Why do you write (or do anything)? Quiz yourself.

This personality quiz by Anne Dranitsaris blew my mind.  If you’d asked me what motivated me, I would have said, “Well, I’m a doctor.  I like helping people.  But I’m really an artist.  Praise and prestige are nice, but I really love to create.”

I did the quiz first in O Magazine, then the slightly longer one online.  I came up as a leader-artist-performer on the first try, a leader-adventurer-performer on the second.

Dead last, both times?  Supporter, the born helper type.

Of course, it depends how you define these categories.  I like to help people, but not by putting myself second.  No, thanks.  And I’m an artist, but not the kind who shows up drunk at diners, screaming Shakespearean quotes–or, by contrast, the kind who wastes away in a garret.

Honestly, this quiz slapped me in the face and made me think about why I write.  I would have said pure creation.  Now I see that I like recognition, which is why I always send my work out to market.  I like to lead, which is why I blog and give writing advice.

But I feel very humbled by this quiz, too.  If I’m addicted to praise (performer), I won’t feel secure in the value of my own work, regardless of what the market has to say.  On the other hand, being a leader and a performer means I’m motivated by groups, which is good to know.

My husband, whom I correctly predicted was an intellectual-stabilizer type, wasn’t surprised by my results.  “Centre of attention?  That’s you.”

Yikes.  Not exactly the pure artiste I imagined myself.  Anyway, try it out.  See what it says about you.   I’d love to hear about it.  As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

My own results, in descending order.

leader (36)

adventurer (34)

performer (33)

socializer (32)

artist (29)

intellectual (27)

stabilizer (26)

supporter (21)