Affinity for Fellow Writers
It isn’t hard to notice the kinship writers feel with each other. Some even feel compelled to start a group together *hint* and we are alike in some pretty fundamental ways. We approach the world similarly. We enjoy similar activities. But this has never seemed to me a tangible thing before. I fancied us a group both eclectic and hard to pin down. We simply have maybe… a common approach… or something…
I LOVE psychology and, I think, I chose to get married (and separated from) a psychology major because the function of analysing people’s whys and wherefores always had a fascination for me. Putting that into stats, though, or seeing people through Jungian or Freudian lenses, never felt quite as good as wondering just what made people tick. I prefer to look at social influences—predictions of behaviors and outlooks that are situational or perceptual rather than personality. I am definitely in the nurture camp; nature deals us a set of inclinations and abilities, a gene pool and a ‘background’, but in my opinion what we do with the package has a lot to do with us as people and how we live our lives.
All things considered, though, the Myers-Briggs test, because it is multi-dimensional, and because it takes into account some of that nurture stuff, does appeal to me.
If I had taken the test as a younger woman, (I never did) I think I would have come out more judgemental, more black and white, less intuitive; an INTJ; because in my early career I was driven, yes, driven to be the best journalist you could be. No holds barred.
In the middle, though, I had a child, raised a family, stopped writing professionally in the 9 to 5 sense and started writing in the back-to-nature-living, submitting-monthly-to-magazines sense; it’s that country ‘grow-your-own’, birdsong, and being a mother; the family stuff that got to me. Changed me from a thinker to a feeler. Of course I shall never know. I only took the Myers-Briggs as a ‘mature’ woman. And I come out INFJ.
If I go with my previous ‘knowing’ of my focused single-tasking self, I’d say in becoming multi-tasking (scattered female), I changed from being an ISTJ, a Thinker, to a Feeler…INFJ. I attribute that to hormones: to child-bearing and rearing. There are several things that changed in my life during those times, but that, the deaths of parents and older gen, and the difficulties worked through with my ex are the only things that would predict a shift from thinking to feeling (possibly not being a student anymore, but I’m still a besotted academic, even if I study from home…)
What Does it Mean?
I-E—Introversion Extroversion: seems pretty self explanatory, but… it says it is actually a means of cognitive functioning… whether a person sort of deals in terms of behavior, action, people and things (extroversion) or reflection and ideas (introversion). It’s a little different twist on how we normally think of these ideas (other-oriented, versus solitary)
S-iN—Sensing versus Intuition: these are about information gathering and what we trust. Sensing people like their ‘evidence’ to be present, tangible and concrete. Intuitive trust information that is more theoretical or abstract. (This is the pair that is about PERCEIVING)
T-F—Thinking and Feeling are about decision making. Thinking is more detached and objective, feeling is more through empathy. (This is the pair that is about JUDGING)
P-J—Perceiving and Judging is a distinction for which TYPE of information is dominant in how a person processes—so which of the above pair takes dominance in a person’s personality.
A description of what the 16 combos mean is given here:
In the general population the sensing feelers have it… the whole column that has SF has 8% or more, with the SFJ’s being the most common types on the board, whether introverted or extroverted. The STJs are right up there, too. Among those 6 personality types you get 64% of the population.
On the other tail are the NTs, not adding to 10% for 4 types. Intuitive thinkers are apparently rare, but also rare are the NFJs.
BUT THE WRITERS!!!
This is where it gets interesting… it would have been amusing just to see how different from others (or how similar to each other) we are, but what actually happened, was I was stunned, (flabberstounded, if you will Mrs L), knocked off my perch in disbelief…
The least common and third least common personalities among the population made up 49% of the people who took Moonrat’s quiz (those, because Moonrat is an editor, who are predominantly WRITERS). Among WRITERS these are the most common personalities, and not just by a little bit.
So writers are introverted… no real surprises there – dealing with reflection and ideas rather than the external world? Sounds about right… Intuitive rather than sensory? Again… this is not surprising that we like the theoretical and abstract better than the concrete… that we are willing to believe without evidence…
We are equally split among thinkers and feelers and I would bet good money there is both a gender split and a genre split here (higher percentage of men thinking, women feeling) – but also guess the thinkers are our ‘plot junkies – thrillers, mysteries, where our feelers are the romance and the character-driven stuff.
I’m not even going to name names here…. 🙂 you KNOW who you ARE!!
The Final Summary
First I have to say I apologize for not being able to put a push-button poll – a quiz – on this page: I’m simply not techie enough to post a survey; but I’d love it if someone who knows how, would. Mysteral is a wiz at audio; Yin’s a wiz at video; who’s the wiz at putting a polldaddy on my page…? I’ll sell my cat for that… besides I think most of us would like to pit our writerly/editorish selves against the mass of humankind out there and PROVE that we’re different… ahem.
Seems maybe, with my plans for living in the New Age of Aquarius, I am not an INTJ after all… put it down to my inability to say anything bad about Valentine’s Day, and its new moon. OK I’m INFJ. Vascillation wins.
More to the point, how does it work out for THIS group? Now there’s an interesting question.