Sunday 2-7-21 Enneagram!

Happy Sunday!

This past Thursday was a red-letter day. I finished the first draft of my novel that I have been working on for more than a decade! Before starting the process of first editing, I have it planned out as a trilogy as the story has become quite long and about 300,000 words!

I am very happy with it and with the whole process of writing. It is exciting to set broad goals and expectations for a story, and the characters, and then be surprised by the events of the story that occur to bring you to where you want the story to end up.

I have to laugh, and can hear my guides laughing, as this is like our human lives! (What is in one is in the Whole. Our guides acting as the author and we humans the characters in the book. A great collaboration!)

We come to this world with a framework for experiences so we learn what we need for the evolution of our soul. Fate, God, our guides, bring along experiences that help us to learn what we need. I can also see that synchronistic experience helps to bring what we desire into our lives (when we are in alignment with those things we want).

Two weeks ago I was on YouTube, and because I have been researching information on fiction writing skill development, I started getting in my feed some videos by Abbie Emmon, a young fiction writer who provides advice. I watched a video on character development and she mentioned that as writers we should understand our characters’ personality type. She went on to say she now uses Enneagram types whereas she used to us Myers-Briggs. This was a big synchronicity for me as I have been aware for years that Father Richard Rohr had written a book on Enneagram and it was one of those things I told myself I would look into in the future. I knew it was time to learn more.

I ordered Fr. Rohr’s book and looked forward to its arrival before I sought out my own personality type and those of my major characters. The book is entitled The Enneagram, a Christian Perspective, co-written with Andreas Ebert.

At lunch that week with P, I mentioned to him my new interest in Enneagram for my character development (I’ve been treating our weekly lunches out as my personal writers’ group). He hadn’t heard of this system so as we sat at the table he used his phone to go online and find a test to determine his type. I decided to wait for my book to arrive instead of using the online test.

The book arrived last weekend so I began reading it. My reading progress was slow with the book having long forwards and the first section of the book about the history of the Enneagram. I grew impatient. I wondered if the book would provide what I wanted – a way to understand my own type and ascertain my character types to further develop them as I begin editing. With a little searching I found an online test to take and learned I am a ONE, perfectionist. I was surprised, needless to say.

So after lunch with P, I pulled out my book and decided to jump past the rest of the first section on Enneagram history and get to then second section about the 9 personality types. Fr. Rohr began this section with a single paragraph on each type. When I read his explanation of a ONE I knew it was me.

The need to be perfect.

He wrote that we come as souls from a place of having experienced perfection. We don’t find it here in our physical lives so we decide to create it. “They move into overdrive to protect their deep and sad disappointment.” (Pg. 45)

This, I knew, was me.

I next skipped to a full section written about type ONE. Here Fr. Rohr used himself as an example of a ONE and described his life striving to be the ‘good boy’ but also being almost OCD with cleaning and organizing. I could relate to the ‘good girl’ role but I have never been overly tidy. So, at lunch this week with P, I talked about my thoughts on being a ONE. I talked about being called lazy by my mother at times because I was laid back and did what I could to avoid chores.

Later that day I paged through the book more to find answers to my questions and was very pleased to find more information to explain my traits. I learned about ‘wings’.

Wings are the personality types to each side of your primary type. The book said that integration of these types lead to personal growth and that usually a person has one wing’s traits from an early age but the other wing needs to be developed as we mature. This answered my laid back, ‘lazy’, type ONE persona as type Nine, next to type ONE, is ‘the need to avoid’ (per the book) or the peacemaker (per online resources). I even found that laziness is a negative trait of a NINE!

This would be my right wing, on the left is type TWO, the giver or ‘the need to be needed’. This also helped to affirm for me being a type ONE as some of the inner work of my mature adult life has been to learn how to give and to help.

My next step with the Enneagram is to determine the types for each of my major characters. I learned from the book that the type can be found by looking at three type together to find the wings and the primary type. I am also using charts in the book showing immature and mature traits for each type to help me as I know my characters’ weaknesses and, as my book is about people transforming, what they express when they have matured.

My main character Kathy falls into fear and began the story as a fearful lonely teenager. From this trait I have considered her to be a SIX, loyalists, ‘the need for security’. I have been able to confirm this with the wing of type SEVEN, ‘the need to avoid pain’ are people who, when mature, are optimistic. I can see this as strong in Kathy as she matures. Going forward, I will use this information as I edit my novel to confirm that her emotions, behaviors, and reactions are inline with her type. I will repeat this exercise with about four more major characters and then get on with my editing!

One thought on “Sunday 2-7-21 Enneagram!

  1. Pingback: Sunday 10-30-22 I did love well! - Tricia Today!Tricia Today!

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