Writers Are Gatherers

My friend Jacque recently wrote about her strengths. After taking the Strengths Finder evaluation, she had a new perspective. What she once saw as a weakness – her deeply felt desire for harmony – she now sees as a strength.

I experienced the same thing this week while attending a university seminar.

The speaker, who also happens to be an amazing writer, said, “Writers are gatherers.” In the context of her lecture, she explained how writers are astute observers of the world around them, and they have an almost obsessive habit of gathering information.

Just then, someone in the room raised her hand and asked, “It’s funny you mention that because one of my strengths is input. Does anyone else here have input as one of your strengths?”

Numerous attendees raised their hands. Myself included. The speaker laughed and said that she too has input as her number one strength. Apparently, this is a commonly found strength among professors. Considering the amount of research most professors do, I suppose this makes sense.

Writers are gatherers.

I’ve taken the Strengths Finder test twice. Both times, input was my number one strength. But this result would always make me sigh. I couldn’t help but think, “What a boring strength.”

Input. I collect data. How boring!

I am one of those rare birds who actually loves doing research. Until this week, though, I preferred to keep that little tidbit of geeky-ness to myself. But now I am viewing this strength as an intrinsic component to the life of a writer. There are many different kinds of writers in the world, of course, but there is a strong trend among many of them. Writers are gatherers!

I kind of like that.

 Have you ever had a change of heart
in the way you viewed something about yourself?

Take a moment and visit my friend Jacque’s blog.


6 thoughts on “Writers Are Gatherers

  1. Pamela, I can so relate! 🙂

    Exegete, thank you. Yes, I like “gatherer” better than “pack rat” too.

    Sush, good for you! You've made your strengths work FOR you! 🙂

    Warren, that's very interesting. Navigating through conflict is never easy, probably even more so when you're in leadership!

    Deidra, I like how to put that: “making connections and forming community.” Amen to that!

  2. It's nice to find our strengths and know that they are deeply tied to our callings and the things we love most. Writers are gatherers, indeed. They not only gather information, but they also find a way of presenting it so that others can be gathered in, making connections and forming community.

  3. I had to take the Strengths Finder test this summer for my D.Min. Harmony came out as one of my hightest strengths, too. I sometimes have thought of that as a weakness, b/c it doesn't always lend itelf to handling conflict in the best way. But, through this test and comments, I've learned that it can be a very valuable strength if other personality traits can be developed, too. God gave us all these different gifts for a reason.


  4. Yes, I find I'm a gatherer! It does come in hand when playing Trivial Pursuit…many vie for me as their teammate! I'll be pondering on a change of heart on how I view myself…

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