Whether you write romance novels or space operas, self-help or poetry, business advice or kidlit, you have an author persona! Identifying your persona can give you insights into your process, illustrate what inspires you, and help you stay focused on your goals.
Read on to find out about different author personas and those of your writing friends and colleagues. You never know what might speak to you or what might encourage you to take your writing to the next level!
You are a rainy-day romantic! If there’s anything you like more than watching raindrops spatter against your windowpane, it’s writing a beautiful description of raindrops glistening like little opals on glass. Or of tiny seed pearls sewn into the lace of a cuff. Or of how the clink of silver on china sounds like lost hope. Your voice is expressive and poetic, and you write lush, lovely books that transport readers to beautiful places and times while taking their hearts on emotional rollercoasters.
If you’re a rainy-day romantic, you might be a little worried about how often you find yourself lost in your daydreams, but embrace that tendency! It’s part of what feeds your creativity. Try journaling what goes through your mind at idle moments or keep a vision board of beautiful pictures and phrases that inspire you.
Your love of beauty means that when the time comes, getting your book’s cover design just right will be key—and then a video book trailer will let you captivate your readers with a few choice words and images drawn from your active imagination.
Schedules might not work for you, so lean into your writing when the literary muse finds you, and at other times, engage with other aspects of your artistry! Paint, sing in the sunshine, dance in the rain—just create!
You are a coffee-shop connoisseur! Fueled by java and the warm buzz of human connection, you often find there’s nothing like a little overheard conversation to invigorate your writing. You’ve long-since figured out which table is yours: exactly the right amount of workspace, a handy electrical outlet, good natural light, a clear path to the bathroom, and ready access to refills. Your quick mind zings with fresh ideas, some of which come at you faster than you can type—but that’s okay because there are always more where they came from. You love a fast-paced plot (or strong central thesis) and prefer not to get bogged down in flowery descriptions or tangents. Smart, sassy, and to the point—that’s you!
Coffee-shop connoisseurs like you tend to be extroverts (or socially skilled introverts) who thrive on connection and community. Have you thought about getting a writing buddy? Or taking your social media up a notch? (Elite can help you connect to others with our social strategy sessions!) You might be happily surprised by the caffeine-free energy you gain by writing with others!
That’s not to say you shouldn’t spend time alone. Consider making weekly coffee dates with yourself—put them in the calendar and account for the ten bucks in your budget planning. Guilt-free creative time is key for you.
Keep your eye on the prize by dreaming of your amazing launch party. We can see it now—canapes and coffee and champagne on ice! (Please invite us?)
You are a park-bench poet! For you, nature is your muse. Whether it’s the play of sunlight on the gold-green of spring grass or the summer sizzle of a cicada song or the crumpled-paper crunch of fall leaves or the almost-taste of early snow, your writing is infused with and informed by the world around you. Just like the seasons whisper their secrets to you, people’s faces tell you their stories without them saying a word. You don’t mind being part of a crowd, and yet you are always apart—seeing everything, understanding so much, carefully judging what to say and what to save up for your next book.
As an observant park-bench poet, you might find it well worth your time to write yourself a few notes when you’re people-watching. Note their facial expressions, body language, or unusual turns of phrase. If you’re artistically inclined, maybe add a few rough sketches. This is one really rewarding way to infuse your characters with vibrant realism.
Your finely tuned senses and sensibilities mean that it’s crucial to you that you get things right. Don’t fall into the trap of endlessly revising, however! Trust yourself and your instincts, and when you have a finished manuscript, finding the right editing services will ensure your book is top notch.
Getting things down on paper is crucial, but be certain to feed your senses as well. Make sure you spend time outside every week to take in the natural world and your surroundings. And leave your phone in the car or switch it off. There will be time enough to reengage with the bustling world.
You are a sporadic napkin scribbler! Alert, lively, and ready for anything, you write like you live—full speed ahead. You never know when inspiration is going to strike, but in your experience, it’s like lightning—out of the blue, something goes click, and you’ve got to get it all down on paper (any paper) now, now, now! A great present for you would be a tiny reporter’s notebook, but you don’t mind that some of your best ideas are barely legible scrawls on diner napkins. You’re always excited to start the next project, and you love to follow where the unpredictability of your incredible imagination takes you.
If you’re a sporadic napkin scribbler, you likely have little scraps of paper everywhere—your pockets, your desk, your bag. Or maybe you’ve already got a note on your phone labeled “Ideas” or “Inspiration”? If not, that might be something to think about! Or buy yourself a notebook small enough to carry around with you everywhere. No matter what, however, don’t judge yourself for the fertility of your imagination. Embrace the way your creativity blooms—such beautiful things come out of it!
Did you know that there’s a type of editing designed to help writers turn napkin thoughts into full-blown manuscript? Developmental editing is especially useful at the start of a project, when all your ideas are there but perhaps not yet fully connected.
Another thing to consider is setting yourself a time every day to get a little work done. While you’re not naturally inclined to that kind of systemic approach, a writing habit could give you a chance to develop some of your more exciting ideas.
