Let’s Talk About Your Enneagram Personality Type & Pacemaker!

Who we are affects our writing just as much as what we do.

Although personality is not the be all and end all of our writing, it is a powerful contributing factor to our process , that is, the way we approach writing and perhaps even which pieces/genres themselves we’re more likely to produce.

Process not Success

It is important to note that while personality can affect our writing process, it, emphatically, does not determine our success. Success is made up of so much more than our base programming. It is the product of discipline, opportunity and sometimes even coincidence! When it comes to success, we are so, so much more than our personalities!

So while personality does not determine success, it often influences the path we take to get there.

The Enneagram

Enter the Enneagram! Have you heard of it? We have and it’s driving us wild with speculation!

According to the Enneagram Institute, the Enneagram is “one of the most powerful and insightful tools for understanding ourselves and others. At its core, the Enneagram helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self-knowledge.”

The Enneagram system suggests that our personality as a whole is itself a product of nature and nurture- genetics and the environmental factors that shaped us during childhood. It consists of 9 types most commonly referred to as:

Type 1: the Reformer

Type 2: the Helper

Type 3: the Achiever

Type 4: the Individualist

Type 5: the Observer

Type 6: the Loyalist

Type 7: the Enthusiast

Type 8: the Challenger

Type 9: the Peacemaker

Generally speaking:

Type Ones are principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.

Type Twos are generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.

Type Threes are adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.

Type Fours are expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.

Type Fives are perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.

Type Sixes are engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.

Type Sevens are spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered.

Type Eights are self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational

Type Nines are receptive, reassuring, complacent, and resigned.

Beneath these very general descriptions lie rich and complex anthologies of motivations, fears and longings which influence every aspect of the person’s life.

In fact, we bet that we could probably predict which types of Pacemaker plans each type would likely create and follow e.g., achievement oriented, excelling and image-conscious Type Threes might create Pacemakerplans which are high intensity and unforgiving as they don’t just love reaching goals, but prefer to SMASH them! Methodical, principled, perfectionistic Type Ones might opt for a more steady pace for their Pacemakerplans, with many customizations for daily work load and intensity, because they love planning and details and care that the method they choose is not unnecessarily hasty or reckless, and gives them enough time to comfortably hit their goals. Cautious, anxious, responsible Type Sixes will definitely schedule some buffer time at the end of their plans, ‘just in case’ and, ‘just to be safe’, they may likely choose to Bite the Bullet and do more at the start, as anxiety might propel them to do more now because ‘you never know what could happen later’! They’re all about being prepared!

Cerebral, secretive and isolated Type Fives are all about energy conservation- that is conserving their energy and constantly redirecting it from physical demands of people and place, toward the more mental acts of acquiring knowledge. So Pacemakerplans for these types will leave plenty of room for research and exploration into the topic at hand which may ultimately leave less room for the actual writing! Generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing Type Twos on the other hand, are all about people and would willingly and eagerly sacrifice their own agendas to help others at the drop of a hat. So while they may have the best intentions of hitting all their goals in a steady manner, they may end up missing deadlines and constantly reworking plans to keep up with all the life that keeps happening! Expressive, self-absorbed, artistic Type Fours need planning that will accommodate their creativity, not restrict it. They may use notes and definitely color-code all of their plans, with each plan having a color that perfectly matches the essence of the particular work. We can also see people of this type opting for the Graph display for their progress instead of the more rigid Table or Calendar or even Bar Graph options as the Line Graph shows movement and isn’t as academic feeling as the others.

Conflict-avoidant, easy-going, complacent Type Nines can struggle with finding the motivation and energy to get stuff done. They are very much go-with-the-flow people and would probably create Pacemakerplans which bend and contort around other people’s schedules, so as to avoid conflicts in their personal lives, and which would allow them to hit their targets in steady, predictable ways that don’t leave them feeling hurried or overwhelmed. Enthusiastic, spontaneous and sometimes scattered Type Sevens might prefer not to be confined to a plan at all, and may opt to use Pacemaker to simply track their progress as they go along! If they do create a plan, they’ll probably make sure to opt for the display to adapt to their actual progress instead of staying the same, so that their plan becomes less static and more dynamic! Type Eights never back down from a challenge and may just end up getting most of their progress done fairly close to the deadline when the pressure gets high- what feels likes panic to most people, feels invigorating to these folks!

BUT we could be totally wrong! The only way for us to know for sure is if you take the test with us and let us know how your personality affects your writing planning!

We know…

People are generally divided in just how much stock they put into various personality typologies and goodness knows there are many, many such typologies out there. But you don’t have to be a devotee to be open to any insights and motivations gained through their wisdom.

Let’s go!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be diving into the Enneagram, specifically as it relates to the possible effects of our Enneagram personality type on our writing process. But we don’t want you to just be an observer as we go along, we’d love for you to participate as well. So consider taking the test and join us over the next 9 weeks as we dive into the various ways your personality type might be affecting your writing, and how you might use that knowledge to get the most out of your writing- and Pacemaker- experience! Stay tuned!

There are tons of places online where the test can be taken for free, but here’s one we recommend. The key is to be totally honest with your answers. Don’t answer from the perspective of your ideal self, answer truthfully from the perspective of where you are now. Your result should feel eerily accurate and personal!

