What type of writer are you?

(Just a bit of fun!)

The Juggler?

The Organised?

The Frustrated?

The Avoider?

The Hermit?

The Juggler Writer

You are probably working, have a family, keep a home, have social and extended family commitments. You could be a man or a woman but I think it is more likely that you are a woman. You feel as if you are constantly on the go, running from one job to the next, keeping all your plates spinning. You feel busy, chaotic and disorganised yet still find time to write – but at no fixed time – just whenever you can. You probably see your life as a bit of a crazy circus and yourself as an accident waiting to happen with all those balls in the air. But, despite this, you are no clown. Others are jealous of you and wish they could juggle as well as you. You are not completely happy with your writing output, always wish you could spend more time on it, but are reasonably successful. You may see yourself as too many things to call yourself just a writer and you may never stop taking on other activities. When your family and work commitments lessen you are probably the type of person to take on new activities and hobbies which compliment your writing. I suspect your writing is witty, observant and easy to relate to. Because you are modest your writing is probably better than those around you realise and you often have to write in a house that is less than peaceful.
You are quite happy to scrap an idea and start a new one in life and in writing, yet you remain loyal, friendly and reliable and take your commitments very seriously. I, for one, am very jealous of people like you and admire you immensely.

The Organised Writer

You also have commitments but you have pinned everything down. You have nailed your writing time to evenings, or early mornings or weekends. You have a specific writing time and place. You have a diary. Your plates are not spinning. You have projects that you pick up and put down and when you are not writing you are doing something else. You have an important job or a special duty in life and I see your life planned out months – if not years – in advance. Perhaps you have a farm or you are a carer or have an important job in society – something time-consuming that cannot be put on hold. But you know where your spare moments may be and have scheduled them in advance as writing time. You have probably enlisted the help or support of others or you pay someone to do the domestic chores. I believe you are equally as likely to be a man or a woman. I imagine you suffer from regular health complaints but battle on bravely. You probably write novels that are planned carefully in advance, have serious content and you rarely deviate. You have created a world where others understand your routine and see you as highly reliable and predictable. I see you as the type who knows their genre and sticks to it. You are thorough and detailed. You might write a series of crime novels, historical or family sagas. I am jealous of your organisation and I am nothing like you but you are the type who is good for my motivation!

The Frustrated Writer

You are me a few years back. Life is bonkers. There are no plates spinning because they fell a long time ago and are smashed all over the floor. Life is chaotic. People may not see the chaos – it may be hidden inside your head. You may not be writing at all, yet. You feel like a writer, you feel that writing is something you want to be doing, but if you do get started you rarely find time to finish anything. Your head is a whirl of tiredness, dreams and duties. There is an extremely strong chance that you are a woman! You spend your time looking for intellectual satisfaction – crashing from one idea to the next with a sense of failure and unfulfillment. You are tough on yourself, you can’t or won’t ask for help and fear stops you from making the life-changing decision needed to call yourself a writer. You define yourself as mother, housewife, nurse, policewoman, gardener, whatever, and wait for life to change/ get better, for there to be more money, more hours in the day… You may sneak in time to write a blog and find that your life-rantings strike a chord with other women. It is likely that you are a bit of a martyr and put off things that would be good for you such as taking walks, eating healthily, and talking about your problems. You are probably very modest and surrounded by people who have no idea how clever you are. If you are not careful you may remain a wannabe… Which would be a shame because your writing would be very encouraging to other women.

