The ISTJ Writing Personality: Model Efficiency

The upward course of a nation’s history is due in the long run to the soundness of heart of its average men and women. — Elizabeth II of the U.K.

Can knowing your personality type improve your writing?

ISTJs prefer to write about demonstrable facts. They like to follow a template that has worked well in the past, rather than seeking a new approach. They think through their ideas extensively before committing them to paper. Once they begin, they tend to write quickly from the draft developed in their head, making them very efficient.

The ISTJ personality type is one of 16 identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a popular psychometric instrument used to determine how people prefer to gather information and make decisions. The initials ISTJ stand for the following:

I: Introversion preferred to extraversion
ISTJs get their energy from the internal world of thoughts and ideas. They enjoy interacting with small groups of people but find large groups draining. They generally reflect before acting.

S: Sensation preferred to intuition
ISTJs are concrete thinkers, placing more trust in experience than in flashes of insight. They’re more interested in sensory data than in the patterns perceived by the unconscious mind. ISTJs tend to be intellectually content—they want to enjoy the world.

T: Thinking preferred to feeling
ISTJs prefer to use their thinking function when making decisions. They place more emphasis on the rule of logic than on the effect that actions have on people. They tend to be skeptical in evaluating ideas, whether their own or someone else’s.

J: Judgment preferred to perception
ISTJs are drawn to closure. They feel satisfied after finishing a project or reaching a decision. They think in terms of likelihoods rather than possibilities.

Are you an ISTJ writer? If so, the following information may give you some insight into how temperament influences your writing style. Use these insights to help you play to your strengths and compensate for your natural blind spots.

Writing Process of the ISTJ

ISTJs may approach a writing project in the following ways:

  • View writing as a means of disseminating information.  They often excel at business and scientific writing. They organize and present data sequentially.  They like to include statistics to prove their point, and to illustrate it with visuals such as charts and graphs.
  • When starting a project, want clear instructions or a model to work from. They find it helpful to know what approach has succeeded in the past so they can use it as a framework. If instructions aren’t specific, the ISTJ may be at a loss, so it’s best to ask for clarification.
  • Generally work hard and meet deadlines. They prefer to write alone and in a quiet environment. They tend to be succinct and analytical. They are unlikely to use a thesaurus to add variety to their writing—instead, they focus on getting to the point.
  • Have a large mental database of facts to draw on. These include sense memories, such as the taste of their grandmother’s zucchini bread or the smell of oil in their grandfather’s garage. In a creative project, you can draw on these memories to personalize your writing and bring it to life.

Potential Blind Spots of the ISTJ

ISTJs may experience the following pitfalls:

  • May produce a report, article, or paper that reads like a dry listing of facts. To combat this, avoid overusing statistics or citing too many experts. Instead, incorporate real-world examples to engage your readers.
  • May fail to develop a unifying theme. To orient the reader, be sure to include a thesis statement or some other statement of purpose in the opening.
  • May be too rigid, resisting the idea of adapting their work to an audience. They tend to view revision as unnecessary if expectations are established up front. However, showing your work to a colleague or writing friend helps you ensure that the concepts in your head made it onto the paper as you intended. Revision sharpens your message and makes your work stronger.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong approach to writing. Each person is unique, so don’t let generalities limit you. Do what works best for you.

Do you have any tips for ISTJ writers? Leave a comment and share your experience.
Also, for more information on this subject, check out the sources below.

Write from the Start
by Ann B. Loomis
Writing and Personality by John K. DiTiberio and George H. Jensen
What Type Am I? by Renee Baron
Your Personality Type and Writing: ISTJ
from the Villanova University website
Elizabeth II Quotes at



4 thoughts on “The ISTJ Writing Personality: Model Efficiency

  1. Pingback: Hobbies
  2. Thank you so much for this article. I am a former pharmacist, a perfect fit for my intj personality! But cancer has thrown me onto a new path and now I’m an emerging writer, a good fit for now but transitioning from a STEM career has felt rocky. Thanks for your tips they help me see a more stable path forward!


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