How my personality type informs my writing

I grew up very introverted, completely over sensitized to the world on a daily basis and retreating inside my head to cope. From ‘Baby Yoda’ me, till I was around 17, my personality type could be very easily summed up by the words “bookworm”. Books were my escape, my safety blanket, and my deepest friends. Looking back, it was my own form of obsessive coping mechanism. I was a depressed and anxious child, so I taught myself to disassociate and lose myself in the nearest story.

What I wouldn’t realize till decades later is this time in my life, though lonely, has served in developing my taste in writing. I could tell within paragraphs if I wanted to really digest a book. From language to believably of character arcs to dialogue, to plot reveals that surprised even me, I started sharpening my knife to “good” writing early.

My 20’s were…my personality type can be best described as “mirror act”. I wanted to “fit in” after years of separation from reality. I did what I saw others do. I became what people wanted me to become. But anytime someone got too close to seeing the real me, I’d lash out, certain they were trying to trick and expose me.

This time of my life, though painful, has served in developing my empathy. What are we, but actors on a stage? I was putting on a grand act, and I opened my eyes to the way others were, too. I got good at hearing subtext, reading and assessing body language, and learning about how a person’s archetype shows up in their response to situations. My favorite pastime during these years was to sit somewhere, on campus or at a park, and people watch. I would tell stories in my head about the world and characters around me.

rising phoenix

Now in my 30’s, I’d describe my personality as “rising phoenix”. I have confronted my darkness and have emerged from the flames into a new form and shape, now made of light. My favorite pastime is imagining how I can bring joy to the world, how I can create more good as long as possible. Now, my writing reflects my heart and intention for expanding light and empowerment. I am grateful for all I have learned in my evolution and the ways it has informed my writing and intention to be a creator.

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Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70% Jedi, 30% Sith). A Jamaican American writer, speaker, and award winning performing storyteller, alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and creator of the podcast ‘The Black Girl Magic Files’, Yodassa (Yoda) launched ‘Writers Emerging' in 2019, a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color. In 2020, Yodassa's debut YA Fantasy, The Goddess Twins, will be published by Spark Press. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and currently resides in the Bay Area.

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