The Avoider Writer

Shame on you – you procrastinator!
Fear is in your way and you can’t see a way around it.
Either you are frightened that when you sit down and begin to produce a proper piece of writing that it won’t be good enough; you are scared of your own ability and what others will think of you OR you have a fear of what is inside your own head; you have suffered, you have had a tough life. Your experiences may be too much for others to handle or they may even be too much for you to handle. What will happen when all the disturbing truths that you have locked away for years come pouring out? You may start to write a novel but when you write the word “child” your own childhood may develop on the page in front of you without warning. You may end up in a mental institution, you may have to tell everyone what a nutter and a freak you really are when you have spent so many years trying to be normal. What if you can’t deal with your own emotions, your own past?
Or maybe it will just be crap. Maybe you can’t write at all. It’s better to live in hope than to find out the truth, yeah?
No, because if you want to write you should write. If it’s crap, don’t show it to anyone. Or post it on a blog under a pen name and ask for feedback from strangers. There are millions of writers out there who never win prizes or get a publishing deal. We’re all just enjoying the creative process.
I see you as a man or a woman. You probably don’t allow yourself to show emotions often enough and are unsure of yourself. You may have fixed ideas and/or are scared of change. You probably plan things and then are too scared to follow through.
(I recommend a bit of life-writing secretly on the loo and reading outloud to yourself. You’d be amazed how therapeutic it can be! And a troubled life is always very interesting!)

The Hermit Writer

This is me when I am being a writer. We cannot juggle. We have thought explosions. We have moody periods and we have more wasted time than any other type. We can go into our shell for whole days and then come out crying that all we have written is “Turmoil” six thousand times. Our [metaphorical] wastepaper bin is often overflowing. When we have an idea we are possessed and neglectful of ourselves and our loved ones. I believe this type is more likely to be a man. For a woman this way of writing comes with too much guilt attached and can cause depression. A man of this type will often be supported or be single. We can swing from one idea to the next and scrap something that is not going our way. We are in danger of jeopardising our writing careers with our perfectionism and self-punishment. If we are lucky enough to have loved ones willing to hang around, our one good novel may be rescued from the fire by a relative in the nick of time.
For me this is a life of walled personalities with inter-joining doors. I cannot have the doors open and be a writer-stroke-family person or a writer-stroke-businesswoman, etc. I have to shut the doors. I do not juggle. I do not organise writing time and I do not fear or avoid writing. I merely shut the door to my writing self and become the domestic me, the social me, the attentive mother me or the bookkeeper me. My ideas don’t seep through the bricks. It is a difficult type of writer to be because when I haven’t written for a while I become angry with guilt because I know I want to be elsewhere and it seems wrong for a wife and mother to feel that way. And when I am inside the walls of the writing me I am unapproachable, rude, void of routine, unhealthy, selfish.
I see Hermit Writers as more likely to have obsessions or addictions and to deliberately avoid what is good for us because to us nothing feels as good as the process of writing. We can be unreliable and may not be very good at holding down a conventional job. Because of the brain channeling needed, writing for a hermit necessarily involves retreat and not blending with the rest of life.

What about you? Do you fit into one of these writing types? Or are you a mix of different types?
Or maybe you disagree with my observations completely!

53 thoughts on “What type of writer are you?

  1. Oh, hermit, definitely. Which is why I left the family commitments behind to write and write and write… When I met my husband 8 years ago, I had to adapt to become (or pretend to be) one of those amazing people who juggle 2 kids, 4 step-children, husband, husband’s job, career… I went mad, had a three year depression and didn’t write a creative word. Now my need to be a creative grouch is being met and I’m back writing. I think being a hermit can work, it’s just having some alone time. When I get back we’re buying a caravan for me to hide in a day or two a week. After twenty-seven years of being someone’s Mum it’s my turn.


  2. Oh man. Frustrated writer most of the time, avoider writer in the bad patches, and hermit when it’s all going well!


  3. I’m a hermit. I am so much a hermit. “Walled personalities with inter-joining doors’… I do this with everything, not just writing. Absolutely wonderful post.


  4. Love this, Rachel — very astute observations in here! I think I wobble between organised writer and juggler. Actually, it’s more like the juggler peeping over the fence at the organised writer and pointing, saying, ‘Oooh!’ and then becoming jealous and throwing tomatoes. My day job is writing otherwise I’d just call myself a mum. Nah, even with the day job, I’m Mum, it’s my favourite. A mum who waffles in ink and has occasional caffeine frenzies that result in stories and some very cool Twitter-mates.


  5. Terrific post – great insights. There’s a little bit of each of these in me, as I suspect there is in most of us.

    I’m a juggler – all those plates are still (mostly) spinning away!


