3 Types of Writers: Architect, Gardener & Commander; Which One Are You?

“A writer is a person who uses written words in different styles and techniques to communicate ideas.

Which makes each one of us a writer. If you write an email, essays for university assignments, to-dos, congratulations! That makes you a writer.

The writing stands out when there are unique elements, style and personality to the content.

In addition to providing value to your audience, your content should have substance so that it becomes easy for your audience to absorb most of the information.

No style of writing is wrong or right. It depends on how well you can deliver your message and what makes your writing stand out when you put it out in front of the world.

Why Do You Want To Identify Your Writing Style?

Some things are difficult to define unless they are identified.

George R.R Martin is one of the worlds most influential writers. Here is an interesting concept introduced by him during one of his interviews. He says

“There are two types of writers, the architects and gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. They discover as it grows. In addition, I am much more a gardener than an architect.”

Writers as Architects

  • They are change-makers, and they believe in planning and execution.
  • They have a blueprint hence a clear vision of the outcome.
  • They plan ahead of time and strictly abide by the specifications mentioned in the blueprint.
  • There is a standard protocol that should be followed else, the project could all go in vain so there are fewer errors.
  • Resources are known and time can be estimated.

Examples: tech, non-fictional & report writing, etc.

Writers as Gardeners

  • They ponder upon their thoughts.
  • They take time and choose to indulge in the process rather than the outcome.
  • They are excited about the outcome while being patience.
  • They nurture their work.
  • They are ready for the mystery.
  • They persevere.
  • They are okay with not completing their work unless they know that it is progressing.
  • They believe that their work will age well if it is nurtured without a time barrier.
  • They keep a record of knowledge and build upon it.

Examples: fictional writers, artists, illustrators, etc.

I gave it a deep thought and figured out that I fit into neither of two categories. So I tried introducing a third category.

Writers as Commanders

Commanders’ characteristics are the intersection between architects and gardeners’ characteristics. They have a strategy, planning like an architect and patience like gardeners.

  • They are trained for uncertainty.
  • They make no excuses when it comes to training daily. They are disciplined.
  • They are always ready if an emergency strikes.
  • Their trained moves and tactics allow them to win later on the battlefield.
  • They are ready with planning, strategy and execution for an emergency.
  • They cannot wait like a gardener with a patient mindset nor they can visualize the end goal like an architect, as certain situations demand a certain response.

Examples can be pharmacists, engineers, lawyers, physicians, scientists, financial analysts, and design thinkers


The biggest takeaway from this article is that you can define your writing style once you identify your key features and characteristics.

Once you crossed this major challenge, it becomes easier for you to steer the content according to your strengths and audience’s feedback.

Here is the framework that I followed throughout my writing journey.

Plan of Action

  1. Ideate: Decide what you want to write or expand your knowledge upon.
  2. Train: Read and store the consumed information in a good knowledge system for better retention.
  3. Execute: Extract the collected information and add your style of writing to it.
  4. Iterate: Pay attention to the critics and feedback to modify your writing.
  5. Adapt: Adapt and improve continuously.

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