I’ve heard people say, “I’ve thought about writing a book, but I don’t know how to go about it.” Or, “Friends tell me I ought to write down the stories I tell them, and maybe I will someday. But I don’t know whether I’m really a writer.”
If you only plan to write “someday,” you probably never will.
If you don’t know whether you’re a writer, here are some ways to tell:
You’re a writer if …
Everywhere you go you find ideas–in things that happen to you or around you, in signs you see, things you read, conversations you overhear or are involved in, people you see.
You always carry a notebook to jot down these ideas, and you have a collection of scraps of paper with ideas for scenes, characters, etc. written on them.
Dreams provide ideas for stories.
When you read, you find yourself analyzing the writer’s technique and style.
You often ask yourself, “What if …? What would result if such and such happened? What made that happen? What could have changed that outcome?
You cast people you see in the grocery store, in a restaurant, or passing on the street as characters in a story and tell yourself stories about them.
You see personal experiences, good and bad, as material for stories.
You go to seminars on writing, read books about writing, and are eager to meet other writers. You try to learn and hone your writing skills.
You look for venues where you can get your writing published, but you write whether you are getting published or not.
And, most importantly, you’re a writer if you write, and write consistently.
In fact, you’re a writer if you can’t NOT write.