So I was reading an article recently that listed the “signs” to know if one was meant to be a writer. Some of these “signs” included admiring other authors, thinking about writing, being doubtful about one’s ability to be a writer, or being someone who thinks they have good ideas.
While I agree all writers do often share these traits, the key ingredient to being a writer is that WRITERS WRITE. Whether they journal or write short fiction, or even write snippets or scenes in stolen minutes during their coffee breaks – writers write.
They don’t sit around dreaming about writing, or just sit around lamenting about ideas for books they could be writing. They don’t lay about idolizing their favorite authors. They aren’t so crippled with self-doubt that they never set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). No. Writers write.
If one is not writing – they’re not a writer. Why? Because writers write.
Even if a person sticks everything he’s ever penned in his bottom desk drawer and locks it away so it never sees the light of day, he’s more of a writer than the person who talks about all the great ideas she has for a book, but who has never lifted a finger to put it to paper.
Oh no – there is no valid excuse for not writing. Not writer’s block or feeling uninspired. Even in my least inspired moments I’m writing something. Why? Because writers write. It’s what we do.
I guess I get a little tired of writers and writing being marginalized. As if thinking about being a writer alone makes one a writer. As if it takes no talent or skill whatsoever except one’s ability to form a sentence, or pass High School English. Or daydream. Just proclaiming to be a writer doesn’t make it so. One actually has to write something.
Just like to call oneself a painter, one must paint.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand being supportive and encouraging and I realize articles like this are about encouraging would-be writers to follow their dreams. I do encourage anyone who thinks they have a book in them to write it. If one really wants to be a writer they have my support 100%. But they need to do more than sit around thinking about writing, or lamenting about being a writer like these types of articles suggest.
I know a better way to discover if one is meant to be a writer. It’s simple. All they need to do is ask themselves these simple questions:
- Do you write? Do you write a lot? Do you like to write?
- Do you read? Do you read a lot? Do you like to read?
If the answer is yes to ALL of these — the person is probably meant to be a writer.
If not – writing is probably not really their thing.
Writers write. Period. (Writers are readers, too.)