Your Personality and Writer’s Voice

Each of us has a unique personality; each of us has a unique writer’s voice. Writer’s voice is the way your writing style sounds to your readers. Are you an introvert (reserved) or extrovert (outgoing)? Finding out your personality type can provide insights into your writing style, its strengths and its weaknesses. If you are having problems with deadlines, writer’s block, or other wiring related difficulties, there is a test that may help find a solution.

INFJThe Keirsey Temperament Test is a well known psychological test derived from Jungian psychological theory. Through a series of short questions, the test will assign you a basic personality type –there are 16 possible types. Click the image to see my results.

Writer’s voice is the literary term used to describe the individual writing style of an author. Voice was generally considered to be a combination of a writer’s use of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works). Writer’s Voice

A strong, well-defined voice is the bridge between you and your audience: It helps your readers understand who you are, and it helps you engage them and keep them coming back for more. – Understanding Voice and Tone in Writing

  1. Does your writing sound like you?
  2. Does the style reflect your personality?
  3. Does it convey your passion?
  4. Does it have a rhythm?  Does it flow?
  5. Do all your sentences sound the same? Or are they varied?

Does your blog sit happily within your comfort zone, with easy predictable posts that don’t really say anything out of the ordinary?

Take a new stance – try a new angle – or perhaps a new writing style. Invite commenters to be interviewed on your site if they disagree with you. It helps to keep things interesting. – Ben Barden of Quick Blog Tips

Engage readers interest with an interesting hook. Then, in your own writer’s voice, say what you have to say with personality and clarity.

Beyond the Blog

Related posts found in this blog:
Top 5 Informative Writing Tips for Bloggers
Better Blogging: Powerful, Persuasive Writing
What do you look for in a blog?
Blogging: Online presence and authenticity

30 thoughts on “Your Personality and Writer’s Voice

  1. Pingback: Crafting Quality Blog Comments | one cool site

  2. Arrived here via a link from your most recent post. I’ve only recently discovered that I am a INFJ as well; it’s crazy how close the test nails down some of my traits. I’m not sure if my personality shows up in my writing style, but it’s an interesting connection that I would enjoy teasing out.

    • Hello Issac
      It’s good to know you found this to be interesting and even more interesting that we share the same personality type. For me probing below the surface of personality type testing has been worth while. Our INFJ type is that of less than 1 percent of the population.

      BTW if you haven’t read Quiet by Susan Cain do so. Review and video here Quiet and society’s extroversion bias http://thistimethisspace.com/2012/03/05/quiet-and-societys-extroversion-bias/
      Cain’s insight is: “The key to maximizing talents is to put yourself into the zone of stimulation that’s right for you.”

      For a scientific explanation of an introvert, here is an excerpt from a related book: The Introvert Advantage (How To Thrive in an Extrovert World), by Marti Laney, Psy.D. http://hiddengiftsoftheintrovertedchild.com/ — Also read Carl King ‘s essay here — 10 Myths About Introverts http://www.carlkingdom.com/10-myths-about-introverts

      Your essays are compelling, powerful and so well written. It’s an honor to read what you publish.

      • Excellent, thanks very much for the video and the links. I think I am drawn to blogging because it affords me a chance to communicate meaningfully while affording me the solitude I require to generate insight and ideas. I do have to work on more of a balance though, as I have been known to guard my suitcase, to use Cain’s metaphor, a little too closely, to the detriment of those whom I am close to.

        Once again, you’re providing plenty for me to contemplate. Thanks!

  3. Fascinating post! I took the Kiersey personality test several years ago and discovered I am an INFP. Many writers are. You ought to take the Enneagram personality test if you haven’t already. It’s more detailed and, in my opinion, more accurate. An INFJ like yourself would probably be a 4, 5, or 6 on the Enneagram. Let me know if I’m right. ;)

    • Hi there,
      I’m gald to hear you liked this post. I’ve never looked into the Ennegram personality test but when I have time I will do so. Thanks for suggesting it.

  4. Pingback: Quiet and society’s extroversion bias « this time – this space

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  6. I’ve been having a whole heap of synchronicities lately, and this is one of them! Just the other day I was having a deep conversation with a close friend about personality (we both study psychology) and we ended up doing the jung typology test together. I got INFJ, just like you, and he got INTP. These character portraits fit us both perfectly and through discussing it we both learnt a lot about each other and how we perceive the world. For example, I found out that my INTP friend doesn’t place much importance on different emotions but instead clumps them into either ‘white’ or ‘black, or happy and sad emotions. While I on the other hand see emotions the same way a painter sees colour: as a pallette of expressions that all have a distinct identity and application, even though they are just different shades of the same colours. I assume this was a result of my dominant feeling function compared to my friends dominant thinking function.

    Anyway back to the synchronicity; I stumbled upon this post by accident and I literally just finished writing a post on the exact same thing before I saw this. Also, you and I both share the same personality type, even though only 1% of the population do, that is also a big coincidence. If you want you can check out the post I just posted here: http://endofthegame.net/2011/10/11/i-would-like-to-introduce-you-to-yourself/

  7. I enjoyed this and , of course, couldn’t resist taking the personality test. Apparently I’m a ENFP whatever that indicates. I keep saying I should visit your blog because you are always so helpful and balenced on the forums so here I am. I will add you to my Blogroll if I can, to remind myself to keep visiting.

  8. Nice tips! :D I checked the link for the personality test but it doesn’t seem to work. Maybe it has something to do with my browser. Gonna reload it later.

  9. Well, my personality type does match coincidentally with the type of paid jobs/career I’ve had. INTP …but I am crappy in scientific subjects! That definitely is not my strength, but certain theoretical subjects, yes. True I am analytical in an intuitive way that doesn’t have to follow a step by step fashion. Just a leap of faith and trust in my abilities at times.

