In the vein of 6 Signs You Might Be a Musician, here’s one for writers, too.
1. You write.
This one seems obvs, but bears mentioning. You are a writer if you write. Not only do you write, you feel COMPELLED to write–if you can’t write, you get itchy. You find yourself writing on whatever you can, and if you are sans one of your ten notebooks you type notes into your phone or write on your hands. You are constantly seen going, “Hold that thought, I have to write this down,” and people who know you stop noticing after a while, because you scribbling stuff down as they speak is all too common.
2. You tend to think. A lot. About Everything.
You are constantly ruminating on something or another, wondering about this or that, postulating potential quandaries or conversations in your mind, having interactions between real or imagined characters in your head. Your ideas have ideas and they breed additional ideas and problems that need to be mapped and charted. Dictionaries and encyclopedias need to be consulted, libraries visited, information gleaned constantly, endlessly, all the time. It’s a 24/7 convenience store of analytical thought between your ears.
3. Life is being transcribed by you as it happens
While you’re sitting in the current moment that’s happening, you are also co-existing in a completely fictional world of your own creation fashioned on the hinges of the world you are witnessing. While you’re talking with a friend or enjoying some music or food or reading a book on the bus, there’s a script running in your head. Current events are replaying in your head and you’re planning on writing them or are already writing them as they occur.
Your philosophy is that life is meant to be transcribed: “And then the old lady dropped an entire bag of lemons which rolled under people’s seats on the bus, a little kid slipped and his mom got irate and the bus driver swerved…”
4. The people you spend time with are a little odd
Writers tend to relate to other writers and analytical people. Trouble is, when people are all up in their head, all the time, things like putting on makeup or buying fashionable clothes are second (or third or fourth) to the drivel that runs on endless repeat in your head, thoughts and ideas and conversations that NEED TO BE WRITTEN DOWN ALL THE TIME OR ELSE. Because of this, you look around at some lit party and find…
a buncha freaks.
Not to say all of us are this way, but writers don’t tend to look like rock stars. Books and poems and non-fiction pieces speak for themselves, the face of the person who created them secondary to the actual piece itself.
5. Your success is never good enough
Even when you get that one thing published, you are looking to get that next thing published. If you’re in this fabulous journal, you want to be in that fabulous journal, it’s as if as soon as you reach a goal, it evaporates and becomes moot and you’re already on about the next thing. Nothing will ever, ever, ever, be good enough.