Facebook Pixel

January 31, 2008

Character Traits of a Writer

Thirteen Writer Traits

This week fellow author Christine d’Abo mentioned The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein. It contains all sorts of neat information and inspired by Christine’s post, I dragged it out of my bookcase.

In her book the author mentions traits of writers. Here are some of them:

1. Creates in order to heal old wounds in themselves.

2. Creative thinkers.

3. Sensitive.

4. Often drink alcohol, especially after forty.

5. Depression in younger writers.

6. Problems with anxiety and drug use.

7. Has to tolerate aloneness.

8. Has to let go of work.

9. Families with mental illness and creativity.

10. Higher rates of bisexuality or homosexuality. (there’s a note about a study done for this one)

11. Abstract thinkers.

12. Fear mediocrity.

13. Disregard routine problems.

As a writer I plain disagree with some of these, although it’s good to know I don’t need to feel guilty about drinking wine anymore. I think writers are articulate, imaginative, driven, fear rejection, respond well to chocolate, have great imaginations, are determined, hardworking, good procrastinators (at times) and can suffer from bottom spread.

I’m sure I’ve missed quite a few. What qualities do you think writers have?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants


  1. Susan Helene Gottfried

    I like your list a lot ’cause that one you pulled from the book does NOT explain me in the least.

    Oh, you forgot phone-a-phobic. I’m definitely that.

  2. Jennifer Shirk

    Hmmm.. other traits… Daydreamer? Lover of caffeine and chocolate? LOL!

  3. Amy Ruttan

    Well I’m not bisexual nor do I disregard routine. I CRAVE it.

    I don’t drink a lot alcohol but Diet Coke. OH yeah when I’m cranking out the words I can drink a liter and not even know it.

    Seriously I know it’s bad but I only do it when I’m writing.

    Btw I lurve that book. I’ve been highlighting it and marking it. OH I love it. :grin:

  4. Tempest Knight

    Man, I gotta get that book now! :smile:

  5. Lyrical Press, Inc.

    Very interesting.

    I totally agree with #1. That’s the sort of writer I am. Doing that, using my books to express my pain ans hold in wound, I’ve found was very self-destructive for me.


  6. Alice Audrey

    Hmmm… I resembe 3 out of 13. Does that mean I’m not a writer?

  7. julia

    Hmm – rather fascinating. #1 is a revelation to me, though it shouldn’t be, and it explains much about myself. I relate to: creative, sensitive, anxiety, a family with a history of both mental illness and creativity, a definite fear of mediocrity! As for disregarding routine problems, if you mean do I think only of my fictional world and hardly look up to kick away the dust bunnies – guilty as charged.

  8. Karen Erickson

    Ok the suffer from bottom spread cracked me up! I don’t agree w/ some of those either but I have enjoyed that book. Just bought it last week thanks to Christine. :grin:

  9. Amy Ruttan

    I missed that bottom spread part! LOL!!!

    Ya that’s true, I’ve been fighting the tide for years. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :lol: :lol:

  10. Jennifer Bianco

    Very interesting list, even if I don’t see myself on it. ;) Can’t speak of the family’s mentality, lol, but I do relate with Susan’s phobia. I HATE talking on the phone. :)

  11. Shelley Munro

    Susan – I’m not good on the phone either. Horrible instruments!

    Jennifer S – how could I forget coffee? This writer MUST have coffee every day.

    Karen/Amy – yes, the dreaded bottom spread. I’ve found cycling helps. The size of the bottom doesn’t change but it is firmer :mrgreen:

  12. Amy Gallow

    It would seem that I’ve been fooling myself.
    Both lists fit only where they touch and the bottom spread is inappropriate.
    Curiosity initiates my ideas and logic develops them, along with experience and research.
    I’ve dealt with old wounds years ago, either by facing them or consigning them to my list of valuable experiences.
    I drink less now than I ever did and had no time to be depressed in my youth.
    I’ve seen enough mediocrity to pity it, but have no personal experience of it. (I was dux of my last secondary school and rose to the top of my profession)
    Ah well…I guess I’ll just have to be satisfied with a personal delusion that I am a writer?

  13. Shelley

    LOL – Amy G. We learn something every day :grin:

  14. Gwen Hayes

    Yeah…thing is…I’m not that deep.
    Really, I’m no Hemingway and none of those fit. I write the stories I want to read, I think. That’s about it.

  15. pussreboots

    LOL. I’m too boring, happy and straight laced to be a writer i if that list is to be believed. :mrgreen:

    Happy TT.

  16. Jennifer McKenzie

    Often drink alcohol, especially after forty.
    Oh man. This one kind of hurt.

  17. Debbie Mumford

    Man. I must not be a writer. I SO missed the boat on almost all of these (for which I’m very grateful in many instances…)

  18. Adelle Laudan

    I don’t think I fit into any of these. Interesting list. Happy T13!

  19. Nicole Austin

    Hmm…interesting list. I rarely drink or suffer from depression, anxiety or drug use. There’s no mental illness in my family. I’m not bi or homosexual. Looks like I need to do more to fit in. LOL!

  20. Shelley Munro

    Jennifer, Debbie, Adelle – I don’t fit into most of them either, for which I’m truly grateful!

    Nicole – yep, it’s official. None of us are writers :grin:

  21. Gabriele

    Lol, I drank alcohol long before I was 40. :mrgreen:

    You know what I hate about computer viruses and starting from a fresh slate? That all my log in memories to blog comments have disappeared. :sad:

  22. Christine d'Abo

    Fantastic list! I hate to say it but I do have some of these traits. No way will I admit to which ones LOL. :mrgreen:

  23. Gwen Mitchell

    Actually, quite a few of those aren’t too far off. :eek: