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What I'm Into (February 2014 Edition)

2014-02-20 10.14.17The calm before the storm. There's a very real trade-off when it's 70 degrees in February.

February may be the shortest month but it was in no way dull. I've noticed I rarely mention the "bad stuff" of life in my monthly recaps, not because I have forgotten them so quickly but because I'd rather not have the reminder when I look through the archives. I want to remember all the joy I crammed in to each month. Between books read, TV shows consumed, a week of warmth and sunshine, plus unforgettable times with friends, February rocked. But there was also an unexpected health condition (crisis?) and while I've since recovered, it would be dishonest not to mention it here. So here's to February with its high highs and its low lows. Which, funny enough, also sums up the weather in Nashville.


Read and Reading:

It's shameful I haven't read anything by Mary Karr until reading Lit this month. Yes, it's the last of her three memoirs and yes, I plan on reading The Liars' Club and Cherry to get caught up. But reading out of order didn't seem to matter. Karr's writing bowled me over time and again. I almost want to turn back to page 1 and read it all over again. Such rich storytelling.

Americanah (Adichie)  raises many questions about race, class, gender, and worldview. Absolutely fascinating global POV, rich characters (and character development!), moving plot. I haven't read Adichie before but I certainly will be tracking down the rest of her work. I was sucked in from page 1 and want everyone to read it so we can discuss.

We'll be discussing Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Boo) at The Red Couch next month. My introductory post will be up next week. Hope you'll join us!


You can see all the books I've read at Goodreads

Currently reading: Found (Boyett), To Be A Friend Is Fatal (Johnson), Hazardous (Cyzewski), Eat With Joy (Stone), Feast (Lawson), The Gift of Being Yourself (Benner), Where Many Rivers Meet (Whyte), Wisdom of the Enneagram (Riso and Hudson)

(I read 10 books this month.)



Must-see TV: Psych, Downton Abbey, Being Mary Jane, The Vampire Diaries, Reign, Once Upon A Time, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Series 3 of Sherlock was the best yet. "Did you miss me?" You bet. Now bring on series 4!

Feeling fairly meh about Vampire Diaries this season. Unless I'm looking at Damon. No shame in my game.

BET aired a Scandal marathon last Saturday so I watched while I worked on stuff around the house. It was the middle of season 3 so I was completely confused but I definitely see why so many of my friends are obsessed. I plan on borrowing the first two seasons from the library so I can get caught up.

I finished watching Veronica Mars and oh my gracious, how have you people stood the suspense all these years?! When I saw the last episode, I thought I had one more disc to go but it was just special features and then I shook my fist at the sky. I'm so glad they made a movie and can't wait to see what's happened with Veronica and her friends in the interim. Especially if it means Veronica and Logan will finally get back together. For those of us without an AMC theater, apparently you'll be able to rent or download the movie the same day it releases in the theater. Fingers crossed.



New discoveries: Pocket Vinyl, Echosmith, Arctic Monkeys

William Fitzsimmons has a new album Lions. I can't decide if I like it or if I love it. Never cease to be amazed by his lyrics.

Listen to the What I'm Into 2013 Spotify playlist. The What I'm Into 2014 playlist is getting started.


Things I Love:

  • I started a new tradition with my niece-in-love on the occasion of her 5th birthday: Auntie-Anna outings. We went to Sweet Cece's, a frozen yogurt place, and it was so fun to have time together just the two of us in a non-babysitting capacity. I plan on doing this with my other niece-in-love this summer (and 4 years from now, my nephew-in-love). I want to be someone they can turn to and I see this tradition as playing a part in building our relationship. Also, I cannot believe they're growing up!
  • Buying my car! I've been leasing the past 3 years and Josh Grant at Beaman Toyota went above and beyond in helping me figure out what to do, as did Mike in Finance. I never expected to have such a great experience at a car dealership but I left with a smile on my face. Now that's customer service. Plusalso: Grown Up Points.
  • Friends who took good care of me whilst sick. I've got some good caregivers in my life.

2014-02-16 11.39.53-2Hanging out in a used bookstore, like we do.

  • Sharone came to visit!!! So fun breakfasting with her and Abby. After months of lively Voxer conversations, it was a treat to be face to face and discuss all manner of things.
  • And then Addie came to visit!!! She and her two boys stayed at my house for a night as part of their epic road trip. I also got to see her speak about her stunning memoir When We Were On Fire at Trevecca. It's hard to believe this is only the second time we'd hung out because of how many emails, phone calls, and Voxes have been exchanged the past couple of years. She's become one of my dearest friends and I'm so grateful we could chat and eat mug brownies together.
  • Life-giving conversation with friends: first over dinner with Allison and then over coffee with Mindy.

2014-02-22 19.22.55

  • Last visitor of the month: my old roomie Jen! We had margaritas and guacamole- standards in our friendship- and caught up over dinner at Taco Mamacita. It was like time never passed.
  • Wine with the Author event at Parnassus. Matthew Quick is an insightful and thought-provoking speaker. I wish I'd taken notes when he talked about synchronicity. Hearing about his evolution as an author was super encouraging and I'm glad I had a chance to tell him so. I can't wait to read his new book The Good Luck of Right Now.


Favorite Instagram:

  2014-02-06 08.03.31Look what #stitchfix sent me! Fit-and-flare dresses are my best friends.

(I'm a big fan of StitchFix (referral link). For my birthday, friends surprised me with a gift certificate, which was the most perfect timing as I had just been thinking it was time for another Fix. This dress is my favorite.)


On The Blog:

Does anything on this blog exist apart from The Enneagram and Blogging series? I'm thrilled people are as fascinated by the topic as I am. I'm looking forward to sharing the rest of the types in the coming weeks.



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What have you been into this month?

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The Enneagram and Blogging: Type Four

The Enneagram and Blogging via Leigh KramerTo learn more about this series, as well as how the survey was conducted, please read this post.


Type Four

Commonly known as The Individualist, The Romantic, The Artist

The Need to Be Special

Basic Fear: That they have no identity or personal significance

Basic Desire: To find themselves and their significance (to create an identity)

Key Motivations: Want to express themselves and their individuality, to create and surround themselves with beauty, to maintain certain moods and feelings, to withdraw to protect their self-image, to take care of emotional needs before attending to anything else, to attract a "rescuer."

Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They feel All The Feels and generally want to do so, as this fuels their creativity and ability to understand others. They strive to be understood and to be authentic.  While Fours are highly creative, not all Fours are artists. They are emotionally honest but can also be moody and self-conscious. They may withdraw from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective. They can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. Fours want to avoid being ordinary. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity.

At their best: warm, compassionate, introspective, expressive, creative, intuitive, supportive, refined

At their worst: depressed, self-conscious, guilt-ridden, moralistic, withdrawn, stubborn, moody, self-absorbed


Read this profile for a complete description of Type Four


Type Four Bloggers*^

Micha Boyett, Ben Howard, This Gal's Journey, Elora Nicole, Apple Pie, Anyone?, Jacqueline Gardner, Anna Wastell, Caris Adel, Keep the Muse, Fried Okra, Arianne Segerman, Bethany Suckrow, Christina Moss

Anecdotally, it appears Type Four is the most likely to blog. But it's also possible I have a stronger reach with Fours, being this type myself.

*these are bloggers who identify as type four; it does not indicate they have participated in the Enneagram and Blogging survey

^Full disclosure: I'm a Four.


Typical Topics:

  • Relationships (parenting, marriage, dating, friendship, etc.)
  • Art and creative endeavors
  • Faith
  • Doubt
  • Hope and grace
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Grief and loss
  • Pop culture
  • Introspective pieces on identity, including internal motivations, beliefs, and actions
  • Farming or gardening
  • Healing
  • Travel
  • Fashion and beauty
  • General life
  • Inclusion and loving others, including those who are marginalized
  • Poetry


Why did you start blogging?

