How Grocery Shopping Reveals Your Writing Style

I read an article years ago (pre-Google) about how your personality is evident depending on which stage of grocery shopping you prefer. I think it can also explain writing style. I’ll explain—to the best of my recollection.


Making the list – The Visionary

Version 2Is your favorite part of grocery shopping sitting down and making the list? Do you enjoy poking around in the pantry to see if you need to replace that jar of cinnamon? Do you check the refrigerator to see if you’re out of ketchup? (BTW throw out that old jar of salsa.)

Then perhaps your favorite part of writing is bouncing around story ideas and planning the research. Nothin’ could be finah.


Walking the aisles – The Implementer

Ah, there’s nothing better than holding on to that cart (after wiping it down with an antibacterial cloth) and navigating the pasta aisle. You can veer and maneuver with the best of them. This is your reward—turning the list into reality. So what if you extend that reality to those Dove chocolates weren’t on the original list? Add them now so you can cross them off.

You probably most enjoy writing your first draft where you take the vision and commit it to paper. What could be more rewarding than that?


At home – The Closer

IMG_0867Nothing is more satisfying to you than unloading the bags from the car and putting those groceries right where they belong. The cinnamon goes in the spice cupboard, the Dove chocolates get hidden way back on a pantry shelf so no one else sees them, and the milk…seriously, throw away that salsa.

You like the editing process. Shape up that draft, streamline that vision, dig into POV. Life is good.


Enjoying your food – The Epicurean

PaellaNow you can sit down at the table and feast on the fruits of your labor. Savor the beautiful meal you’ve created as a result of all that hard work.

This category fits all writing styles. Who doesn’t love seeing your book on the shelf, be it online or at the bookstore or library? Celebrate with a Dove chocolate…if you can remember where you stashed them.




Which kind of shopper/writer are you?

16 thoughts on “How Grocery Shopping Reveals Your Writing Style

  1. Kathleen Shaputis says:

    Seat of my pants shopper, Lol. I go with great intentions (no list) and end up skipping from one end of the store to the other and still miss an ingredient or two. Hmm, sort of like my writing, I start at the beginning but then jump around the middle and ending as the muse hits. Somehow, all the pieces join together at the end.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      I love your style, Kathleen LOL. Hey, as long as the groceries get purchased and the book gets written, life is good, right?

  2. LOL What a great post! I’m a list maker for groceries but add in walking the aisles. I hate putting them away. So what does that make me as a writer? I like bouncing ideas (brainstorming with writer friends is best) and I do like the first draft process best. And, yes, I’m not fond of the editing process. That’s a pretty good analysis.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      I’m with you, Diane. I could talk ideas for hours–that really energizes me. But when editing time hits (my current state, BTW) I feel like I’m slogging through molasses.

  3. Diane Flannery says:

    I’m equally visionary/implementor, but closer – not so much. I dump the grocery bags on the kitchen counter and make my husband put them away. Not sure what that habit says about my writing. Great post, Betty.

  4. What a fun way to look at this! After looking at your examples I’d have to say I’m a Closer. The first two are excruciating for me, but once the words are on paper I’m good with revisions. And the shopping analogy fits – hubby does the shopping here (since he does all the cooking), so I just put things away.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      My hubby does the shopping, too (and the cooking, yes, I know I’m blessed). I’m happy to put the groceries away (and clean up the kitchen. It’s a rule in our house that the cook doesn’t clean up). But I’m not so happy as the Closer. Maybe I’m an outlier LOL

  5. Implementer, but the results don’t always fit the budget. And the story gets away from me too. I try to reform by making outlines, but end up using three planned scenes into one powerful one.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Isn’t it amazing how the best laid plans of mice and men and women often stray from our carefully crafted outlines — yet still work? Happy writing, Rohn!

  6. I love this analogy. I think I’m an implementer, since I jot down a list as quickly as I can just so I don’t forget anything and I leave it up to my sister to put things away once I get them home from the store.

    • Elizabeth Meyette says:

      Jotting ideas down immediately is so smart, Becky. Too often I think of a good idea (who am I kidding? At that moment I think it’s a Pulitzer Prize winning idea lol) but don’t write it down and it’s lost forever.

  7. Visionary all the way!!!! I hate all the other parts. Once upon a time I had a computerized list by aisle so items were grouped automatically. Of course, I hated it when the stores rearranged their aisles. Love the post!

  8. Excellent post! I’m the frugal type, as I plan ahead & only purchase the things for which I have a coupon. I also buy meat in bulk when it’s on sale. The idea behind this is great! Thanks for sharing!

  9. I may start out as a Visionary because I always make a shopping list. More often than not I forget to take it with me, so I become an Implementer by default. At heart, however, I’m a Closer. I enjoy rewriting, editing, and polishing my manuscripts more than writing that first draft.

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