Enneagram Authors: Type 8 – The Challenger

About the 8

Description from The Enneagram Institute

Eights are self-confident, strong, and assertive. Protective, resourceful, straight-talking, and decisive, but can also be ego-centric and domineering. Eights feel they must control their environment, especially people, sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating. Eights typically have problems with their tempers and with allowing themselves to be vulnerable. At their Best: self- mastering, they use their strength to improve others’ lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring.

  • Basic Fear: Of being harmed or controlled by others
  • Basic Desire: To protect themselves (to be in control of their own life
    and destiny)

For the 8, I had the privilege of interviewing author Kellyn Roth!

Interview with Kellyn

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

Hi! I’m Kell, and I write historical women’s fiction and romance. Right now I’m working on a Victorian family saga, and in the past I’ve published a historical drama series starting during WWI and ending after WWII. Mostly, I like writing about my passions – history, children, mental health, why people do what they do – and adding a lot of feels. (Yes, yes, I am overcompensating for my inability to express my own emotions outwardly by placing them in my stories. Why do you ask?)

When I’m not writing, I like to stress about the fact that I’m not writing, but I also enjoy hanging out with my border collies, rambling about just about everything because I’m a rambler, hanging out with friends, and doin’ my day jobs. I also really like talking about myself, so I’d better cut this thing off before it gets out of control.

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

I’m Type 8, and I’m pretty happy with it. I sometimes wish I were Type 5, which I had thought in the past thought I might be (primarily because it’s pretty common for ISTPs to be Type 5), but I don’t give a darn about useless knowledge, and I never will. I find observation useless without implementation, even though I really express the evil geniuses of this world. I’m just more of a mad scientist than an evil genius is all. *insert Dr. Doofenschmirtz reference*

The only thing I really dislike about being Type 8 is that it frustrates me at times that I don’t relate to the general population, which is primarily emotion-driven. I’ll overcompensate with a lot of “feely” talk when I can (especially when writing, because that’s my default at this time), but most of the time I don’t bother. I’m not particularly sorry I am brusque, but I dislike other peoples’ inability to process me being brusque which in turn makes me dislike being brusque. (Makes sense, right?)

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

I’m not that writer who “waits for inspiration” or rewrites a sentence a thousand times, and I rarely relate to more writing memes, though I still find them funny. I get things done, or I don’t do them at all. I don’t see writing as some high, far-off art that will somehow change the lives of millions after I’m dead. I don’t want to do it if it ain’t gonna make me a millionaire while I’m alive. ;-)

Well, okay, I would do it, but I would do it a lot less. I’d focus in on things that would make my life on earth livable rather than chasing a dream – I might go to college and get a degree in early childhood education if I didn’t think writing would pan out. I can’t be happy in mediocre obscurity, and I can’t be happy being one in millions of writers whose name never lived past their death.

Basically, I want to create quality novels that share something I love to people who, in turn, will love it. And then I want people to write fanfiction about it. And I want to make smart business choices that will allow that to happen. :P

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

Oftentimes I’m able to make myself work quite hard, and I’m quite comfortable being independent. I get things done, and I don’t ask anyone to hold my hand while I do it. In fact, my worst nightmare is finding out I can’t do things without other peoples’ help – so I do my best to remain independent.

I also feel like I really enjoy helping other writers because of being Type 8 – I genuinely enjoy reaching behind me to help someone up. (Though at this point, I’m not far enough along in the whole writing chain to have a ton of people behind me, but you get the point.) I want to be independent, yes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see literally everyone else around me succeed! (I have a very “teach a man to fish” mentality.)

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

Exhaustion. I’m constantly stressed and worn out from pushing myself too hard. I also never meet my impossibly high standards, and I probably never will. Also, this world and everything in it (including writing) is 100% out of my control. That is an 8’s nightmare! So here I am, grasping at straws of what never will be. (Help?)

Do you think your type impacts how you create characters?

Characters are 100% my favorite part of the writing process. I see people, real and fictional, as puzzles to be carefully placed together, and I delight in making all the pieces click just right.

I’m not sure why this is. Whenever people come from my writing to me, they’re surprised that I’m ISTP Type 8 because of where my writing focuses. Whenever people go from me to my writing, they’re surprised by that, too! But there it is. I write what I read as a child – I read character-heavy classics/vintage books.

I think a lot of the reason I write the way I write is that I’m on a constant search for maturity and independence (even as I refuse to conform to “adulthood” in other ways – I’m basically a youngest child only with a lot more pressure to be an adult on me). Because of the way I was raised, to me, maturity is that kind of character-heavy, thematically deep book that delves into emotions heavily.