While reasons for starting a blog ranged from building a platform to sharing stories with family, many Type Fours reported starting their blog because they:

  • wanted a creative outlet
  • wanted to grow as writers
  • wanted to connect with others
  • were writing a book and wanted to work through their ideas
  • wanted to encourage others

While you can be creative and not be a type Four, this type's creativity plays a large role in their identity. It makes sense they would be likely to blog.


Do you have any goals related to blogging?

Besides building a platform or working toward publication, Fours want to share their craft. They are most concerned with the quality of their writing and storytelling. They are passionate about sharing their stories. For some Fours, this translates to working toward blogging full-time or looking for opportunities to guest post or write for larger publications. They may write e-books to offer their readers, in addition to blogging. For others, they simply focus on becoming ever better writers.

Fours also want to let others know they're not alone. They're right in the trenches with us. They want to encourage, challenge, and offer solidarity. They want to build and connect with a supportive community.


What do you like about blogging?

  • Community/friendships that have emerged
  • Sharing their writing
  • The experience of having readers (writing within the context of community)
  • Hearing their words have helped others, potential to positively influence others
  • Receiving positive affirmation from readers
  • Creative outlet
  • Freedom and space to explore new ideas, play with words, grow as a writer
  • Immediacy
  • Develops confidence as a writer
  • Opportunity to write without being barred or rejected by the Publishing Gatekeepers
  • Helps then to process life and find moments of beauty
  • On their own terms, own schedule, own editing


What do you not like about blogging?

Fours don't like the perceived pressure of cranking out posts, the never-ending demands that accompany blogging. Most Fours expressed feeling like they needed to be doing more: posting more often, building a bigger social media presence, addressing hot topics. They worry if they don't post consistently, their readers will leave. Fours are the captains of their creative ships and this pressure is antithetical to their usual process. They may need time to ponder before ever writing a word. They would rather write their own stories, instead of jumping on to the latest controversy. This frustrates them because they feel their type of writing- though strong- is less likely to go viral, which means their platform is less likely to gain traction. They want to create what they want to create and they want to be recognized for it.

Fours feel the very nature of blogging can be repetitive. They want to view themselves as original and anything but ordinary. Do they always have something original to say? Yes and no. When they write from a place of health and abundance, their words will resonate with readers. When they're caught up in the blogging mill, they're stifled. They don't like how noisy the Internet can become and don't want to add to it. Fours rightly recognize not everyone needs to share their opinion on every topic but they wrestle with the abundance of reactions to today's hot topic. They want their ideas to be fresh but they may feel limited in what they can accomplish or decide not to write anything at all. They may not be as insightful as they want to be, especially if they rush their process. They're torn on whether to enter the fray and thus potentially gain new followers or to keep doing what they're doing with a smaller following.

At the heart of much of this is the Four's battle with comparison and envy. They compare their writing, pageviews, how many followers they have on social media, and so on. Fours want to be special and this can result in feeling inferior or superior depending on how they rank themselves. Are they being included by the Cool Kids? Why did that post get more attention when it's clearly not written as well as theirs? Fours fear they have no identity or significance so they look to these external markers for affirmation. But blog-related accolades will never be able to fill the void. It may be best for a Four to back away from the statistics and focus on what they have to say.


What are your strengths as a blogger?

Fours own their skills as writers. They mentioned focusing on quality over quantity. They love the written word. They paint pictures with words and connect the intangible with the tangible.

Fours are insightful and transparent. They help us see things in a new light or from another angle. They are able to deconstruct and help people understand the motivations behind a belief or action. Fours may sit on an idea for quite some time before writing about it and the end result is more honest, vulnerable, and relatable. They can tap in to the deep emotions others run from and help us engage more fully with the darker aspects of life.

