Which of these 4 creative styles are you?

July 31, 2019

Hitting a wall of writer’s block is nothing a writer wishes for. But maybe if we knew what creative style we were, we could all say goodbye to stunted progress and hello to a completed manuscript.


In her blog “Writer’s Block Is a Gift. Here’s Why,” writer Julia Roberts (no, not the movie star) elaborates that experiencing a drought of creative can actually be a positive thing. Because by pinpointing where we get our creative juice and identifying where we get stuck, we’ll be able to overcome that blockade and finish our writing.

Writer’s block is nothing more than a drain of energy when you come to a certain part of the process, and we all have natural ebbs and flows of energy as we move a project through its paces. So, think back. What part of your project were you on when you felt stymied?

Here are four possibilities, each tagged with a creative thinking style that we’ll discuss. Does one of these forms of writer’s block describe you?

  • Maybe you love the research and inquiry phase, but get stuck when it’s time to write. (Clarifier)
  • Maybe you have so many ideas, it’s hard to determine which idea is best for you. (Ideator)
  • Maybe you can’t let it go; it needs a little more polishing. (Developer)
  • Maybe you dash it off but later find sloppiness and errors in it, after getting it out into the world. (Implementer)

…When you have a strong propensity for one phase of creativity—clarify, ideate, develop, or implement—you often lose energy and even obstruct creative progress in another phase.”

So which of these four do you identify with the most? Are you a Clarifier who likes to get it right, an Ideator who likes ideas and the possibilities, a Developer who likes to get it perfect, or an Implementer who likes to get it done?

Once you are able to identify your creative style, you can better identify which style you’re definitely not. I, personally, am a an Ideator and am far, far, far off from a Clarifier. (Seriously, you should look at how many “book ideas” I have filed away, then look at how many books I’ve actually written–zero.) But Roberts gives me hope that I can hurdle over my own personal blockage and get my ideas written down.

Consider how, armed with self-knowledge, you might be able to eradicate, prevent, prepare for, and survive writer’s block with your project intact.”

So good luck on your writing journey, and I hope you never feel discouraged from another episode of writer’s block every again!

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