Enneagram Authors: Type 2 – The Helper

About the 2

Description from The Enneagram Institute

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: unselfish and altruistic, they have unconditional love for others.

  • Basic Fear: Of being unwanted, unworthy of being loved
  • Basic Desire: To feel loved

The author representing the 2s today is Julia Skinner, of the blog Lit Aflame!

Interview with Julia

Hi, Julia! Can you share a little bit about yourself and what you write?

Hey hey! My name is Julia Skinner. I’m a born-again Christian, hardcore nerd, and Hobbit all the way through. Some years back, a brilliant realization struck me as I was outside taking care of my rabbits: I COULD ACTUALLY…. LIKE, WRITE DOWN THE STORIES I DAYDREAMED ABOUT.

Mind. Blown.

So yes, this all started with me punching out words on a little hand-held tablet. And I’ve gone from there. It’s taken me years to come to officially calling myself a “writer.” But honestly? I can’t imagine what life would be like without it (well, okay, yes, I can imagine it, I’m a writer after all… we tend to have oversized imaginations XD).

I mainly write fantasy, with a side of dystopian and sci-fi. I have a problem with writing sad, tragic stories, and can’t seem to even write a happy story without someone dying at one point or another.

What is your enneagram type, and how do you feel about it?

My enneagram type is a 2! I’m actually pretty proud of that fact. It makes a strange combination with my MBTI type, which is INTP. If you aren’t familiar with it, INTPs are known for being really really bad with emotions and all things people. We struggle to understand anything that’s not purely logical. On the flip side, Twos are known for being empathetic, friendly, and people-oriented.

So, basically I’m a walking human-being contradiction.

(which, if you ask me, is kinda seriously EPIC)

Do you find that your enneagram type impacts your writing process? How so, or why not?

Hmm… You know, I’ve never thought of that before! I think being a Two may have something to do with how much I focus on building characters. To me, the character is the story. They’re the lifeblood, the beating heart, the breath that makes a good story… well, good. Characters are the key aspect of a story that brings it to life. When I get a new story idea, it is almost always the character I think of first, and then I build around that character.

What strengths do you find in your writing or process that tie in with your enneagram type?

Strong, realistic characters! I focus a lot on creating characters who not only feel real, but who also have a lot of depth to them. My goal is for each of my characters to be unique and able to stand on their own, I don’t want them to be cookie-cutters or anything like that.

I want my characters to feel like people. Just people. Like you, and me, and the tired mom across the Walmart aisle. I don’t even like calling my villains “villains” because I view all my characters as people–neither hero or villain–just folk with different goals and backgrounds.

I’d like to think that because of my natural emphasis on people, I’m able to create characters that have a depth and realism to them.

What weaknesses do you find in your writing or process that tie in with your enneagram type?

Maybe my lack of regard for plot? I’d say my specialty is characters and theme. But plot? Heh…. yeah… I really struggle with that part of the writing process. Sometimes I can get so absorbed in creating my characters with their backgrounds and personalities and arcs, etc. That I totally forget I have to come up with things for those characters to DO.

Do you think your type impacts how you create characters?

*glances up at my above answers* Welllll…. y’all are probably getting tired of hearing my say “character” over and over. XD But yes, in a way, I do. Type Twos are typically pretty well tuned with the people around them. I think being a Two not only explains why I’m so passionate about the characters in my story, but I also think it impacts how accurate I’m able to make them.

Do you think it impacts how you worldbuild?

Yes. Since I put so much emphasis on characters, my world often reflects the people living in it (or perhaps the people reflect the world… WE MAY NEVER KNOW).

Do you think it impacts how you outline?

….outline?

What… what is that?

😶

Seriously though, man, OUTLINING IS MY BANE. See, I want to outline, and I’ll get all excited about it. I almost immediately know the main points in my character’s arc, and I quickly write those down in perfect detail. And then I sit back and think, this is great! I’ve done so much! I’m going to have this novel outlined and done SO FAST!

Then… I look at all the blank spaces in between those main arc points.

There’s usually a LOT.

Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh halp

Do you think it impacts your prose or writing style?

Sometimes I forget to describe what’s happening around the character because I focus so much on writing the character’s inner thoughts and emotions.

Do you find that many of your protagonists are a similar type to yours, or very different?

There’s a wide variety! Some of my characters are similar, while others are totally different. For example, right now I’m writing a middle grade portal fantasy, my protagonist (and the majority of the other characters) are not even close to being a Two, but my MC’s mom IS a type Two. So really, it’s just a random mashup. I don’t specifically make a character one type or another.

If you have a strong wing, how does it impact your writing process, if at all?

I’m… actually not sure what my wing is… XD

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the writing process (plotting, writing, editing)?

