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February 16, 2010 / Melissa Yuan-Innes

Why do you write (or do anything)? Quiz yourself.

This personality quiz by Anne Dranitsaris blew my mind.  If you’d asked me what motivated me, I would have said, “Well, I’m a doctor.  I like helping people.  But I’m really an artist.  Praise and prestige are nice, but I really love to create.”

I did the quiz first in O Magazine, then the slightly longer one online.  I came up as a leader-artist-performer on the first try, a leader-adventurer-performer on the second.

Dead last, both times?  Supporter, the born helper type.

Of course, it depends how you define these categories.  I like to help people, but not by putting myself second.  No, thanks.  And I’m an artist, but not the kind who shows up drunk at diners, screaming Shakespearean quotes–or, by contrast, the kind who wastes away in a garret.

Honestly, this quiz slapped me in the face and made me think about why I write.  I would have said pure creation.  Now I see that I like recognition, which is why I always send my work out to market.  I like to lead, which is why I blog and give writing advice.

But I feel very humbled by this quiz, too.  If I’m addicted to praise (performer), I won’t feel secure in the value of my own work, regardless of what the market has to say.  On the other hand, being a leader and a performer means I’m motivated by groups, which is good to know.

My husband, whom I correctly predicted was an intellectual-stabilizer type, wasn’t surprised by my results.  “Centre of attention?  That’s you.”

Yikes.  Not exactly the pure artiste I imagined myself.  Anyway, try it out.  See what it says about you.   I’d love to hear about it.  As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

My own results, in descending order.

leader (36)

adventurer (34)

performer (33)

socializer (32)

artist (29)

intellectual (27)

stabilizer (26)

supporter (21)



Leave a Comment
  1. cindie geddes / Feb 16 2010 6:20 pm

    I’m always an amalgam with these things. Just once I’d like to be one clear-cut type. I scored between 25 and 32 on all of them, with artist and socializer coming in tops.

  2. Denise Nielsen / Feb 16 2010 9:53 pm

    Results In: Stabilizer-Artist-Leader for me.

  3. melissayuaninnes / Feb 16 2010 11:07 pm

    So my writer friends are coming out as artists–no surprise.

    Cindie, that seems like a pretty good range to me. Another guy in our writing group only ranged 21-26 on everything! And the socializer makes sense. That why having a goal group/retreat helps motivate you.

    Denise, yep, I would’ve guessed stabilizer. Leader is cool. Does this mean you want to lead people in making secure art? 🙂

  4. Des / Feb 17 2010 12:45 am

    Good thing Cindie’s socialized me, because socializer and supporter are my bottom 2! Top 3: Leader, intellectual, artist. Aw, I coulda told you that! I think we love personality tests best the ones that confirm our own self-concept. Ooops, there goes the intellectual blathering on again…

    • melissayuaninnes / Feb 17 2010 6:46 am

      Leader–that must be why you’ve been initiating the goal check-ins and are now sick of it. I agree that we like personality tests that confirm our self-image, but this one really surprised me and I liked that even more…although, as I said, I hate the idea of relying on other people for approval. Then I realized that she said leaders don’t like to rely on anyone for anything. Hmm.

  5. Margaret / Mar 8 2010 6:36 pm

    Apparently, I am mostly an intellectual, but also a bit of everything, especially leader and socializer. I am surprisingly unartistic.

    • melissayuaninnes / Mar 8 2010 9:02 pm

      Great! Intellectual leader, maybe that’s why you and Des get along so well. I’m not sure all the artist questions stack up anyway…welcome!

  6. Des / Mar 9 2010 11:59 pm

    Sorry, gotta laugh–
    surprisingly unartistic. Yeah, well, they should see your home!


  1. Writing Goals, est. 2010 « Melissa Yuan-Innes, Writer
  2. Writing Goals and Dreams, est. 2010, modified 2014 – Melissa Yuan-Innes

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