If you want to just dive into the Types for yourself, you can do so here or here or any of the other thousands of places online where the Enneagram is being shared!

HUGE DISCLAIMER: we are not psychologists or therapists or certified Enneagram Coaches e.t.c., and in no way is anything we write in this series to be taken as medical advice. Any information provided in this series is for informational purposes only!

Halfway through NaNoWriMo… it’s not too late to start!

So it’s November 16, we’ve officially crossed over the halfway mark in NaNoWriMo 2019. Maybe you didn’t feel you were sufficiently prepared for NaNo when it started, or life happened and you had to put your writing on hold, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start now and still hit 50k by November 30th!

Let’s make a deal, if you can find the time, Pacemaker can show you how!

Here, I’ll prove it to you. Here are (just) 5 ways Pacemaker can get you there (fun fact: there are millions of ways to do it… we’ve done the math).

An Oscillating Plan skipping weekends?

How about Biting the Bullet with more on weekends?

Perhaps a Mountain Hike skipping weekends is more your speed?

Or let’s Mountain Hike with more on the weekends!

And who can resist a soft undulating wave?

We know that actually finding/taking/making the time to write is infinitely more challenging than plotting out a way to get there, but what Pacemaker always strives to do is to show you what’s possible, and then encourage you to make it happen!

If you like any one of the plans above, feel free to save it to your account and use it! Let’s take the second half of NaNoWriMo 2019 by storm!

You are not a failure! You might be setting unrealistic writing goals though.

Does this sound like you:

A. “… I tend to push myself a lot to write X amount until I’m a wreck if I don’t reach it. I try to plan but my plans fall apart…. I’m so afraid of missing out that I’ve been taking on more than I can reasonably handle for someone who is writing a full-time book load on a part-time basis.” Santino Hassell

Or how about:

B. “For several weeks I wanted to write 1k a day. I’m a fast writer when it comes to typing speed but quickly realized that I’m not a fast storyteller. Day after day I struggled [to] meet this arbitrary goal I set myself and every time I came up short. I felt unmotivated to keep going. Who wants to keep setting themselves up for failure? I have grad school to contend with, a book review blog, a job, and writing. Those things don’t always fit neatly together and I found that goals can really help or really…not.” Austine Decker

Yea… guilty!

Don’t we all do this though? We overestimate either the amount of time we have available to write OR, we greatly inflate the amount of words we are able to write at any given time. Click To Tweet Then, when we inevitably fail to hit our inflated, unrealistic targets, we lose our confidence and motivation, even start doubting our talent, and whoosh, there go our goals, out the window! 

But what if it were not a question of whether or not you have the talent or interest, or whether or not you are disciplined enough to be productive in your field? And what if the real reason you are not reaching your writing goals is totally within your control to fix?

One of the more frequent pieces of feedback we get from our users, is that Pacemaker helps them set realistic goals. By doing so, they more effectively manage anxiety around impending deadlines and are able to stave off the frustration which can cripple the entire writing process. Our users get to see their project in many different ways (starting out strong and tapering off towards the end, peaking in the middle of their project, writing steadily throughout and more!), then they choose the one which best matches their writing style and availability! In other words, having a realistic and custom Pacemaker Plan motivates our users and helps keep them accountable, which results in them hitting those goals! We believe Pacemaker can do this for you as well!

And we don’t just stop at helping you set realistic goals. We help you adjust to surprise productivity thieves which, let’s be honest, will pop up from time to time! Because Pacemaker helps you create custom writing plans around your real schedule, you get to factor in  lost time so you get a clearer picture of how much real time you actually have to dedicate to your project. So when these things pop up- miss a day here, miss a week there- with a few clicks you can see exactly how much work and time you have left, and conceptualize different ways of getting to the finish line!

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The big take-away here- be honest with yourself about your time and availability. And there’s no need to lie to Pacemaker either, Pacemaker is your friend! If you know that you have work from 9-5, 5 days a week, with 2 hours in the gym on Monday evenings (more power to ya!), and with Saturdays just off the table for whatever reason, you know that realistically you may not be up for having a writing session those days, even though there may be time left on the clock.

Use Pacemaker to create a plan, like we’ve done below,  where you ‘Write Less’ or not at all on Mondays and Saturdays. Then it will show you clearly how that change affects the spread of the word count over the remaining time period. Don’t click Save Plan until you find a permutation that works for you! Think to yourself, “Is this really realistic for me, or does the graph just look pretty?“. Then be kind to yourself- test it out and see if it works for you. If it doesn’t, no problem, tweak it until it does!

A valuable piece of fitness advice I heard years ago in response to the question, “What’s the best exercise a person can do?”, was, “The best exercise a person can do is the one they will do!” I think we can say the same for writing plans. The best one out there for you, is the one that you will actually do. Give it a try and see for yourself. Create your realistic Pacemaker Plan today!

And, oh!  Santino Hassell was able to turn A above into: “Pacemaker… WELL. This program is incredible. I don’t even know how to describe it. …I’ve been using Pacemaker since the beginning of December, and I’ve managed to hit every goal, pace myself without wanting to rip my hair out, and plan a calendar for future projects.”

As for Austine Decker, read her post to learn how she uses Pacemaker to help her set goals and stay on track!

We want to hear and publish your Pacemaker story too! So go on, create your personal Pacemaker Plan!