  6. I think I must be “Schizophrenic Writer”, because I have bits of nearly ALL of them! 😀

    Can’t really claim to be a juggler at all. I aspire to be organised, and actually seem to be managing it tolerably well at present! (How long this will last remains to be seen…) But I don’t do anything important in between. 😀

    I have done frustrated writer, and I sometimes do avoider and worry about not being good enough and all that. I kind of have to be a hermit the way my life is a present – so I figure I might as well be a writing hermit! 😀


  7. I jump between the juggler and the avoider.

    When I juggle, I keep all the balls in the air, but sometimes the writing ball starts to look a lot like very sharp knife, so I catch it and put it in my pocket for a while.

    I enjoyed reading this post. It’s interesting to think of people in these terms.


  8. This is a great post 🙂 so glad I came by to read it !

    I’m definitely a Juggler … too many things to do, not enough time, and yet somewhere in my 24 hours I try to find some time to jot down a point or two 🙂 … I suppose for certain ‘subjects / topics’ I might be an Avoider .. but its not that I’m avoiding it – I just don’t know how to go about it – I start and I do get them up and published but then I never go back to them … hmm wait maybe I am avoiding them !

    Would you mind if I share this post on my blog ?


  9. Yikes. I reckon I’ve been all of these as a writer. Like some others here I aspire to be more organised since I write in between work and now (again) study and the blog what’s that other thing, um… life. It’s refreshing to remember so many writerly types are working as hard to manage, balance, cope or not, as me.


  10. at first glance couldn’t see me at all but read it properly and lo and behold I came in – over the past few decades I have been first a juggler not very sucessfully! hand to eye coordination bad!

    Now I seem to be organized – my friends might all die from excess of laughter – the most disorgainized of all in life. You are right tho’ I started writing seriously whilst caring 24/7 for mum I continue while still caring for another memeber of the family – so yes my writing fits in with that. I acheive so much more as well.

    Bit of hermit there now as well but thats because as I am retired I can indulge in natural tendencies to enclose myself.

    I never did acheive much wwhen coping with family jobs and study I envy all of you who can – luck to you all


  11. Great post and very informative. I think i saw bits of myself in all the examples but I think I’m mainly between a frustrated writer and an avoider writer 🙂


  12. Have to put my hands up to being a frustrated avoider at the moment. Writing is my escape, yet the fear of failure is a big thing at the moment. Lots more chocolate and an uninterrupted late nighter should crack it :

    Great butt-kicking post, thanks.


  13. […] The Juggler? The Organised? The Frustrated? The Avoider? The Hermit? The Juggler Writer You are probably working, have a family, keep a home, have social and extended family commitments. You could be a man or a woman but I think it is more likely that you are a woman. You feel as if you are constantly on the go, running from one job to the next, keeping all your plates spinning. You feel busy, chaotic and disorganised yet still find time to write … Read More […]


  14. I’m a Hermit writer, but I’m not a man. 🙂 I suck at organizing, I refuse to juggle, I’m not frustrated, nor do I avoid writing… I’m not real sure that hermit fits me to a tee either, but it does the most. 🙂 thanks for the neat link.


  15. Great list!

    I’m Organised, with Hermit-like tendencies, for my own writing.

    I’m an Avoider-Juggler for everything else to do with teaching, reading, working, children, house and Life.


    • I suspect it depends what your definition of a bad ending is. I like endings that drift off and leave the story still going and possibly questions unanswered but I know that other people hate that and want a conclusion


  16. I identify with the frustrated, probably trying to be a juggler but want to be a hermit, fifteen years to wait!


  17. I’m a frustrated hermit-juggler with a touch of avoidance syndrome.

    Also, I work as a professional translator, so at the end of the day my brain is tired of looking at text on a computer screen.

    I set aside special writing days, because translating saps my will to write, somehow.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the day job, plus I’m self-employed.
    But doing both “jobs” on the same day is like having too much chocolate cake.


    • If you set aside special writing days does that mean there’s a bit of an organised writer in there too! 😉 Love the analogy of the chocolate cake!


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