As serious and introspective as Fours can be, they often have a lighter side. Several Fours noted their sense of humor as a strength. Healthy Fours know how to have fun.


What are your greatest struggles/temptations as a blogger?

Fours constantly fight the temptation to compare themselves to other bloggers. This can lead to feeling insecure about themselves and their writing. They want to be seen and heard, a driving force. They also battle their desire for recognition or fame, feeling this will give them the significance they seek. One respondent said, "There are days that I wish I had more of a following, but in some ways, it's probably healthier for me to not...I want to feel special, to be noticed, for my life to be extraordinary.  The habit of of blogging and writing for a relatively small audience reminds me how simply ordinary my life really is, which is a healthy thing."

They are tempted to chase pageviews so they will gain an ever larger audience. They want a post to go viral. But this may come at the expense of their craft and fill the blogosphere with more noise instead of original content. Because Fours want to be authentic, they may choose to write on a more controversial topic but only if it is a matter close to their heart. They have particular convictions about what to write about. But when they start comparing themselves or thinking about their goals, it can be hard to believe their hard work and dedication will pay off some day.

When they write a post, they soar high on the accompanying praise. It makes them feel their efforts were worthwhile or rather, they're worthwhile. The flipside being they feel deflated if the comments or social media shares don't follow. They then begin to feel their efforts don't matter or they're wasting their time.


Resources: The Enneagram Institute, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective (Rohr), Enneagram Made Easy (Baron and Wagele), The Wisdom of the Enneagram (Riso and Hudson)

The Enneagram and Blogging: Type Three

The Enneagram and Blogging via Leigh Kramer
To learn more about this series, as well as how the survey was conducted, please read this post.


Type Three

Commonly known as The Achiever, The Performer, The Status Seeker, The Motivator

The Need to Succeed

Basic Fear: Of being worthless

Basic Desire: To feel valuable and worthwhile

Key Motivations: Want to be affirmed, to distinguish themselves from others, to have attention, to be admired, and to impress others.

Threes are efficient go-getters. They focus on being productive, achieving, and avoiding failure. If you need to get something done, ask a Three. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They're often attractive and charming but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness.

At their best: self-assured, diplomatic, poised, optimistic, confident, industrious, efficient, self-propelled, energetic, practical

At their worst: deceptive, narcissistic, pretentious, vain, superficial, vindictive, overly competitive

Read this profile for a complete description of Type Three.


Type Three Bloggers*

Dear Abby Leigh, Kim Van Brunt, Briana Meade, Tsh Oxenreider, Emily Miller, Laura Turner, The Tiny Twig, Preston Yancey

*these are bloggers who identify as type three; it does not indicate they have participated in the Enneagram and Blogging survey


Typical Topics:

  • Parenting
  • Adoption
  • Life
  • Worth and belonging
  • Personal struggles
  • Faith and religion
  • The intersection of grace in the "in-between moments" when life is difficult
  • Controversial topics
  • Saints and the supernatural
  • Marriage
  • Fashion
  • Food


Why did you start blogging?

While reasons for starting a blog ranged from building a platform to sharing stories with family, many Type Threes reported starting their blog because they:

  • enjoyed writing and wanted a creative outlet
  • wanted to process life situations via writing
  • needed intellectual stimulation
  • wanted to build their network
  • wanted to connect to other people in similar circumstances

It's worth noting several Threes started their blogs because they felt it was the most efficient way to build a platform and work toward getting published. They had a goal and they did what they needed to do to meet it.


Do you have any goals related to blogging?

Besides building a platform or working toward publication, Threes feel their blogs are a great way to publicize themselves and their endeavors.

The flipside of their goal-orientedness is Threes can struggle with their blog's purpose. If they're not working toward something, do they still post? What are they trying to achieve by blogging? Some Threes expressed feeling it wasn't enough to just publish a post for the sake of publishing something or even posting for themselves. They want their work to affect others, to reach an audience, to matter.


