Creative writers come in all shapes and sizes. We may imagine them as shy introverts hiding away in Parisian cafes, recognisable by their black clothing and their leather elbow patches. We may also imagine flamboyant and outgoing writers– slinking along the red carpet at a glamourous launch event. All writers are different, but are there some personality traits that creative writers tend to possess?
A creative person will usually have a wide range of potential energy. They may work for hours on end, then feel exhausted. They can focus their energy onto their writing project with great enthusiasm. They can also lose interest quickly.
We may imagine a writer in the creative flow of their project - writing all night to the exclusion of anything else. That story fits the stereotype, but there are other authors who use their energy and enthusiasm differently. They discipline themselves and work steadily during regular hours.
Authors may be juggling writing with other commitments. Writing may not be their main source of income. Eventually if they are successful, or lucky, they may be able to write when they wish. Until that happens, authors need to find the energy to stay motivated and continue to put energy into their writing activities.
We will never know how many stories and novels are lost because writers do not have the time or energy to transfer their masterpiece to paper.
Creative writing needs self-discipline . This could involve:
Even the most flamboyant, extroverted author needs to be able to put aside their partygoing personas and get the writing done. Managing your writing life alongside your other commitments requires excellent self-discipline.
Creative writers tend to be very intelligent. But intelligence doesn’t always mean academic success. There are plenty of intelligent creative writers who left high school with nothing but bad memories. Intelligence comes in many forms including
While stereotypes of introverted writers exist, not all writers hide away in remote locations with only their laptops for company. Some writers may be extroverts, enjoying crowds and adulation. Psychologists generally view introversion as stable traits, a person is usually one or the other, but in creative people, this is not always the case. Some creative people may be introverted in some areas, but extroverted in others. E.L. Doctorow says that “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
Great writing requires imagination. Writers can help us to see beyond ourselves, to think about things in a new way. A non-fiction writer will still use their imagination when working out how to write a story, how to present the facts, how to make it interesting and entertaining. A fiction writer may use their imagination to take us into a new world.
Writers can have pride in their work, but they may also be humble. A great writer may doubt his/her own abilities. They may have the writing or storytelling skills, but not the publishing track record to prove their work is marketable. A writer may have pride, but on bad days, when the writing is not going well – self-doubt can pull them down.
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath
Creative people can be both conformist and rebellious, traditional and extraordinary. They may try to stretch boundaries to change the world. They make take risks in their work, but they may also conform to what is expected on them. Each creative person needs to find the balance between conformity and rebellion as they write their stories. In the words of Dr Seuss, they need to “be who they are, and say what they feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Being open to new ideas, to new thoughts and new ways of thinking is another important trait in a writer. That overheard sentence can send a writer off into a new world or story.
The passion to write will keep the writer going. For some writers, this passion is the desire to create and share their work. For others, the passion is in the act of writing – they simple can’t not write. Because a life without writing (and all the tasks involved in writing) would be a life half-lived.
Passionate about writing, full of ideas, completely committed and yet…
It’s possible to have everything you need to be a successful writer and still lack confidence. If you want to improve your writing skills and practice being a committed writer, why not consider an online, self-paced writing course? We offer a wide range of short courses - some 20hrs, others 100hrs. Check out our 20hr courses at on this web site. If you are looking for something else, email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for more options.
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