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Personality & Pacemaker: Type Three- The Achiever/Performer

Welcome back to our Personality & Pacemaker series where we explore the ways that personality may affect the writing process. We recently looked at the generous, self-sacrificing, but sometimes manipulative- Enneagram Type Two: The Helper/Giver. If you’d like to join us as we continue on this amazing journey and get to know yourself a little better along the way, feel free to take the Enneagram personality test! Once you know what your personality type is, let us know how you use Pacemaker and how you think your personality influences your Pacemakerplan customizations! Let’s jump in!

Your Personality- Type 3- The Achiever/Performer

Charm, confidence, ambition- Type Threes never leave home without them! People with Enneagram Type Three personality types are called Achievers/Performers because they are extremely image-conscious and very concerned with the impressions that others have of them. This ‘look-at-me’ impulse isn’t an empty promise, however, as Type Threes indeed are a dazzling sight to behold. Extremely charming and dynamic people, Type Threes are able to transform into whatever version of themselves is needed in any given situation. They so perfect the art of the charm offensive, and turn it on so seamlessly, that those looking on are left bedazzled, in awe and envious!

They do not believe in unfulfilled potential so they invest time and energy into carefully curating a self-image which reflects whatever their own definition of success dictates that should be. As the Enneagram Institute puts it,

Threes want to make sure their lives are a success, however that is defined by their family, their culture, and their social sphere. In some families, success means having a lot of money, a grand house, a new, expensive car, and other status symbols. Others value ideas, and success to them means distinguishing oneself in academic or scientific worlds. Success in other circles might mean becoming famous as an actor, or model, or writer, or as a public figure of some kind, perhaps as a politician. A religious family might encourage a child to become a minister, priest, or rabbi since these professions have status in their community and in the eyes of the family. No matter how success is defined, Threes will try to become somebody noteworthy in their family and their community. They will not be a “nobody.”

Beneath this desire to be the best all the time, though, is a fear that without constantly achieving and performing, without being admired by and impressing people, they will be seen as, and feel, worthless. So, importantly, their achieving is very much an effort to gain a sense of worth and value, and not an attempt to gain material possessions or power.

When healthy, Type Threes can inspire others towards productivity with their can-do attitude, and encourage others not to settle for less than the ideal. They’ll encourage you to dream big, set goals and not stop until you achieve them. They are pragmatic and willing participants in the work it takes to realize big dreams. They are popular and superlative individuals, often voted ‘most likely to succeed in…’, ‘most likely to become…’ and ‘most likely to do…’, BIG things!

When unhealthy, they can become competitive, vain and self-seeking, even throwing others under the bus in order to achieve their own goals. They can become so consumed with image that they become inauthentic and insincere, stuck in the ‘fake it’ phase of ‘fake it ’til you make it’.

As Peter O’Hanrahan of The Enneagram at Work says, “Their challenge is to take the time to listen to others, build good relationships, and develop more long term strategy. They need to watch out for personal burnout due to “workaholism.””

How it may be affecting your writing process

Type Threes are not afraid to pour enormous amounts of energy into amassing degrees, promotions, credentials, experiences, assets- whatever aligns with their definition of success- in order to feel like they look the part. So, if completing writing goals is part of their definition of success, it’s more likely than not that those goals will be smashed! They may overload their schedules with writing time, and so need to guard against overwork which could lead to burnout.

Unsurprisingly, you find that Type Threes are incredibly industrious, productive people, who keep busy schedules. They are dedicated in their pursuit of their success and committed to self-improvement and advancement. Again, not surprisingly, many Type Threes can become workaholics, pushing aside anything that gets in the way- including people, to make room for more action towards achieving their goals.

The question for Type Threes therefore becomes, how much, and who, are they willing to sacrifice to achieve those goals as spectacularly as they may want?

Pacemaker can help!

