Tag Archives: Edith Wharton

The Perfect Novel for My Personality … and Yours!

29 Jul
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Obsessed with Buzzfeed quizzes, I of course find Myers-Briggs types fascinating. Perhaps as a memoirist I’m always on the quest to know myself better. Or maybe it’s because I’m Greek. Wasn’t it Socrates who said, “Know thyself”? At times, the Myers-Briggs test seems to know me better than I know myself. It narrows in on aspects of my personality that I haven’t thought about before even though they’re true.
Maybe that’s because I’m an ISTJ, and “The ISTJ is not naturally in tune with their own feelings.” ISTJ means Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging, or “Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Thinking.” ISTJs are quiet, reserved, loyal, dependable, keep in line with the law, and like tradition. You can read the breakdown here.
When I came across Flavorwire recently published “A Classic Book for Every Myers-Briggs Personality Type,” I was curious what novel would be paired with my personality type. Would it be one of my favorites? Would it be something that resonated with me on a soul level?
Would it be Jack Kerouac’s On the Road?
Saul Bellow’s The Dangling Man?
Maybe Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way?
Perhaps Nikos Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ?
According to Flavorwire, the novel that best suits me is…
ISTJ: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
With interest in traditions and loyalty, and an ability to make a huge impact despite being quiet, ISTJs will appreciate Wharton’s masterpiece of manners.
I actually do love Edit Wharton’s writing. I even have a Pinterest board devoted to a make-believe puppy I created named after one of her characters.
The part about my supposed “interest in traditions” is interesting though, particularly when it comes to my reading habits. I do like tradition. I was the kid in the family who always insisted we HAD to have Christmas at our house and do it a certain way because it was tradition. But, I think sometimes we read to escape ourselves, to stretch ourselves, to live out in our imaginations the parts of our personalities that we are too rule-abiding, too anxious, too conformist to live out in our actual lives.
What personality type are you? Do you find it to be an accurate portrayal of yourself? What book would you pick for your personality?
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Writing Wednesday: Writing Mentors

16 Mar

I need a writing mentor, I more or less said in a post in January.  I have to admit, though, I felt a little awkward saying it.  Needing a mentor implies the need for help.  And who likes to admit they need help?

Well, it turns out, some of the best authors around have had writing mentors.  Flavorwire posted a great little montage called “A History of Famous Literary Mentorships.”

It featured literary mentoring between such notables as Henry James and Edith Wharton and Joyce Carol Oates and Jonathan Safran Foer.  I would’ve added Allen Ginsberg to the list.  He was constantly running around to different publishers, championing his friends’ works.

I currently have a publishing mentor.  It’s been great bouncing thoughts off her and hearing about her experience.  I also mentor someone, which has been really fun.

While I consider all my workshop instructors and classmates my writing mentors, I’m still seeking someone who can be a one-on-one mentor.  It would be so helpful to get an outside, experienced viewpoint on both my writing and my writing career.

I wonder if my writing would be different if I had a mentor.