PublishHER Podcast Episode 118: Enneagrams for Authors with Mary Adkins

PublishHER Podcast Episode 118: Enneagrams for Authors with Mary Adkins

In this episode of the PublishHer Podcast hosted by Alexa Bigwarfe, the focus is on exploring the Enneagram personality types and how understanding one's type can enhance their writing process. The guest, Mary Adkins, a writing coach and founder of the Book Incubator, shares insights into aligning writing goals with Enneagram types.

Mary Adkins is a writing coach and founder of The Book Incubator, a 12-month program to write, revise, and pitch your novel or memoir. She is author of the novels When You Read This (Indie Next Pick, “Best Book of 2019” by Good Housekeeping and Real Simple), Privilege ( “Best Summer Read,” New York Post “Best Book of the Week”), and Palm Beach (recently named one of the New York Post’s “Best Books of 2021”). Her books have been published in 13 countries, and her essays and reporting have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, and more.  A graduate of Yale Law School and Duke University, she helps aspiring authors finish their books with joy and clarity. You can apply for The Book Incubator by going to

You don't have to have hours and hours a day to write a book. You can finish a draft in a season. People are doing it. – Mary Adkins

Utilize Enneagram Types

Understanding and implementing Enneagram types in writing can be a game-changer. This personality assessment tool can tap into powerful insights about a writer's unique motivations, fears, and desires, and influence their writing style. By aligning their work with their Enneagram type, writers can propel their talent to its full potential and craft a highly authentic narrative.

Enneagrams for Authors
In this episode, Alexa and Mary discuss various Enneagram types, their motivations, and how writers can tailor their writing goals based on their personality traits. Mary encourages aspiring authors to embrace their unique approaches and dispels the notion that extensive time is required to write a book. She also emphasizes the importance of finding the right writing schedule that aligns with one's lifestyle.


Key Takeaways

  • Understanding Enneagram Types for Writers: Mary Adkins, a writing coach, discusses how knowing your Enneagram type, a personality assessment tool, can help writers understand their motivations and navigate through challenges.
  • Working with Enneagram Types in Writing Goals: Mary explains how she helps writers set goals based on their Enneagram types. Different types may struggle with distinct challenges, and tailoring writing goals to individual personalities can enhance productivity.
  • Writing Goals Beyond Word Count: Mary suggests various writing goals beyond word count, such as page count, scene count, or finding pockets of time for writing. The goal is to align writing practices with an author's Enneagram type and lifestyle.
  • Encouragement for Aspiring Authors: Mary emphasizes that authors don't need extensive time to write a book. With the right goal-setting and understanding of their motivations, writers can complete a draft even in the midst of a busy life.
  • Book Incubator Program: Mary introduces her program, the Book Incubator, which helps writers finish their books and prepare them for pitching to agents. The Enneagram aspect is just one component of this comprehensive program.

Memorable Moments:

  • 00:00:08 – Introduction to the Enneagram and Writing Goals
  • 00:01:55 – The Journey to Becoming a Novelist
  • 00:09:05 – Understanding the Enneagram
  • 00:12:46 – Writing Goals Based on Enneagram Types
  • 00:14:26 – Enneagram Types and Writing Challenges
  • 00:19:02 – The Ambitious Achiever (Type Three)
  • 00:22:05 – Writing Goals and Personality Types
  • 00:25:37 – Handwriting Vs. Typing
  • 00:28:17 – Overcoming Writing Challenges
  • 00:29:22 – Pursuing Passions
  • 00:30:16 – Empowerment through Writing
  • 00:30:59 – Enneagram Test
  • 00:31:30 – Book Incubator Info

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