Monday, July 22, 2013

4 Ways to Know You're a Writer

Being a writer can be something you know inside, but it is not until you see it that it is realized. If you know you’re a writer then this might seem a bit basic. But if you aren’t sure then this can help you recognize the desires you already have. Here are four ways to know you are indeed a writer:

1.      You’ve read something written by someone else and thought you could do better.

And then you actually attempted it. You sat down and put fingers to keys or pen to paper. It doesn’t matter if you succeeded in doing better or gave up in frustration. Just the fact that you tried means you want to write and create something.

2.      When you are inspired your first thought is to write.

What inspires you? It could be other stories, television or events and people, but if the first thought you have afterward is, “This would make a good story,” then you are already thinking like a writer. Although it may seem natural to you, most people don’t think that way, only writers do.

3.      You can’t not write.

The best reason to become a writer is because you have to write. If you have a passion that burns inside you, an itch to grab a pen and paper or place your fingers on keys and not doing so hurts, then you are a writer. And you will need that passion to make it through to your dream’s end.

4.      You want to be a writer.

This may seem a little obvious, but the desire to be a writer is not something everyone has. Sometimes talent has something to do with this, but sometimes it doesn’t. Just because a person can craft sentences that would make the hardest heart weep, does not mean this person wants to write or even cares that this talents flows from them. Our desires make us who we are and if you want to be a writer then go and do it! You may not have talent and you might have to work harder than any other writer you know, but if you want it hard enough you will be able to write and write well.

Even though these things are specific to writers, the principles are true for pretty much any occupation or hobby or dream. You’ll never know what you can achieve if you don’t try. I once had an artist tell me, “Anyone can paint,” and I remember thinking “Nuh-uh,” but in a sense he was right. Painting is comprised of knowledge: shapes and colors, shading and techniques. These things can be learned. Anyone can paint.

The same is true for writing. It’s a combination of words that convey information often in predetermined styles and with effort anyone can learn this. As great as talent is, without effort it will only collect dust and fade away. But with effort even the tiniest speck of talent can blossom into a flower bigger than you or I would think. It is not a matter of being better than every writer who ever lived, but being the best you who ever lived. There is only one person who can do that: You.

This was originally posted at Write Over the Edge where I am one of the contributors. Check it out for other great writing discussions!

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