Just My Type explores the ways our personality, fears and motivations impact our writing and, using personality types, provides suggestions for tailoring your writing practice to who you are as a unique, creative human.
The Enneagram is great tool for learning about our fears and motivations, as well as creating new habits and routines that embrace and work with our true nature. To find your Enneagram type, you can take a free test here to learn which types are most correlated with your answers. Then, read about your top results to decide which feels most right to you. The book recommendations below are tailored to each Enneagram type and will provide guidance and inspiration for writers to improve their craft and writing practice based on who they are and how they work best, according to their Enneagram type.
Ones are known as the perfectionists of the Enneagram. They are very organized and have high standards for themselves. As writers, Ones might be grammar nerds. They most likely spend a lot of time editing, focusing on the small details and trying to make their writing perfect. As advocates for always doing things the right way, Ones will enjoy reading Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer, an amusing guide to all things grammar and the English language.
Twos are the helpers of the Enneagram. They are generous, caring and prioritize taking care of others over focusing on themselves. In Write for Your Life, author Anna Quindlen argues the importance of writing as a means of keeping a record of our lives and our history, using examples like letters and journal entries throughout history. Twos will particularly resonate with Quindlen’s argument that writing and in our daily lives connects us more with both ourselves and others.
Threes are the goal-setters of the Enneagram. They have big, ambitious dreams and the drive and determination to accomplish them. The 90-Day Novel by Alan Watt will help Three writers achieve their writing goals by giving them a deadline and helping them get through the process of writing the first draft of a novel in just 90 days.
Fours are known as the individualists of the Enneagram. They are creative and inspired, and they want express themselves and their individuality, but they can struggle with self doubt. Fours can be preoccupied with wanting their ideas and creations to be unique and different. Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon, can help Fours see that nothing is truly original because art is always influenced by something else. The advice in this book can help Fours find a sense of freedom from trying to create something completely unique and instead focus on creating what they want to create and trusting the process.
Fives are the investigators of the Enneagram. They are naturally curious and innovative, always asking questions and trying to dig deeper and find out how things work. Fives will enjoy The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass, which will help Fives learn techniques that can provoke an emotional response in a reader. Fives will love the deep dive into how to get readers emotionally involved in a story.
Sixes are known for being committed, loyal and responsible. They thrive with a sense of security and stability and can deal with anxiety when they don’t feel secure. The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler can help give Sixes a sense of structure in their writing by providing a blueprint to storytelling using examples in myth, fairy tales and classic films. This structure can give Sixes a place to come back to when they are struggling with their writing.
Sevens are enthusiastic and full of energy. They are spontaneous and are always in pursuit of the next idea or adventure. Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody is a fun, workshop-style writing guide that provides advice on topics like outlining, writer’s block, revising and more. Sevens can read straight through or dive in and out of the book in whatever way works for them and their creative process.
Eights are the challengers of the Enneagram. They are decisive and assertive, but don’t like feeling controlled or bound by rules or structure. As the rule-breakers of the Enneagram, Eights will love reading Essays by Lydia Davis, an author known for her playful writing that bends the classic “rules” and challenges expectations for what short fiction is. Her essay collection explores her thoughts on reading, writing, and her artistic influences.
Nines are the peacemakers of the Enneagram. They are patient, accepting and easygoing, but they also have a tendency to avoid conflict and get complacent. They are also known as self-forgetting and can struggle to recognize their own goals and dreams and remember to devote time to their own personal development and creativity. Nines will enjoy Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin, which not only provides writing guidance from Le Guin herself, but writing exercises to be completely either solo or with a group, which will help Nines get going again when they may have stalled in their writing practices.