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Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Results Are In!!!

I will be expounding on these basic results next week, but for now, here's some basic results of the plotting and personality survey (161 responders to date) from last week. By far, the intuiting introverts rule the writing scene!

I wanted to break down the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to see which of the dichotomies (E/I, N/S, T/F, P/J) were greatest.  

82% Introverts
19% Extroverts. 

If you've been to a writer's conference, you might question the validity of this, but writing is generally a solitary occupation/hobby.  

70% Intuitive
31% Sensing

Tells me that most of the writers favor a more abstract or theoretical way of perceiving and gathering information instead of a concrete, tangible way. Intuitive writers who are more likely to trust the flashes of insight percolating in their mind. 

65% Feeling 
36% Thinking 

Indicates more writers prefer to make decisions based on empathy or achieving balance versus making decisions by what seems logical and reasonable.  

27% Perceiving 
74% Judging 

Most writers tend to use their judging functions of thinking/feeling when relating to the outside world.

This graph totally blew my mind. Over 50% of writers are PANTSTERS!! Only 43% identified as Plotters. Far more interesting, though, was that 75% of writers didn't identify as either Pantster or Plotter, but as some mixture of the two. I actually thought this number would be higher, but not that much higher. Only a mere 11% identified as hardcore Plotters, and I thought that number would be much higher. (At least it feels that way!)

I'm going to crunch a few more numbers, hopefully over the weekend, and get to the the interesting figures from the rest of the survey. The above results are absolute, meaning there was no way to mess them up. Some Plotters went and took both the Plotter and Pantster pages of the survey, which skewed the results. (My fault...couldn't figure out how to let Plotters finish the survey after Page 2 instead of it automatically sending them to the Pantster Page 3.) However, it'll still be a fun look into the preferences of Plotters and Pantsters...just take it for what it was intended: a fun diversion.

Q4U: Are these results surprising to you? In what way?


Shakespeare said...

Well, I'm sort of a mixture of pantser and plotter (with a strong leaning towards plotter), but as far as the other stats go, I don't fit very well.

I'm HUGELY introverted (though no one who knows me in person would suspect this), but I score strongly towards INTUITIVE, FEELING, and PERCEIVING. I'm a bit surprised by the Judging tendencies, since writing is so often an open-ended sort of thing.

Miss Sharp said...

Not too surprised re. introversion. I'd imagine most extroverts would hardly prefer being alone in a room for hours (days, weeks, month, years!).

But the plotter vs. panster contest is a little confusing to me. How could there not be elements of both in any writing method?

If you pants, your first draft is your outline.

If you plot, your outline is your first draft.

What am I missing?

Gail Shepherd said...

I'm not surprised by this at all--particularly that most writers are introverts. I'm a proud INFP myself, and I wouldn't change a thing!

Joanne Sher said...

ONE of these days, I'm actually gonna write down what I am after one of these - cuz I ALWAYS forger :::Roll:::. I know I'm an extrovert (Duuuhh - ask ANYONE LOL). Can't remember the others - but no, I'm not surprised.. I KNOW I'm in the minority. Looking forward to more analysis.

Joelle said...

I expected the bigger numbers of introverts and judging types, and found myself surprised by the 70% sensing. Perhaps that's just because I'm a strong intuitive, and maybe that's why I'll never write anything set in the 'real world'!

Glad to see there's not a huge number of strict plotters.

Susanne Dietze said...

Cool post!

I'm a plotter with pantser tendencies-- plotting is harder for me than writing characters, so I have to structure plot in advance or it gets lost.

Shilpa said...

The numbers are pretty interesting. I dont think any one must have attempted this..congratulations!

Addy Rae said...

I'm surprised I lined up with the 'norm' of this survey on everything you presented. (Plotter with pantsing tendencies.)

I'm finally normal at something! :P

Lisa Lickel said...

Is it one of those fear of commitment things? A lot of us plot, but don't want to say definitively that's the bottom line?

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised there aren't more introverts. The writers I know (not very many) are all hermit-type people, myself included. It's such a solitary sport for me. I am definitely a pantser, with plotting tendencies. I wonder how the DSM would define pantser and plotter? It would be fun to speculate.

Miss Sharp said...

There's nothing to be ashamed of, Plotters!! Ah hah hah

Michelle Sutton said...

It was great that you did this and gave us all a pie chart and breakdown of the results. I think it's pretty accurate. The more I mature (as in age) and write, the more introverted I think I get. Most people wouldn't think I'd be an introvert, but give me a book over people and I'll take it. That's just how I'm wired. Anyway, I see a lot of my friends here in this graph and it looks accurate to me. What a fun thing you did to asses personalities of writers. Has this been done before? I'm thinking it looks pretty unique.

Unknown said...

This is so interesting! I'm an INFJ, and we're a very small percentage of the regular population--I've always felt like "the wrong kind" of person in my regular life. But here--there's a ton of us, lol! I'm a plotter with pantser tendencies, mainly because I can't start a story without knowing how it ends--and at some point I have to figure out what the key points are, so that the story makes some kind of sense. And while I first tested as an INFP (right on the J/P line) in college, I think the motherhood and the growing desire to see something finished pushed me over the other way. Thanks for this--and your fascinating site!

Sarah Sundin said...

How interesting! Like "unknown" I'm an INFJ. In school, I was the nerdy dreamer no one understood. In writing circles I belong! Now I know why :)

I'm very interested to see which personality types skew to plotter vs. pantster. I'm a confirmed plotter. I NEED to know where I'm going before I start. Yes, I still get surprised by characters and plot twists (which I go with), but the mapping is vital to my writing.

Anonymous said...

As an INTJ who can think of few I know who are also INTJ's, I was quite surprised by the # of them respresented in this survey. Especially since INTJ's tend mostly to be associated with the sciences or business.

As a follow up to that, if those INTJ's are reading these comments, I'd be curious what the INTJ's specify as the thing they have the most difficulty with in their writing and more specifically, if they feel they struggle much with characterization moreso than they "perceive" others do.

BK Jackson

Sharon A. Lavy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Abigail said...

I'm with Sharon. I LOVED this project, but I'm confused by the discrepancy between your data and the graph. Your reported sensing data was 70% sensing and 30% intuitive, but your graph suggests the opposite.

PS-This is a little off topic, but I'd be curious what your take is on those of us who are borderline on a category (or two). I consistently score 50/50 on the thinking/feeling category. Overall, the INTP description fits me best, but I have the career interests and relating habits of the INFP. Can parental influence affect it? Both of my parents are strong Thinkers...could it be that I'm recovering Feeler who supressed it in favor of developing my Thinking side? :-)

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

special thanks to sharon and abigail for reading the data and trying to crunch the figures with the bar graph there....they didn't match up! i had inverted the N/S and T/F percentages! so not it reads as it should. thanks again, ladies.

(clearly one reason why i did NOT go into statistical research for a career....)

Sharon A. Lavy said...

When I see the percentage of introverts, intuitives, and judgers make up the writing community, it is no wonder when we go to a writers conference it is like coming home.

INJ's make up about 5% of the whole population.

Jennifer K. Hale said...

Fascinating!! And I'm surprised at that plotter number, too. The lowness of it makes me happy! :)

Julia Munroe Martin said...

I'm really not surprised at the concentration of "IN"s -- what I think is interesting is that in the general public, INFJ (my personality type) comprises just 2-3%, one of the rarest types. But for writers? The most common! I guess there's a reason I always feel like a fish out of water w/ most people. Thank goodness for the internet so I can find my peeps!

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