I have been working on my self-analysis recently, never a comfortable activity. Somebody told me that I was a ‘completer finisher’, which I thought sounded pretty good until I looked it up, at which point it became obvious that of all the team roles, the completer finisher’s is the least glamorous. Yes, completer finishers get the job done, but apparently we are also obsessive, nit-picky, and professional worry warts, while our obsession with detail is an expression of our deep-seated anxiety. On the plus side, CFs like me meet our deadlines, which I suppose is a good thing when you’re a writer.
Much as I would like to say that this isn’t me at all, I have to admit that I recognise more than a few aspects of my personality here. I’m a nit-picking queen, that’s for sure: I’m the one who flinches at a misused apostrophe and spots every typo on a menu. For years I thought of myself as a relaxed, living-in-the-moment type, but now I can see this is absolute rubbish. What was I thinking? I spend my life fretting about the next deadline, and although I do love it when I get away, the moment I sit down at my computer again, my shoulders hunch up round my ears and my back turns into a board. But if I don’t have a deadline, I don’t get anything done, so it looks as if I’m stuck as the neurotic, twitching in the corner at parties.
Which may be just as well as my deadline is 31st October. I’m revising and rewriting – great chunks in the present are having to be completely re-thought (sigh) – but I’ve been working steadily through my timetable for 20 chapters, and now I’ve got just six to go. Yep, spot the completer finisher.
I’m not sure if pigeon-holing writers into the various personality types is really helpful for writers anyway. In theory we should all be reclusive introverts, surely, but clearly we’re not all the same. Are there any other completer-finishers out there, or are you all exciting ideas people or warm, fuzzy team members? But hey, how good are you at meeting your deadlines?