Honestly, my least favorite is probably the actual writing process. I have so much in my head, and I just want to get it out on the paper, but I have to take my time and actually WRITE OUT ALLLLLL THE WOOORDSSS. Ack. Over the past few years, I was surprised to find that I actually really love editing? Everything is already there on paper, you’ve already built a foundation, so now you can put all your focus and creative imagination to purely making the character’s inner journey and the flow of the story beautiful!

What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of the writing craft (setting, characters, theme, plot, prose, etc.)?

Plot is probably my least favorite, followed up with setting. Bleh.

Do you have any writing “rituals” (drinking tea, lighting a candle, putting on music) to get you in the mood to write?

Yep. Procrastination. *slips on black sunglasses and leans back*

…. But really, I don’t have anything specific that I do every single time. Sometimes I’ll put on a song that embodies the story I’m writing, or I’ll mess around with the Pinterest board for a little bit.

But something that without fail can get me into my character’s head and ready to write? WALKING OUTSIDE. For some reason, going outside automatically clears my mind and gets me in the mood to write.

What most inspires you to write?

Life.

Ice cream.

Depression.

*cough* I’m inspired by a lot of things! But specifically, I’m inspired by stories. When I read a book or watch a movie I love, it makes me want to write something just as good and beautiful and life-changing. Another thing that inspires me to write is the people I see around me. There’s so many interesting people in this world, so many hurting hearts, and they inspire me to write stories that represent them.

What is your reason for writing?

Words are powerful. As my favorite author, Brandon Sanderson, once said, “Words are where most change begins.” And the words in a story? Even more so. I want to tell stories that people can relate to, that people can see the truth in, and not only that… But I want to write stories that change the reader in the same way I have been changed by the many beautiful books I have read. Through my stories, I want to show the darkness of this world, and the Light that shines through it all. I want broken people to read and know that they can heal, that they can keep going forward, I want to use the words I write to speak out against the injustice and sin of the world, and show the love and justice of our Almighty God.

But more than that?

I just love writing.

Yes, I want to make a difference, yes I use my stories to say the things I can’t, yes I live through my characters, but at the end of the day, I just purely love the art of words. And I think that’s something that every writer has to come to the realization of, because purely wanting to write because of other people, or because you want to “change the world” isn’t enough. It has to go deeper. Beneath all that, you have to decide that writing in itself is worth it, whether or not anyone ever even reads a word of what you’ve written.

Anything else you want to share?

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
― Ernest Hemingway

(I LOVE this quote)

About Julia

Julia Skinner is an eighteen year old writer, blogger, and ice cream enthusiast. When she’s not working on one of her (many) sci-fi fantasy novels, she can be found playing video games, happy-ranting about one of Brandon Sanderson’s books, or wondering just how many germs are on the door handle. But most importantly, she’s a sinner saved by grace, and her life goal is to bring glory to her Savior, Jesus Christ. If any good comes from her journey, it’s because of Him.

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13 thoughts on “Enneagram Authors: Type 2 – The Helper

  1. I really enjoyed reading this! That’s very interesting that Julia’s strong point as a type 2 is creating deep, meaningful characters. That is definitely such an important part of learning to write well!

  2. This is fascinating! As a fellow type 2, I relate to almost every single one of Julia’s writing strengths, weaknesses, interests, and focuses (CHARACTERS <3). I never thought about how much personality type affects your writing, but it was so much fun to read through her answers and discover that someone else writes the same way I do!
    Thank you so much for this post – it was both fun and illuminating! :)

    1. That’s super cool! I found the same thing when I read the answers from my fellow 9. It’ll interesting to see if that’s a continued thing throughout the types!

  3. “Do you have any writing “rituals” (drinking tea, lighting a candle, putting on music) to get you in the mood to write?
    Yep. Procrastination. *slips on black sunglasses and leans back*”

    🤣 🤣 🤣 Unfortunately I can relate to this. 😂

    (Also, I, too, am an ice cream enthusiast. And now I want ice cream.)

  4. I relate to not liking the the actual writing part (the blank page is the worst sometimes), finding editing cool (cause there words to fix and make better) and finding inspiration to write by walking outside (though sometimes I think about the wrong idea and then the whole act is pointless. XD)

    “Yes, I want to make a difference, yes I use my stories to say the things I can’t, yes I live through my characters, but at the end of the day, I just purely love the art of words. And I think that’s something that every writer has to come to the realization of, because purely wanting to write because of other people, or because you want to “change the world” isn’t enough. It has to go deeper. Beneath all that, you have to decide that writing in itself is worth it, whether or not anyone ever even reads a word of what you’ve written.”
    ^^^ And this, so good. I love her point so much! And I 100% agree with it.

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