Pacemaker gives users the ability to control the intensity of their plans – a feature we believe Type Threes would really enjoy. While they may gravitate towards the Biting the Bullet strategy preset as it allows them to ride the high of that new-goal energy and get a lot done up front, Pacemaker provides many opportunities to keep the intensity going no matter the Strategy preset selected. Meanwhile, multiple visualizations of the same plan can help them better budget their energy across all their plans, and increase the likelihood that they’ll avoid burnout.

Type Threes are master multitaskers! Pacemaker’s Unified Calendar, where they can colour code each plan and checklist they create, can help them stay on top of the many plans they’ll have going at once, and Projects will help them group like plans together and track stats in one place, to stay even more organized and on top of things.

Because Type Threes do some of their best work under performance pressure, those with Premium subscriptions or access to the Challenges feature might particularly enjoy being able to get a group of their peers or strangers together in one place, you know, so that they can crush the competition!

And lastly, as is the case with Type Twos, our Type Three friends crave being recognized for what they do. So we think they’ll love our confetti canons that explode in a burst of sheer jubilation when progress is logged or a goal is reached. It’s our little way of reminding our Type Three users that progress is just as important as achievement, and that they’re worth celebrating every step along the way!

Next, we will dive into the personality and possible Pacemaker experience of the Enneagram Type Four: The Individualist/Romantic. If you’d like to join us on this journey but don’t know what your personality type is, take the test! There are tons of places online where the test can be taken for free, 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!

Team Plotters- Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament Winners!


In a spectacular tour de force, Team Plotters wrote their way to Pacemaker NaNoWrimo Tournament victory! Congratulations are in order for the 33 Plotters who won NaNoWriMo by hitting their 50k targets, and in many cases flying over them!! Your profiles will be pinned with a golden Novel badge!

Congrats are also in order for each member of Team Plotters! Every single one of your words contributed to the massive final word count of over 2 MILLION words! Each Team member, therefore,  will be pinned with the Plotter badge for being on the Team with the higher overall word count, and most NaNo winners!

Although your Team did not start out ahead, and despite continuously having fewer team members, you hit your stride around week 3, after which you were unstoppable! You really exemplified the old adage, it’s not how you start that matters, it’s how you finish! And boy did you finish strong!

Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament Plotter Stats.png

Honourable mention is made to Team Pantsers which held the lead for quite a while but alas, could not sustain it to the end. You started out strong, consistently had more team members but, despite ending with impressive stats all around, couldn’t regain your lead over the Plotters. For your outstanding effort, each member of Team Pantsers will be pinned with the dark blue Pantser badge for participation!

Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament Pantser Stats.png

I don’t know if you can tell but at Pacemaker, we LOVE Tournaments and Group Challenges! It’s such a splended way to get to know a particular writing community, and the energy and fraternity which erupt around challenges like NaNo are palpable and contagious! We want to thank each of our Tournament participants for giving us the opportunity to host this Challenge and to jog alongside you, encouraging you, as you ran this race! NaNoWriMo is over, but a new work has just begun! You’ve got a substantial amount of words towards a new project. Follow through, keep refining it and who knows, you could someday look back on NaNoWriMo 2016 and think to yourself, “That’s when I started writing the greatest story ever written!”

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Oh, and don’t forget! You can keep the NaNoWriMo spirit going by creating a Challenge group of your very own with a Pacemaker Challenges Subscription!

New to Pacemaker Challenges- Discussion Boards!

We’re so happy to introduce the newest member of the Pacemaker family- discussion boards! Now, as part of our paid subscription based Challenges feature, not only will you be able to create interesting Challenges for your writing groups/classrooms, but you’ll have a space where participants can talk to each other! This has been a highly requested feature and something we’ve been very eager to put to beta. It’s pretty much version 1 right now- a very simple prototype of what users have asked for, so do be gentle with us if you find some bugs here or there :).