What do you like about blogging?

  • Connecting with people they might not otherwise have met in real life
  • Being able to test ideas- if it falls flat, there aren't huge stakes
  • Knowing their work helps others
  • Great complement to book writing, as blogging stretches different muscles and allows for work to be shared sooner
  • General anonymity of reading audience
  • Being featured on other blogs or asked to guest post
  • Conversations that emerge as a result of their blog post


What do you not like about blogging?

Threes are motivated by the need to succeed. The blog world can be filled with ups and downs. Why do some posts go viral, while others don't? Why do some great writers have small readerships and crappy writers have crazy huge readerships? Sometimes the statistics make sense but often it's a crapshoot. And here are our Threes trying to make sense of it all so they can come up with their Blogging Success Plan. Threes wish the standards of blogging success were more clearly delineated. Since they're not, they may experience anxiety and wrestle with whether they should blog at all. Are people reading them? Do they matter if no one reads what they write?

Threes attach worth and value to their striving so if their efforts don't get the big payoff, they fear they're worthless or they'll be viewed as frauds. Although, they have the same fears when they do succeed. When a Three publishes a new post, they want positive feedback and validation but they're also worried it's only a matter of time before everyone figures out they're a fake or a hack. If the post doesn't get any comments or social media shares, they feel like a failure.

Additionally, Threes expressed having mixed motivations when it comes to blogging. They want the acceptance and admiration of their readers and the blogosphere at large. They can't post something and not care about the results.

Threes also don't like the pressure of social media. They count their success in terms of comments, "likes," and tweets. But they report they can take this too far, as their worth is affected by these numbers. While they feel they can do social media well, in terms of branding themselves to the world, it feeds back in to the fear of being found out as a fraud.


What are your strengths as a blogger?

Most respondents noted their honesty as one of their greatest strengths. They're able to lay it out there and say the things other people are afraid to say. They prize transparency. One respondent said in spite of her desire for validation and acceptance, she strongly feels the urge to be true to herself, even online, even though she could brand herself in such a way as to get the bigger platform she also seeks. This is a sign of a healthy Three!

Other Three strengths include strong writing, coming up with ideas, branding, and implementing projects. Threes often dazzle us with their many talents. They truly are impressive! A Three respondent who is also a journalist reported grammatical excellence and thorough research as two of her greatest strengths- an example of how Threes are able to acquire or nurture the specific skills they need to succeed in their careers.

Several Threes mentioned their vulnerability as a strength. Given what they don't like about blogging and their type-specific struggles, this is to be commended as it does not come without conscientious work and dedication.


What are your greatest struggles/temptations as a blogger?

Threes might substitute validation from strangers (aka the blogosphere) for true intimacy with friends and family. It might be easier to share their truest selves on paper, instead of raising their thoughts and concerns with their inner circle. We can develop very real connections and friendships within the on-line community but a Three must learn to distinguish when they're turning to these connections, instead of the people in their day-to-day life. It's a sign they're hiding from the people who know them best. Why are they hiding? We circle right back to those basic desires and fears. Threes can put on a good show- they're naturals on the stage and this is a true strength. But we can't, or at least shouldn't, put on a show for our loved ones. Thus, the test for Threes is to bring their honesty and vulnerability off the screen and in to their daily relationships.

Threes place a lot of weight on how people respond to them, on-line and off. They attach their worth to the outcome of their efforts. Because blogging offers an inconsistent payoff, Threes waver between how to balance blogging and social media while maintaining a strong sense of self.

Threes can turn in to workaholics. There's always more to do when it comes to blogging. They come with great ideas and they want to do them all. Threes can be tempted to spend more time on-line in their quest to succeed and less time with their families and other commitments.


