Tag Archives: writer

Free personality analysis for writers shows if they are missing key characteristics from their narrative


It shouldn’t be surprising how much your writing tells about your personality. Yet, it is pretty exciting to discover what an artificial intelligence software can tell about yourself. Simply submit a blog post, a page or two from your book or other writing to a computer program and wait for an answer. IBM Watson provides a free online service where you can run a personality test for yourself or for your favorite author.
writers, cartoon characters
The IBM Watson Personality Insights must have 100 words at minimum in order to analyze someone’s personality. The computer algorithm makes a better job if it has more text to work with.

In order to try out how Watson works, we submitted book extracts to the service that included about thousand words each. Then, we asked Watson to review blog posts about 250 words in length from the same author. The results were slightly different between book extracts and blog posts.

It could be that the writing in a book has gone through several phases and several edits (and perhaps editors), whereas a blog post typically is drafted pretty quickly and published without help from other people.

Nonetheless, Watson gave clues which characteristics are strong in a text and which are missing.

You don’t have to enter text from Harry Potter into the IBM Watson to analyze J.K. Rowling’s personality, because Quartz already did it. In addition to Rowling, Watson assessed other popular authors, like Hemingway, E.L. James, Thomas Piketty, Harper Lee and Arthur Conan Doyle.

IBM describes its computer algorithm as follows: “The IBM Watson Personality Insights service uses linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the text data that a person generates through blogs, tweets, forum posts, and more.”

The Personality Analysis service doesn’t request any personal information, Twitter-name or blog address. The algorithm only examines the text you submit to the online form.

In Addition to Writing Well, It Doesn’t Hurt to Master These Skills


It is true that published authors have other skills besides their ability to write well. The important thing is that getting published is not black magic – if you approach it like a business or a large project at work where you really want to succeed, you see the big picture and pay attention to multiple elements that come into play.

A published book or a whole writing career, however, is built on writing skills. Some authors learn the craft at work as they write instructions, product descriptions, web pages, or anything that requires planning for an audience and creating a structure for the piece. Other writers begin by taking writing lessons – if you do, it is highly recommended to take a course that includes multiple genres, such as non-fiction, theater, fiction, travel and articles for magazines.

Woman using watching laptop computer screen

With this in mind, let me summarize Lifehacker’s excellent article on starting a writing career. Here are the skills Lifehacker considers to be important for a writer to succeed.

Social Skills

– Network with other writers and professionals in the business.
– Use social media as your networking platform and to build follow-up.
– Ask around for writing opportunities and what book publishers are looking for.


– Use the experience and skills you already have to find your own place in the world of writing. For instance, if you like the great outdoors and photography, have you ever considered travel writing?
– Adapt to the changing world and new requirements. For instance, today it is becoming common that publishers expect writers to take their own photographs and video clips for an article and for a book manuscript.

Marketing Skills

– Brand yourself. Branding is often a misunderstood concept, but in this context it is important to be professional and consistent within the chosen brand.
– Learn about search engine optimization (SEO).
– Market your articles and posts to web publications (both paying and non-paying guest posts).

Thick Skin

– Show your work, you never know who’ll see it.
– Welcome criticism – both good and bad.


– Typically, it takes time to learn the craft of writing, but it also takes time to break through.