When I first started writing a few years (okay, a lot of years) back, I always wondered if I was really a writer. Did I have it in me? I would jump on any article that detailed what it took to be a writer. Imagination? Check. Determination? Check. Able to Read? Check. Able to write? Ummm?
Over the years I’ve become more secure with letting people know I’m a writer, and I’ve discovered signs that let me know I not only can call myself a writer, I can’t call myself anything else. (Actually, maybe people call me crazy…) So here are the top 10 things that indicate you’re a writer.
10. You own a gazillion books. You own paper books, books on ereaders, and generally have books hanging out all over our house. You have a pile of books on an actual TBR shelf. You know what TBR means. (To Be Read) You usually have a whole shelf of craft books stacked together that you stare at, like a shrine to some writing god.
9. You take a book with you everywhere you go. Whether you read fiction, non-fiction, blogs or craft books, you carry it either in your purse, murse or on your phone. Just in case you have a few
seconds minutes to read while waiting in the grocery store lineup, on your break or when your car breaks down. (I have a serious fear that I’ll be out somewhere, my car will break down and I won’t have a book to read while I wait for a tow truck.)
8. You carry a notebook and multiple pens. Everywhere. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
7. You have a strange combination of Insecurity and Confidence. After reading something that makes you want to hurl, you say, ‘I can write better than that! Can’t I?’
6. You know Social Media. While you may not be a maven, like Kristen Lamb, you definitely know about platforms (or at least that we’re not talking about shoes), you’re dabbling in twitter, blogging, Good Reads, Triberr, etc… You know just enough to be dangerous.
5. You are an awful movie date. You will frequently try to predict plot twists or the ending of the movie you’re watching. Out loud. To anyone who will listen.
4. You are superstitious. You have favourite writing routines, spots, hoodies, t-shirts, notebooks, mugs etc…. All in the hope that if you do everything exactly the same as the day before, the muse will show up again. Oh, and you believe in the Muse. (right there… crazy.)
3. You are a horrible listener. I know everyone thinks writers are great listeners, listening for the next story. But really, when people start talking we actually only hear part of what the person is saying, because a word or phrase will spark an idea for us, and our minds race away with it. So tell your friends (if you have any left) don’t feel bad if you’re talking to a writer and their eyes glaze over. It’s actually a good thing! You’ve sparked a story idea. (Or maybe you’re just that boring.)
2. Ideas pop into your head at the most inconvenient times. Ideas (whether for fiction or non-fiction) explode into your head, usually when you don’t have access to the multiple notebooks and pens you carry around. Like when you’re in the shower, or driving, or in a movie theater, or at your spouse’s business Christmas party.
1. You talk to yourself. Or at least you look like you’re talking to yourself. Really, it’s your characters possessing you (one after the other) in order to have conversations with each other. If you write non-fiction, you’re not exempt from this. We know you mutter ideas and carry on arguments with yourself (usually with lots of handwaving involved).
Bonus. You know you’re a writer when after an embarrassing moment or argument with your significant other, they yell, “Don’t you dare put this on your blog!”
Now that you’ve decided you’re a writer, head over to Chuck Wendig’s post about 25 Things I Want to Say to So-Called Aspiring Writers for some hilarious but seriously kick-ass advice.
So did I miss anything? What makes you a writer? What quirks and signs give it away?