Resources: The Enneagram Institute, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective (Rohr), Enneagram Made Easy (Baron and Wagele), The Wisdom of the Enneagram (Riso and Hudson)

The Enneagram and Blogging: Type Two

The Enneagram and Blogging via Leigh Kramer
To learn more about this series, as well as how the survey was conducted, please read this post.


Type Two

Commonly known as The Helper, The Caretaker, The Enabler

The Need to be Needed

Basic Fear: Of being unwanted, unworthy of being loved

Basic Desire: To feel loved

Key Motivations: Want to be loved, to express their feelings for others, to be needed and appreciated, to get others to respond to them, to vindicate their claims about themselves.


Twos are motivated by the need to be loved and valued. Females are often socialized to be Twos. Twos are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. They are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs.

At their best: loving, caring, adaptable, insightful, generous, enthusiastic, tuned in to how people feel

At their worst: martyrlike, indirect, manipulative, possessive, hysterical, overly accommodating, overly demonstrative (more extroverted Twos)


Read this profile for a complete description of Type Two.


Type Two Bloggers*

Fiona Lynne, Accidental Devotional, Tanya Marlow, A Holy Fool, Jacob I Have Loved, A Simple Haven, Sarah Anne Hayes

*these are bloggers who identify as type two; it does not indicate they have participated in the Enneagram and Blogging survey


Typical Topics

  • Hospitality
  • Faith/religion
  • Relationships (parenting, marriage, dating, friendship, etc)
  • Feminism
  • DIYs
  • Illness and suffering
  • How to live brave and courageously
  • Life


Why did you start blogging?

While reasons for starting a blog ranged from building a platform to sharing stories with family, many Type Twos reported starting their blog because they:

  • thought others might find their thoughts interesting or beneficial
  • wanted to encourage others
  • enjoy the community aspect of blogging- connecting and interacting with other bloggers or their own readers

For Twos, it all comes down to relationship. They love relating to others, whether in person or across the blogosphere. Blogging can be a great tool for forging community.


Do you have any goals related to blogging?

Besides building a platform or working toward publication, Twos want their blogs to be places that encourage honest discussion, sharing, and mutual learning. They also want their posts to be helpful and meaningful to their readers.  It's worth noting while many bloggers want a larger platform, many Twos want this not so much to build toward publication but to expand their circle of influence. After all, Twos need to be needed and the limitations of an Internet readership doesn't change this.


What do you like about blogging?

  • Sharing their experience with others and getting positive feedback
  • Friendships that have emerged
  • Encouraging others
  • Creative outlet
  • Feeling they're part of a bigger picture
  • Being able to help people think about God/their situation in a different or refreshing way
  • Offers the possibility of dialogue
  • Learning their words have positively impacted someone else
  • Capturing an emotion that allows other people to experience it
  • Affirmation received through comments, pageviews, and social media shares


What do you not like about blogging?

Twos reported it was easy to feel they weren't enough or they weren't doing enough: reaching enough people, doing all the best blogging practices, and so on. One Type Two, in particular, discussed the secrecy around Big Bloggers, noting she wasn't sure how her blog measured up or what she could do to improve her statistics. Other Twos expressed feeling pressured to consistently come up with strong content and criticized their limitations (i.e. lack of specialized degree or background).

Twos dislike the constant Internet arguments and controversies, feeling there is too much disagreement, competition, gossip, and back biting. They also don't like feeling left out. Twos referenced the existence of blogging cliques.


Because Twos are so relationship-focused, they struggle with the current emphasis on platform-building. They feel it's some sort of game they have no chance of winning, especially compared to the old way of gaining readers, which really suited Twos: reading other blogs, leaving thoughtful comments, and so on. As a result, Twos feel guilty when they don't have time to keep up with their blog reading habits. For them, reading blogs is a way of maintaining relationships.

Twos have a complicated relationship with social media. On the one hand, it connects them to people. On the other hand, it can seem too self-promotional and noisy. It's also easy to compare themselves to other bloggers and feel they aren't doing enough.