Do you think it impacts how you worldbuild?

I couldn’t build a world to save my life. I have tried to, too, and it’s inevitably flopped. Thankfully, I write historical fiction, so my worldbuilding is already done. All I have to do is research! (Which I am able to do fairly well.)

Do you think it impacts how you outline?

Hmmm … I think that’s probably the biggest area it does impact. I love outlining, and I do it in excess for every novel I write. This allows me to push through when I don’t feel like writing and so on, and I also enjoy writing out my plans (not just for fiction novels – I like writing out plans for my life, too!), which makes it a pleasing process.

Do you think it impacts your prose or writing style?

I’m sure it does, but I can’t pick out how. I’m bad enough at describing my writing style!

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

All different types! I purposefully go for a lot of personality diversity in my characters. My favorite characters couldn’t be more different from me, though I do have at least one Type 8. I have a lot of Type 7s, too (I’m so sick of seeing them indirectly insulted – they’re not shallows, and y’all are snobs).

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

I haven’t looked into it enough to know that I do, but I believe 8w7 would be most accurate. If so, I think that’d be where I get my stupid sense of humor (and it is stupid; I’m not just being humble – I am never being humble) which oozes its way into my manuscripts from time to time, and it’s also one of the big reasons I chose to go indie. I just need that freedom, even if I choose to follow genre trends and suchlike. But I don’t know if it otherwise affects my writing process.

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

I dislike editing. A lot.

I don’t know why. Maybe it’s that I like accomplishing things and editing feels like going back to something I accomplished? Or maybe I just want to write perfect first drafts. Whatever the reason, I hate editing.

I love both writing and outlining, though at times either can feel a bit frustrating. However, since that’s true of anything one ever does on this earth, well, I’ll say writing and outlining. Probably outlining more so, just because it’s “easier,” sad as that is to admit.

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

Characters are the reason stories exist! In a way. But I do love characters. I would happily read or write pages of fluff about my favorites. But I suppose not everyone likes that.

I definitely struggle with making my plots cohesive – for the above-mentioned reason – though I’ve gotten a lot better at it as I grow and learn. Setting is probably my greatest weakness, if only because I forget that not everyone understands Victorian romantic morality, and I just … can’t be bothered to explain it. Despite the fact that, in article format, it’s one of my favorite things to discuss.

Basically, I don’t know what my least favorite aspect of writing craft is. I’ve come to have a hearty appreciation for all of it!

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

Not really. I write at my desk, on the couch, at the dining room table, in my car, at my work, at family events, at restaurants, while my nieces and nephew are making ridiculously loud noises in the background … I’m a big believer in training yourself to write wherever and whenever. I make my own moods.

However, I do put effort into creating these moods every time I write – e.g. I’ll make a mental list of what I’m doing while I prepare, and that will be my “writing ritual” for the day. But generally I won’t repeat it. (Things like turning on certain music and so on.) I’ll get bored if I do it more than once. 83% of “creating a writing mood” for me is eliminating my own mental distractions by turning on the TV, boosting the music, finding someone to talk to while I work, going somewhere where it’s loud, or so on. Otherwise, my brain does stupid things. Sensory stimulation for the win!

What most inspires you to write?

I mean, I have to do something with this brain or I’ll just die. Honestly, I don’t really know. I always have written, and I get my ideas from all sorts of places. I’ve always wanted to create stories like my favorite authors – from Beverly Cleary to C.S. Lewis to Maud Hart Lovelace to Gene Stratton Porter and onwards. They have always made me want to create my own stories! I think I also, in part, like the control of creating my own perfect universe where nothing can go wrong.

What is your reason for writing?

Well, that seems to be about the same question to me as the one before it, so I’ll answer the same way. I write because I must!

Anything else you want to share?

No, I think that just about covers it! Thank you for allowing me to participate in this interview. :)


About Kellyn

Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who has independently published multiple novels, the most notable being The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series. You should definitely call her Kell.

Kell lives on family-owned property outside an unmemorable but historical town with her parents, two little brothers, arbitrary cat, precious border collies, a dozen cows, and lots of chickens. She also possesses a classic, vintage aesthetic which does not at all speak to her country girl side, but such is life.

When not writing, Kell likes to blog, teach writing to her various students, have day jobs which allow her to keep her car properly insured, and spend lavish amounts of money on Dairy Queen french fries. She also likes to talk about Keira Knightley and her own books. Just … way too much. You’ve been warned.

Want to know more about her? Well, she has a website: https://kellynrothauthor.com/

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