    However…when I write it depends who the audience is for. Does it reflect me? Well, the blog writing that probably reflects best of me in the clearest way is writing for Tourism Vancouver’s blog. I keep posts shorter and simple in sentence structure. So probably my enthusiasm on subject matter leaps out more immediately.

    Some blog posts do reflect my passion accurately. Others are quite muted and more analytic. Maybe all this combined together in 1 blog is different facets of self.

    For certain I just dislike ranting and frothing at the mouth on a blog. For certain my writing would fall down.

    • Hi Jean,
      It’s so interesting how many introverted friends I have made online. I read the INTP description. I also read your analysis above and smiled as I did. We have some common traits.

      We can read 80% of what others are thinking by reading body language. It’s an instant feedback situation when our audience is known to us and in a face-to-face setting. We are speaking to an audience and reading that audience and adjusting our “voice” as we speak.

      As bloggers we begin by visualizing a target audience that we hope to attract. Communicating with an audience through a blog produces about 1 comment for every 700 – 800 visitors. Time passes and we become mindful that the regular readers who do comment are an integral core of the audience we write for.

      What you said about facets of the self being reflected in the blog resonated.

  10. Another well written and fascinating topic to explore.
    I have done the M-B’s test several times, curious as to how a different mood might influence the outcome but always the result is the same – INFJ.
    How this influences my blogging? Honestly, I am not sure. Some people who know me tell me they hear my voice in what I write, others tell me it doesn’t sound like me at all!
    I am acutely aware that I hold back much that is “me” from my blogging and there are times when I would love to cut loose and let it all out. Yet at the same time, it has given me a voice.
    How this influences my writing, when not blogging? A great deal I suspect. So much more I could say on this TiTi but you are in luck – I am being rushed to move along!

    • Hi Patti,
      Aha so you are an INFJ too. I can identify with what you say above about blogging giving you a voice, as that has been my experience. I hear me in both of my blogs but what Jean said comes to mind. I hear only facets of me in my blogs. There are many subjects I discuss offline that I don’t discuss online and I like it that way. :)

  11. Very, VERY interesting! I took the test and wondered how the questions would be able to nail my personality or writing style and it did….I liked this one! It turns out that my blog may be just right for me….who knew?! (incase you’re wondering, I’m an ISFJ)

    Your sites are looking WONDERFUL! I’m sorry I didn’t say anything earlier!

    • Hi Ann,
      I think your personality shines in your writing in your blog. You have a genuinely sympathetic approach to dealing with yourself and everyone else and you are positively focused. You draw upon personal experience when writing your posts. As well as being informative your posts are personal and your photos are excellent. ISFJ

      P.S. Thanks so much for the compliments on my theme changes.

  12. Hi,

    I was looking for a contact form but you don’t have one. I just wanted to say Hi, and that I really like the look of your site now. You always change it up, and always for the better. Very cool right now. Love those graphics in the header.

    Well that’s all i wanted to say.

    Cheers,
    John

    • Hi John,
      I removed my email address and contact form because I answer support questions in the WordPress.com forums, and I was flooded with support requests here in my blog. I will comment on your blog so you have my email address after I finish this comment.

      Thanks for the feedback on the theme change and header images. I change headers frequently. I have a Resouces page with 70 sources of free images on it. I went surfing the interent last week and focused on free wallpaper sites and that’s where found these free images that I’m using in my header.

  13. That was very interesting. I took the test and found it matched what I would have assumed about myself, and the career suggestions actually listed my career. I fit somewhere! Amazing. Here I thought I was unique. Now that I know I’m just another shmoe, I don’t feel any different. Wait, let me check. Nope, still the same sarcastic twit. As for writing style, man, I’m all over the place there. But I suppose that’s partly because I was trained to develop multiple styles and use them consistently, so I have many of them. It all depends on the audience I’m writing for. I mean, I don’t create technical manuals that sound anywhere near what I put in my novels, and my blog is just raw spewage and life overflow.

    Anyway, thanks for the interesting article. This may be the most fun I have all day. I hope not, but it’s possible.

    • Hi writerdood,
      Thanks for letting me know you liked this post. Like you I can adopt different writing styles. In person I’m more interested in discussing ideas and concepts than anything that could be labeled as small talk. I can be extremely sarcastic and hard-nosed but I’m focusing on developing other character traits at present. :)

      Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people. I think most people who knew me when I was young thought I was an extrovert. I have never been shy. I have always been an introvert, but as I am eldest of many children in a large family, and as my mother was ill, I had many “adult” responsibilities as a young person, so I functioned as an ambivert. Ambiversion is a balance of extrovert and introvert characteristics. Most people (about 68% of the population) are considered to be ambiverts.

      About 60% of all “gifted” people are actually introverts. I’m a INFJ as I posted above. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type http://typelogic.com/infj.html, making it the most rare of all the types.

      Myers Briggs Personality Type is based on 4 preferences
      Where, primarily, do you prefer to direct your energy?
      How do you prefer to process information?
      How do you prefer to make decisions?
      How do you prefer to organize your life?

      In case you are interested here’s the Myers-Briggs typology test link. http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

      I have blogged about being an INFJ in my personal blog too. All Loners Aren’t Social Misfits http://thistimethisspace.com/2007/08/08/all-loners-arent-social-misfits/

      I too hope you have more fun than taking personality tests today. For me that means getting outside and away from this keyboard. ;)

          • Hello there,
            The fact you were able to ascertain which personality type your kids were into before they took the test is interesting. My Beloved won’t take the test but I can take a wild guess based on over 30 years of intimacy. He’s an extrovert for sure. :)

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