While I consider myself a pretty practical and realistic person, I am also undeniably a sucker for all things "personality type." I take great stock in being sorted into Gryffindor, as well as being born a Capricorn. I have taken the Enneagram test (hello, I'm a Type 3) on multiple websites and I am always thinking about how each of these personality indicators relates to one another. But perhaps the most well-known and widely taken personality test is the Myers-Briggs test. I, of course, have taken this multiple times over the years (I fluctuate between INFJ and ENFJ, if you were curious) and there is a clear reason why creatives and corporate companies alike turn to personality tests to decide how a person will work.
Figuring out whether your are introverted or extroverted, a leader or a an altruist, spontaneous or planned... all of these things can change who you are as a creator in so many ways. So when it comes to what inspiring books on creativity you should read, why not pick up one that will appeal specifically to your personality type and the kind of creator you are, rather than gasp blindly for advice that someone who is an ESFP might adore but an ISTJ would never follow? Go take that Myers-Briggs test, and then come back and find the perfect creative memoirs and self-help to add to your TBR stack.
INTJ — 'The Architect': Read 'The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl' by Issa Rae
If you're an ambitious, self-confident, hard-working INTJ, you're going to want to read The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae. In this book, Rae reveals how her persistence and passion paid off on the road for a creativity fulfilling career.
INTP — 'The Logician': Read 'The Art Of Asking' by Amanda Palmer
INTPs are imaginative, original, and open-minded, much like Amanda Palmer. In her memoir, The Art of Asking, she implores readers to ask for help in the creative sphere and to support people who will help support you and make your visions a reality. This can be super helpful to those INTPs who are also more private and prone to second-guessing themselves.
ENTJ — 'The Commander': Read 'Tiny Beautiful Things' by Cheryl Strayed
Bold and strong-willed ENTJs are efficient and self-confident, but also stubborn, impatient, and prone to handling their emotions poorly. Every bit of creative medicine an ENTJ needs can be found in Tiny Beautiful Things — from ways to get a better handle on all that life throws your way to advice on how to be more steady in your pursuits both personal and artistic.
ENTP — 'The Debater': Read 'The Art Of Memoir' by Mary Karr
ENTPs are smart and curious thinkers who can be very argumentative. You'll find much to love in The Art of Memoir, which contains creative advice that is just as irreverent, insightful and entertaining as its author, Mary Karr.
INFJ — 'The Advocate': Read 'M Train' by Patti Smith
INFJs are quiet and mystical, full of inspiring ideas, though their sensitivity and passion can lead to burn out. M Train will be super relatable to INFJs who love to think big about how the art they make and consume relates to their lives, but they will also appreciate Smith's ruminations on letting go of what is outside her control.
INFP — 'The Mediator': Read 'Make Good Art' by Neil Gaiman
The poetic and altruistic INFP will benefit greatly from Neil Gaiman's Make Good Art, which encourages the fledgling painters, musicians, writers, and dreamers to break rules and think outside the box and look internally, using their open-mindedness and energy to make world-changing art.
ENFJ — 'The Protagonist': Read 'How To Be A Bawse' by Lilly Singh
ENFJs are born leaders; reliable and charismatic, though they can be overly idealistic and struggle to make tough decisions. How to Be a Bawse is the book that will take your badass born leader and strip away the indecisiveness and tendency to daydream about bigger and better things by giving you the practical tips and life lessons needed to turn yourself into the boss you want to be.
ENFP — 'The Campaigner': Read 'Bossypants' by Tina Fey
You ENFPs out there are super observant, popular and curious... and maybe also a bit overemotional, overthinking and overstressed? Well, Tina Fey's Bossypants is definitely for you. Not only is Fey herself lovable and hilariously observant, she shares her own experiences with creative and personal stress.
ISTJ — 'The Logistician': Read 'Sounds Like Me' by Sara Bareilles
ISTJs are responsible, practical, and dutiful — which means they always play things by the book and blame themselves when things go wrong. In Sounds Like Me, Bareilles reveals how much she struggles to create great work while staying true to herself. This book can help an ISTJ get out of their head and out of their own way, which can only mean great things for their creative work.
ISFJ — 'The Defender': Read 'Big Magic' by Elizabeth Gilbert
ISFJs are dedicated, reliable and imaginative, though Big Magic will help them get through their tendency to be shy, repressed and overloaded. Gilbert takes a spiritual approach to the work, and encourages readers to embrace the sense of calm that comes with allowing the muse to come to you. ISFJs will be in that seat writing, painting, or composing in no time.
ESTJ — 'The Executive': Read 'On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft' by Stephen King
Dedicated and strong-willed ESTJs will love King's direct and no-nonsense approach to teaching aspiring wordsmith's how to take pen to paper. In On Writing, he serves up a revealing and practical view of the craft and delves into his own personal memories of reading and writing.
ESFJ — 'The Consul': Read 'Very Good Lives' by J.K. Rowling
The ESFJ is incredibly caring, popular and loyal but can also be incredibly vulnerable and almost too selfless. Very Good Lives will give you the creative kick you need to see that what comes from within you is just as important as what you give out.
ISTP — 'The Virtuoso': Read 'The Year Of Yes' by Shonda Rhimes
All of you ISTPs out there probably know what its like to be both pratical and rational while also being stubborn and averse to commitment. Taking a page out of Shonda Rhimes's book, The Year Of Yes, will help you see that flexibility can be the key to unlocking the magic of your creative ideas.
ISFP — 'The Adventurer': Read 'Bird by Bird' by Anne Lamott
The ISFP is imaginative and artistic, while also being fiercely competitive with fluctuating self-esteem. Bird by Bird would be a great help for any ISFP writers and creatives out there who are trying to figure out how to channel the best of their personalities into their art.
ESTP – 'The Entrepreneur': Read 'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns' by Mindy Kaling
ESTPs are known for being original and sociable, but can also err toward the insensitive or impatient side. They might relate well to Mindy Kaling's creative memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, in which she shares stories of going it on her own off-Broadway and in television, but also shares insight into what not to do in your personal and professional life — i.e. probably not a great idea to storm out of a meeting a get a manicure because your boss did something you didn't like.
ESFP — 'The Entertainer': Read 'Yes Please' by Amy Poehler
The spontaneous, energetic and enthusiastic ESFP will feel a real connection with Amy Poehler. Always bold and original, Poehler shares optimistic advice for creativity living and offers up the friendly banter we have come to know her for in Yes Please.