We’re always looking at how you, our beloved users, use the Pacemaker features, and orient our updates in the direction of those which are most popular and valued. So if you love the idea of a social feature, use it! You’ll likely see it develop into something much more sophisticated and intuitive!

Now’s a good time to stop by our NaNoWriMo Tournament and drop a note. Let us know you won NaNoWriMo, or that you didn’t quite get your writing project off its feet this year. Encourage someone who is almost there to make that final push! Tell us how much you’re looking forward to Christmas or how much you’re looking forward to Christmas being over! Just say something!

We want to make a more social Pacemaker; we hope this is a step in the right direction!


Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament- Plotters vs Pantsers

We’re one week into NaNoWriMo and the Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament!

Now, we could’ve been nice and created an Open Pacemaker Challenge Group where we encourage participants to compete only against themselves. INSTEAD, we decided to start a bit of a fire… and then fan the flame!

We’re pitting Plotters against Pantsers to see who’ll come out on top!


Each member of the Team with the higher total word count at the end of NaNoWriMo gets a delightful new pin to proudly display on his/her profile.

( See what we did there? 🙂 )

Over the past seven days each Team has enjoyed a few moments in the top spot.

Surprisingly (at least to us) there have always been more Pantsers than Plotters BUT, the Plotters seem to be producing more words per person than the Pantsers on average. We have a sneaky suspicion that the Pantsers are playing a bit of a numbers game BUT only time will tell, it’s still very much anybody’s game!

SO! Are you a Plotter- meticulously planning out the details of your novel pre-NaNoWriMo so that you hit the ground running, map in hand, November 1st? Or are you a Pantser, literally flying into NaNoWriMo by the seat of your pants, no plan, just a wing and prayer?

Whichever way, there’s a place for you in the Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament! There’s still plenty of time to join. Pick a side and make your word count, count!



Let’s talk about Writing Challenges!

We’ve got good news, and better news!

Despite the isolating process writing can be, writers have found ways to build deeply rooted communities around that common experience. One such way is through creating and participating in writing challenges!

We are particularly intrigued by the following ‘enigma’:

  • Writing is solitary- it requires a certain detachment and aloneness


  • Writers are sociable- seeking out and forming strong communities based on a passion for writing, a tortured understanding of the process and respect for each writer’s personal space and process.

To me, it feels a lot like dinner with friends- a group gathers somewhere for dinner and though each is eating his/her own dish, they are still eating together. Periodically (though not too often in our family) someone is so moved by what’s on their plate that they reach a filled fork out, or invite an unfilled fork in to their dish, for a sample. But eventually, each goes back to eating and savouring his/her own meal.

Writing challenges prove that you can write alone, together!

So, the good news is that there are TONS of writing challenges from which you can choose and an abundance of writing communities you can join. NaNoWriMo is perhaps the most widely known writing challenge out there, but we’ve come across so many others, some of which we’ll list here for your viewing pleasure:

The better news is that if you don’t find something that tickles your fancy, you can create a  Challenge of your very own with Pacemaker’s newest premium feature- Challenges!


The Challenge Subscriptions allow users to create groups which take on writing tasks together. As the challenge creator, you can set rules and goals for the group, and each participant in a challenge will be able to browse the schedules and progress of others in the challenge, and track stats across the entire group.

You may all be working towards the same goal, or you may want to achieve your own separate goals over a common period of time. You might also split your group right down the middle and have (for the sake of argument) Team Android vs Team iOS racing for writing dominance in a match to see who reaches a certain word count first! Hey, you might even have a one day write-a-thon which works sort of like a fundraiser where everyone’s individual writing progress contributes to the overall goal. You can do all these and more with Pacemaker Challenges!


Pacemaker Challenge groups can provide motivation, support, accountability and a bit of gaming fun to your writing! It’s ideal for teachers, writing centers, NaNoWriMo regional groups and anyone else who wants to add a sense of community and a bit of excitement to their writing. We hope you’ll try it today!