You are a profound planner! You’re a plotter through and through, and you write best when you know exactly what you’re supposed to be covering. You know it’s important for your process to create fully fleshed-out outlines—having that road map makes all your writing time so much more productive. This means your books have an innate sense of cohesion that makes them easy to read and follow. Your readers value you for your intelligent observations, your clear way of expressing yourself, and the respect you show them by not overexplaining yourself.
Oh, to be a profound planner! If this is you, you are likely clever, organized, and very intentional. Your knack for seeing the big picture is complemented by your ability to break it down into logical pieces, and that is a rare combination of talents.
Remember to cut yourself some slack when you need it! Rest is necessary for your creativity, and giving yourself grace at those moments is one of the best ways you can plan for your long and fruitful career.
Also, if you love plotting, don’t let anyone tell you that pantsing is better—it’s just a different approach. That said, it might be an interesting challenge to make yourself just sit down and start writing…with no plan at all! It’s how lots of people approach NaNoWriMo, and it can be exciting to see what your subconscious mind throws at you when you’re not sure where you’re going.
You are a genius scientist! If you loved words just a little bit less, you might have ended up in a research lab or university science park. Your brain is sharp, analytical, and driven by a love of insight, whether that’s into people, processes, plants, or possibilities. Thank goodness you were born in the age of computers, because older writing tools like pens and typewriters are too slow to keep up with your quicksilver mind. You believe in your projects and your talent, and that passion comes through in everything you write, whether that’s fiction or nonfiction.
You genius scientists are some of the most powerful and productive writers we know! Your natural inclination to balance knowledge and skill results in writing that is both technically adept and fascinatingly insightful. If you’re writing self-help, it’s likely backed by hours of research. If you’re writing science fiction, we bet you’ve devoted many happy hours to world-building. In both cases, your attention to detail makes your work all the more satisfying to your readers.
Considering how fast you need to type to keep up with your brain, explore dictation! There are so many apps and programs available now that will turn your speech into written text (no more transcribing)! You may find that it not only cuts down on your writing time (and carpal tunnel) but that it allows your thoughts to flow more freely and organically!
When you have a finished draft, make sure you get exactly the editorial services you need. The right editor will make your work truly sing!
You are a secret moonlighter! You don’t tell just anybody the truest, most precious secret of your heart—that whatever your day job happens to be, at your core, you’re a writer through and through. In fact, it’s possible not even your closest friends and family know that whenever you can, whether at night or in the gray light of dawn, you steal a quiet hour or two to finally get down on paper some of the many words that swirl hypnotically through your head. You shudder at the thought of writing groups and word-count challenges, but that doesn’t mean you’re not devoted to your craft. You’ve known your whole life that you had magical stories to tell, which is why you are certain that even if you haven’t yet published a book, it’s not a question of if but when.
Secret moonlighters like you can play their cards very close to the chest. It’s hard when you’re so busy with all your other responsibilities to let others know that you’re also working on a book. They might ask questions, after all, and who has time for that? But letting a few people in on the secret can help keep you honest, so try finding a writing friend to confide in and lean on. They’ll appreciate you too.
In the meantime, don’t think that you need to spend every free moment writing in order to be legitimate. Take a break sometimes! Watch cute animal videos on Instagram or YouTube and just feel that dopamine surge. Also, naps are awesome for recharging the creative batteries.
When you’re ready to set pen to paper again, you might find that mind mapping is a great way to make the magic happen.
You are a dedicated encyclopedist! Imagine a library, perhaps one with leather armchairs, green-shaded lamps, and a spiral staircase. It’s filled with all kinds of books—books about history, philosophy, archeology, languages, cooking, comics—everything under the sun. That’s your mind. You’re never not writing, whether you’re putting pen to paper or letting your current project unfurl like a forest fern in a corner of your active mind. You love connecting the dots, and your writing is richly infused with little-known facts, precise observations, and the tiny details that make any scene spring to life.
If you’re a dedicated encyclopedist, your reading and writing lives are closely entwined—and your reading is likely expansive and inclusive. One idea? Explore some books about writing! These will help you deepen your craft while also offering inspiration.
No matter what, make sure you’re taking time to head down interesting rabbit holes…but if you find yourself vanishing entirely, think about setting a timer to keep your writing on track. It’s also important to give yourself space to dabble in your special interests. The insight and energy those efforts will give you are likely to be reflected in your writing.
If, when you’re finished writing a draft, you find it hard to let another person look at your book (so few people have the breadth of knowledge you do!) make sure you find the best editor for you. After all, an editor doesn’t need to be an expert in everything you know—they just need to be an expert editor.
We’re a one-stop shop for all your publishing needs, offering everything from editing (developmental through proofreading) to custom cover design to interior formatting to marketing copy to social media. We work with indie authors as well as authors looking to publish traditionally.
We’ve helped more than 10,000 authors (of all personas) bring their books to readers. We’d love to help you too! You can book a free consultation with a publishing expert right here.
No matter what else, keep writing!