I posted an early version of this a long time ago, before I really understood the depths of what ‘being a writer’ meant. I’ve updated!
- You love research more than your cat. Or dog.
- A friend called you because they hadn’t heard from you, well, forever, and said, “There’s an old saying in poker. If you’re playing for thirty minutes and don’t know who the fish is yet, it’s you.” Your response: “What’s that have to do with writing?”
- Your name is on a milk carton because your friends haven’t seen you for so long.
- The day before a deadline, you don’t answer the door, return phone calls, or respond to texts/emails. You don’t care you are burning lifelong bridges. You don’t care that the last time this many bridges were burned in one day was WWII because you’re ‘in the zone’.
- You belt out your feelings at an interruption and then edit them back to a semblance of sanity.
- You are a neologist at heart. You curl up at night with The Oxford Essential Dictionary of Difficult Words–and don’t fall asleep.
- There are many days you feel like Caesar crossing the rubicon. You too are at the point of no return.
- There are times you feel like a very stupid bee banging against the same window over and over–but you never give up. It’s not in you to give up. You are a writer.
- Sometimes you go zero to sixty in five minutes, other times it takes five seconds. When inspiration strikes, you grab a pencil (or keyboard) and write. In the middle of dinner, when friends are over, driving–doesn’t matter. It’s time.
- You’re writing space is sacred ground.
- Your family thinks you’re deaf but you’re just concentrating.
- As you edit–for the xxxth time–you remember Mark Twain’s criticism of James Fenimore Cooper–“…a tale should accomplish something and arrive somewhere. But the “Deerslayer” tale accomplishes nothing and arrives in air.” You have no idea if he’s right or just angry.
- Sometimes writing, which is the dream of so many, is your nightmare.
- You cancel your recreational colonoscopy because you’re too busy.
If you relate to half of these: You are a writer.
Share what first convinced you that YOU were a writer in comments.
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Summer 2020.