First off, I just want to clarify: Literary is actually not my highest score on Areas of Interest. It’s not even my second highest!
My top 3 are Artistic, then Outdoor, then Literary. It may come in third, but for me Literary is no less important than those other scores. And in some ways it’s the one I have to keep an eye on.
As I said, my highest score is Artistic; I did my degree in Fine Arts, I’ve worked as a designer and videographer, and I still work on my own illustrations on the side. For me, it’s not too difficult to fulfil my need to be engaged in visuals and the way things look. It’s my job - I do it every day!
My second highest score is Outdoor; this one takes a bit more effort on my part to fulfil, but luckily my desk is right next to a big window where I can enjoy the sunshine or watch tropical storms rolling in - it’s a small thing but it makes a big difference to my state of mind!
And then there’s Literary.
Funnily enough I had an experience just a few weeks back that reminded me just how important this score is for my sanity…
See, in the past I’ve spent a lot of time writing. Seriously, a lot of time. But since finishing my degree that hasn’t been the case. When you work full time in a job that does not require you to spend much time writing it’s amazing how quickly you drop the habit. For a year and a half my old norm of writing every day dropped to writing maybe once a week (if I was lucky), and eventually petered out to nothing.
When I started working for Elaura (hoozyu’s parent company, if you didn’t know!) I started doing some bits of writing again - but things were busy and I didn’t always make as much effort as I should…
And then a few weeks back I started feeling pretty run down and couldn’t work out why - I wasn’t ill, I wasn’t overworked, and I’d just spent the weekend relaxing in the sun on a tropical island! How could I be feeling so lethargic and mentally washed out?
During a conversation with one of my colleagues that week we got talking about High Literary scores. She was telling me a story about someone she knew who had taken up the habit of writing for half an hour to an hour every morning. He had commented that he felt, and other people noticed, that he was somehow different when he was writing.
Something inside me stirred. Perhaps some long-stifled part of me recognised this truth. As soon as she spoke those words I felt suddenly more alert, more widely awake than I had in weeks. “He was somehow different when he was writing.” Well, it was worth a try - right?
The following Monday I left the house early and headed to a nearby coffee shop - one I knew would be deserted at that time of morning. I chose an empty table with plenty of space and pulled out my laptop, notebooks, pen… For the next 2 hours or more I sat and wrote.
I was researching for a specific project at work, but instead of just reading and absorbing and moving on, I took the time to take notes, and then reflect on my notes, and then reflect on my reflections. By writing things down I was forcing myself to think, deeper and deeper, capturing all the spiralling tangents and whispery half-thoughts.
That morning I blew away some serious cobwebs. For the first time in a long time I felt like I was working at full capacity. My thoughts were sharp and energised, the fog that had shrouded my mind was suddenly dispersed. I felt amazing!
Over that week I wrote every single day. I didn’t ask anyone else if they noticed a change in me, I didn’t really need to know - it was enough that I felt somehow different. By fulfilling my Literary need I was giving myself the energy to get through the rest of the days tasks more effectively - I could concentrate for longer, I was ticking more things off my to-do lists!
Now, I don’t know if having a High Literary score works that way for everyone - I’d love to ask around and find out! But the fact that engaging in all three of my top Interest scores (rather than just the two highest) made such a huge difference, is a good reminder to us all to look not just at our topmost score.
Most of us have a number of things that make us feel energised - by playing to all of these interests we have the best chance of staying motivated in life.
So next time you’re feeling ‘not quite yourself’ have a quick think over all your high scores - is there something you’re not getting enough of? How can you do more of it in your everyday life?
And if you’re High Literary like me why not give writing a go? Whether it’s a personal journal or a public blog you might find that getting your thoughts out in writing really helps you stay energised!