Your Writing Destiny: Fiction, Non- Fiction or Bit-Of-Both Writer?

Where you’re struggling with writer’s block, could it be that you’re trying to write stuff that goes against your natural tendencies?
That you are maybe herding your inner creative cat to a field it does not want to hunt in?
In this quiz, you’ll identify key psychological traits, which help you become the writer you were always meant to be. Avanti!

Fiction Natural

You find it very easy to create entire worlds in your head and are sometimes more at home in them, than reality. Given a choice, most people would prefer to drive your car, than be your passenger.
You love to ask yourself ‘What if…?’
Your urge is to entertain people, and to transport others to your world and feelings.
You don’t mind if your work takes a long time to create, or if you need to experiment with tense, first or third person or edit out characters and plot altogether… it is making it work which matters.
Your friends and family may find you dreamy or distracted, and your most preferred social activity is storytelling. You’re not that bothered if people seem to find your ideas strange, or that you quite often hear characters’ voices in your head.
Your mind feels like a forest, strewn with possible paths and connections.

Non-Fiction Natural

You find it very easy explain, argue and expand and illustrate points. You enjoy checking things: facts, statistics, stories.
You love to ask yourself: If this happens, then what could be the result?
Your urge is to clarify for people, and to help people think, analyse and judge.
You are keen to get a body of work out there, so that people get to recognise you as an expert, and – apologies while I have a queasy moment here at this word – “thought leader”.
Your friends and family may find you slightly earnest and nerdy about your causes. You’re not that bothered if you disagree with people or that they find you argumentative and challenging.
Your mind feels like ground with clear routes running across it, where you are ready and able at any moment to give further description and commentary. You’re one of life’s natural tour guides.


You have a core interest, or even obsession, which fires up your imaginative powers and your analytical ones.
You love to spend as much time as you can pursuing this interest, sometimes to the detriment of personal hygiene or even social life.
Your urge is to spread love of your subject and to attract others to it, and you can easily switch from being jokey about what you love to being deeply serious about it.
You are on a mission and keen to explore whatever forms possible can help that mission, and to experiment with them. Drilling down in your subject is what rocks your world. Being a writer is less important to you than getting your subject attention.
You mostly have friends who share your subject interest – and hopefully, family members too…
Your mind feels like it has different areas in it: fields where the fantastical and imaginative can grow, and delineated pathways, where arguments and teaching can be constructed.

Which of these most appeals?

A request for analysis of a controversial topic

A home alone day, with just your thoughts as company

A conference on a narrow area of your favourite subject

Do you fancy yourself as…

Subject Nerd

Cause Champion


Are friends and family most likely to describe you as:




Which do you love best?

Truth and objectivity


Alternative realities

Snap Choice: Pick A Mental Image

Map of a Lego farm

Forest photo, taken from the air

Map of the London Underground

Are You a Creative Fox or Hedgehog?

‘A fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing’
Archilochus, Greek Poet
More on this and other self-assessment here:
Are you a person who knows lots of different things about the world, or someone who has one single overriding idea they like to filter their experience through?
Philosopher Isiah Berlin, wrote a famous essay about this. and the idea generates controversy still.
Political scientist Philip Tetlock champions foxes as the best predictors of the future, whereas business guru Jim Collins puts his money on hedgehogs as best top bosses.
For those of us running creative practices, it may boil down to the foxy ‘Could I be trawling my environment more effectively and opportunity spotting?’ or hedgehogy ‘Could I be burrowing deeper into my craft and practice and become increasingly specialized and focussed?’.
For impact, foxes may have to work harder at building reputation and authority, as your scattered interests make you difficult to categorize… hedgehogs may have to work harder at monitoring dynamic environments . You may be so busy burrowing that you fail to notice there’s been a landslide very close by…


You like to trawl ideas widely, do lots of lateral thinking and can be rather scatterbrained. You may be accused of being dizzy when you talk, with people asking ‘Where is this going?’
You are a diverger, a forager, who needs sometimes in meetings to be pulled back to the main subject… but your wide appreciation of context means you are better at predicting the future than your hedgehog colleagues.
That Barack Obama? – now he’s a fox…


You have a strong overriding idea or even fixation which governs your worldview – and as a result you may have built a strong reputation for expertise in your area, which can help you become an expert in the media.
You can achieve a great deal through your hedgehog tendencies, but you need to keep an eye on what is happening in your environment too… if it is volatile and changing your fox friends may have better opportunities for survival…

How do you come up with your ideas?

I have a strong world view which helps generate ideas

I take the scattergun approach

Over a glass – or twelve – of something at my favorite bar

What do people most frequently accuse you of?

Being mean with money

Being scatterbrained

Being obsessed

What words do you like best?

Digging down