Lastly, Twos can spend a lot of time thinking about how their posts will be received, especially by their friends and family. They want their writing to reach others (that's why they do it!) but sometimes they hold back on what they want to write about for fear of shocking or offending their loved ones or losing opportunities as a result.


What are your strengths as a blogger?

Twos cited their vulnerability and honesty, as well as relationship-building as their greatest strengths. They thoughtfully engage with their comments and try to build their on-line communities. They enjoy connecting people to other bloggers through sharing links and guest posting.

Twos write about emotions and experiences in a relatable way. Readers will often respond, "me, too!" Even if the reader doesn't relate, they will walk away feeling enlightened because of the Two's honesty and empathy in dealing with the topic at hand.


What are your greatest struggles/temptations as a blogger?

Twos reported their greatest struggle is to overdo it- because in blogging there is always something to do. Another post to write, another comment to respond to, another blog to read. Plus, the ever-changing world of social media. They report being tempted to react to "All the Things, All the Time." However, they recognize this is not a healthy space for them and do their best to focus and prioritize.


A few Type Twos worried their writing would be perceived as depressing or self-indulgent or that they're the only ones who feel a certain way. They don't want to waste people's time. Twos report they are able to discuss past difficulties with little problem but are usually not able to share their present needs. Twos like being there for others; it's what they're all about. They wrestle with letting other people be there for them. Expressing negative emotions can feel quite foreign to them because they are more used to listening to others, instead of dealing with their own struggles.

Twos need to find the balance between being vulnerable and oversharing. They question what is appropriate to write about when, if at all. Adding to this, they report being tempted to write about certain topics because everyone else is or to chase pageviews. Twos have opinions and convictions but they don't like writing for shock value and don't want to add to the noise. It might take them a while to decide to share a particular story while they work through these things.

Twos often struggle with tying their worth to their blog. Every comment and pageview (or lack thereof) affects them in this way. "I am not worth more with a blog audience of a thousand and I am not worth less with a blog audience of ten."


Resources: The Enneagram Institute, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective (Rohr), Enneagram Made Easy (Baron and Wagele), The Wisdom of the Enneagram (Riso and Hudson)

The Enneagram and Blogging: Type One

The Enneagram and Blogging via Leigh Kramer
To learn more about this series, as well as how the survey was conducted, please read this post.


Type One

Commonly known as The Reformer, The Teacher, The Perfectionist

The Need to Be Perfect

Basic Fear: Of being corrupt/evil, defective

Basic Desire: To be good, to have integrity, to be balanced

Key Motivations: Want to be right, to strive higher and improve everything, to be consistent with their ideals, to justify themselves, to be beyond criticism so as not to be condemned by anyone.

Ones are conscientious and ethical, with a strong sense of right and wrong. They feel the need to live their life the right way. They strive to improve themselves and the world around them but they are also afraid of making a mistake. Well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, they have high expectations of themselves and others. They can be critical and perfectionistic and often have problems with resentment and impatience.

At their best: ethical, reliable, productive, wise, idealistic, fair, honest, orderly, self-disciplined 

At their worst: judgmental, inflexible, dogmatic, obsessive-compulsive, critical of others, overly serious, controlling, anxious, jealous

Read this profile for a complete description of Type One.


Type One Bloggers*

 Giving Up On Perfect, coffeesnob318, Addie Zierman, Allison Buzard, Come What May, Jane Halton

*these are bloggers who identify as type one; it does not indicate they have participated in the Enneagram and Blogging survey


Typical Topics

  • "Family, faith, food - through a lens of not being perfect" -Mary Carver's blog Giving Up On Perfect is the quintessential type 1 theme (shared with permission)
  • Feminism
  • Faith
  • Perfectionism/accepting
  • Grace
  • The Church
  • Social Justice
  • Goal-setting
  • Time management
  • Overcoming guilt and shame/accepting imperfection


Why did you start blogging?

