentist appt or a time to pick up kids after school. Be sure and keep that appt!! Good luck!

  31. Fascinating.
    I flip-flop between ENFP and ENFJ, leaning towards the latter lately. I do have a tendency to quit a project that bores me. But if I’m focused and engaged, I won’t stop until it’s done.

  32. Oh stuff it Loni, lol. Gads, you accomplished A LOT, even if it wasn’t what you planned. Now that all the little stuff is taken care of, and you have that intense feeling of accomplishment (acquire it if you don’t, here’s the official pat on the back and permission) you can better put your mind to the major task of finishing those two projects. And not feel guilty for ignoring anything else in your life.

    Kudos on paying off that mortgage, and giving yourself a to-do project as soon as the other two are completed. I understand the necessity of having AT LEAST ONE upcoming task in the in-basket to know boredom isn’t lurking in the sidewings. Being needed is important to task oriented people like us 🙂

  33. I’m usually pretty good at finishing projects. If it’s something I really want to do, I can hardly focus on anything else. Wish I was like that w/writing… As a writer, I’m kinda slow.

  34. I think my personality changes based on my environment and what life is like! Right now I’m pretty calm…march was a bad month for me so I was an anxiety ridden mess, and now I’m just chill, trying to concentrate on getting my next WIP finished! so glad you’re back! and YAY for paying off the mortgage! best move ever!

  35. I don’t think I’ve ever taken one of those Personality Tests, but maybe I should! I didn’t do much blogging in April and I didn’t participate in A to Z either, but I got a lot of stuff done too! I understand that frustration with wanting to work on a project but it just not coming. Maybe you need some more time away…or maybe you need to read some books that might inspire you?

    I’ve been working on a YA contemporary and for weeks I couldn’t touch it. I had no desire. But last weekend I did a book marathon (not really, it just felt like it). My husband was out of town so I read multiple YA contemporary books back to back. By the time I finished the last one, I was pumped up and ready to get back to my WIP. And so far, it’s been smooth sailing. Don’t know if that would help you, but it’s a thought…

    Good luck!! 🙂

  36. I’m an INFJ. That’s really interesting that you were once an “E” though. I didn’t think personalities could change that dramatically. Usually the I and E parts remain. The others might oscillate.

  37. Not sure about what to tell you, but I found this post quite useful! 🙂

  38. Read your WIP’s again, and see if the characters call you back to writing. Another advice I read somewhere, and it was a popular author that said it (I can’t remember either name) was to just sit and write, whether you felt like it or not. Sit and write and write and write until you get the words flow easily and your muse get to work. I think that’s reasonable.

  39. I scored INTJ. I’ve always been an I, but the last three sometimes change. I have become more private, confident, and ambitious over the years.

    Good luck on your goals. I like to work with passion, but if I finished a draft with passion and the revising and editing seem tedious, I push myself to do it.

  40. I think there will always be a lot of days we don’t feel like writing. I can only echo what other have already said, I don’t think any time spent with our WIP is wasted even if it’s just reading through. You’ll become immersed in your characters’ worlds again if you give them a chance.

  41. My personality type changes depending on my mood. 🙂

    I totally get what you’re saying. Have you written anything for these products you should be getting done? Maybe all you need is to write a few pages before you get going. It sometimes happens to me that I start getting scared subconsciously, which makes me avoid some of my stories until I try them and realize that they can be done.

  42. Congratulations on paying off your mortgage! My husband and I paid ours off within ten years of buying also. I hate to be a slave to money. Our cost level is relatively low, so we are rarely motivated by dollars. Life is short, I want to live it sweet. (Though every now and then I want to be the best of the best, but then the meh comes back over me and I take a day to play Monopoly with the kids.)

    It’s good to have so many hobbies! I bet you’re never bored.

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