While researching personality traits for a main character I came across several articles about the similarities between psychopaths and entrepreneurs. Frightening, yes? Until I realized ambitious, goal-driven (or more accurately, obsessive) writers tend to fit the psychopath/entrepreneur profile!
Writing a novel, finishing a novel, rewriting your novel, revising the novel again and again, querying that novel, bouncing back from rejection…these tasks require a certain single-minded determination. Although there are days we feel more like psychopaths than entrepreneurs it behooves us to recognize that particular personality traits often determine our failures and successes.
Below is a 100% unscientific test that may determine if you share the same personality traits as a psychopath or entrepreneur.
Fearless: It takes courage to write!
- Did you tell anybody you were writing a novel?
- Did you ever post a part of your manuscript on a website or Facebook?
- Did you ask someone to beta read?
- Did you write a query?
- Did you send a query?
- Did you pitch to an agent or editor at a conference?
If you answered YES to any of these then You Are Fearless!
Methodical: It takes planning to write and query a novel.
- Do you have a story arc, timeline, outline, character charts, and/or post-it plotting notes?
- Do you have a certain writing time, writing location, writing preference ( listening to music, perhaps) or writing prop ( like a favorite coffee mug )?
- Do you have a list of overused words or commonly confused words to refer to while editing?
- Do you create a chart or excel sheet with a list of agents to track the query process?
If you answered YES to any of these question then You Are Methodical!
Charming: Presenting a likable and friendly demeanor reaps lots of benefits.
- Do you Comment, Like, Share, Friend, and Retweet?
- Do you commiserate with other writers at conferences?
- Do you offer helpful advice on social media or at a writers conference?
- Do you help others with querying or pitching?
- Do you smile and act excited while pitching?
- Do you offer sincere congratulations to another’s writing achievements even when the green-eyed monster lurks in your heart?
If you answered YES to any of these questions then You Are Charming!
Focus: Writing a novel is a sustained, long-term commitment.
- Is writing/finishing/querying your novel a priority?
- Do you meet challenges (for example writing a query or a synopsis) head on?
- Do you pay attention to the details? (for example making certain your query meets all an agent’s requirements?)
- Do you give your full concentration while writing?
If you answered YES to any of these questions then You Are Focused!
Are you fearless and methodical and charming and focused? Congratulations! You possess the same traits as a psychopath and an entrepreneur. But you already knew you that, didn’t you? Perhaps there’s a bit of psychotic entrepreneurial traits in all writers willing to dedicate themselves to their passion!
How practical and resourceful that writers can channel their personality and can-do spirit into their characters!