What kind of creative are you?

What kind of creative type are you?

Chances are, you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test to see which of the fun acronyms best describes your personality.

Are you a quiet, serious ISTJ? An outspoken, fast-paced ENTP? Or maybe an ambitious, idealist INFP? (That’s me!) Your personality type has a lot to do with your creativity—how it’s inspired, fostered, carried out and even suppressed. Some people think they’re not creative because they’re terrible drawers or don’t like writing, but each of the 16 personalities has qualities that are linked to creativity.

That said, I’m a writer, and to harness my creativity to be more productive, efficient and, ultimately, satisfied, it’s important to understand just what kind of a creative I am—what motivates, inspires and helps me to get the creative juices flowing.

Why? As an INFP, I tend to get a little… distracted. I occasionally suffer from what’s known as Shiny Object Syndrome (“S.O.S.” for short, appropriately), often getting excited about multiple ideas with the best of intentions and never seeing them through.

Maybe you have the same problem, or another problem that’s holding your creativity back. In any case, here are some questions to ask yourself to help narrow down what makes you tick and what gets you off track (and if you haven’t already taken the Myers-Briggs personality test, you can take it here):

  • What is the intention behind your creativity? Doing good in the world? Living an authentic and purposeful life? Expressing yourself in a way others will appreciate and relate to?
  • What motivates you? Money? Recognition and acknowledgement? Achievement (whether it involves money and recognition or not)?
  • What kind of environment inspires you? Do you prefer to be home surrounded by familiar and comfortable things? Or out exploring nature? Or surrounded by people in a social environment?

 

The answers to these questions might seem simple, but they’re key to setting the foundation for understanding your purpose and needs for being creative. Thinking about what energizes you and what you see in the big picture can help you get clear on how you best operate. (It often helps me to write these things down on paper—something I turn to when I’m losing creative steam on the computer.) And it’s not a crime if money is a motivating factor—creative types need to make money too, and working on a rewards system is one of many effective ways to get things done.

When you’ve answered these questions, look to your personality type for more clues about your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re anything like me, you might struggle with time management, being decisive and avoiding burnout. Or maybe you have a hard time being flexible, taking criticism or are over-analytical. Rather than beating yourself up for your downfalls, get into problem-solving mode and cater to your strengths. An app I recently discovered called Commit is great for keeping you accountable for goals you set. And as I begin my second semester of grad school, I’ve begun mapping out a routine and schedule for work and play (this blog falls somewhere in between!) to keep me on track.

So I’d like to know: What kind of creative are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses, and how do you embrace them?