1. You can teach writing.
This happens when you have gathered and studied enough knowledge on writing that you can teach on writing topics without completely relying on others. You can pull from your own experience to help those who are not quite as advanced as you are. There may still be the occasional beginner’s work that completely baffles you, but on the whole you can identify or recognize what an unpolished work is missing and how to fix it.
2. You’ve started to run out of ideas.
There is a creative high that comes from being a beginner and intermediate writer. But as you move through the steps growing deeper in your writing style and personality, there comes a time when you realize you don’t have as many ideas as you used to. The possibilities of writer’s block loom right around the corner and things don’t flow as well as you remember they did. This though is a sign that you have matured. You’re more careful because you don’t want to waste your time with an idea you know you won’t use later.
3. You have worked on a piece of your writing until you are sick of looking at it.
This is especially important because it means that you cared enough about your writing to want it to be perfect. So you worked and worked on it. You added a word here changed a word there and then changed it back. You’ve done this so many times that you are now certain your piece will never be perfect and it makes you sick to look at it. You are right it may never be perfect, but as Leonardo da Vinci said, “Great art is never finished only abandoned.”
4. You know what works for you.
Wading through the flood of advice on writing out there is difficult, but you’ve tried the different approaches: Outline vs. Creative flow, Character interview vs. Just see how it goes, or Index cards vs. Notepads. You have recognized a pattern in the way you craft a piece whether you should start in the beginning and move along linearly or jump around writing whatever scene you have the passion for. You know what makes your writing easier and what makes writing more like work. And because of this you have become a sufficient professional.
5. You can write even when you’re not inspired.
It is normal for a writer to write when inspired, when the ink flows through page after page, but to write when you’re sick, tired, frustrated and uninspired this is the sign of a mature writer. It takes discipline and self-control to buckle your pants to the chair and churn out the words. The amount of words is not important because it’s all about the dedication and determination.
These are the signs of a maturing professional writer. Have any resonated with you?