While reasons for starting a blog ranged from building a platform to sharing stories with family, many Type Ones reported starting their blog because they:

  • felt they had things to say
  • wanted to dialogue about matters of social justice and/or the church
  • wanted to share their point of view

Ones often believe their way is best or that things won't get done (or be done well) unless they do them. They enjoy expressing their opinions on all manner of subjects. It makes sense this would spill over in to blogging as well. 


Do you have any goals related to blogging?

Besides building a platform or working toward publication, Ones reported wanting people to feel less lonely in their struggles, while also being as authentic with their readers as possible. They also seek to practice the art of writing and improve upon this skill set. Also known as "being the best blogger."


 What do you like about blogging?

  • Having a place to share my thoughts
  • Helps process thoughts/feelings/scenarios
  • Friendships/meaningful interactions
  • Making a difference in peoples' lives
  • Being able to interact with more people
  • Helps rein in some of the sass
  • Creative outlet

What do you not like about blogging?

Ones reported blogging can make them feel like they're not "good enough" and that there is a never-ending, overwhelming amount of information on how to be a "good" blogger. They report wanting to devote more time to blogging so they can be better at it. They all listed what they should be doing to be better. Yes, that would be our favorite perfectionists talking. This taps directly into the One's basic fears and desires. If they believe they are not measuring up (in any given area) or they're not recognized as "good," they fear they are defective and may devote less time and energy to the task at hand, preferring to devote themselves wherever they already shine.

Ones reported difficulty in knowing how to deal with the pressure of social media and selling themselves/their blogs. They report measuring sucess by pageviews, social media shares, and comments- something that ever fluctuates and is generally hard to pin down.

A few mentioned they weren't sure if blogging brings out the best in them. The potential competitiveness and snark of blogging brings out their own competitiveness and snark in a negative way.

Ones like expressing their opinions but they noted wishing they could see how their readers react to their blog posts. They like having a platform with which to express themselves but don't like feeling they're talking in to an empty void. Readers' responses also helps them know how and where to direct the conversation. Blogging is often an exercise in vulnerability, especially when they don't receive certain markers (comments, social media shares) in return.

Lastly, Ones hate when they later find a typo or grammatical error. Some Ones have others proofread their posts before publication for the express purpose of preventing these mistakes. 


What are your strengths as a blogger?

All respondents reported believing they were strong writers. Other strengths included helping people feel comfortable, offering good advice, creating compelling graphics and visuals, being consistent/authentic, and communicating clearly.

Their perfectionism often results in good attention to detail, which shows up in proofreading, time that goes in to creating a new blog post, and offering strong content.

What are your greatest struggles/temptations as a blogger?

Ones often try to control their circumstances. At times, it may seem easier to control what happens behind their computer screens, instead of their actual lives.  The catch in all this, however, is how little in blogging we can control.

Ones cited comparison as one of their greatest struggles. (Ones disintegrate toward Type Four, for whom comparison is the core struggle.) In the case of the One, they compare to see how they measure up. Are they the best?

Because Ones want to be viewed as good, vulnerability can be a struggle. It means taking a risk and admitting there are chinks in the armor. While Ones logically know they're not perfect, their basic desire rests on the assumption that they are or have the capacity to be. This shows up in big and small ways. Writing a blog post and then following through on publishing it is an invitation to feedback both positive and negative. Or worst of all: no feedback. And then if feedback comes, the One may not have time to respond or know what to say back.

But this also assumes that Ones blog at all. Many Ones reported not having enough time to blog. (This may be a clever excuse to cover up their inability to "perfect" blogging.) Or they reported editing pieces to death- always trying to catch typos, find the perfect word, come up with a snappy lead. They tend to have multiple draft posts. Will they ever be published? Only the One can say what he or she is waiting for.


Resources: The Enneagram Institute, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective (Rohr), Enneagram Made Easy (Baron and Wagele), The Wisdom of the Enneagram (Riso and Hudson)