• 3 Signs That You Are a Writer

    Posted Posted by Guest Writer in Inspiration     Comments 3 comments

    I’m a little jealous of plumbers, electricians, teachers, mechanics, doctors, construction workers; the list goes on. No one wonders if a person is qualified to call herself a doctor, because either she has gone to medical school and can tell you whether the cough you have is a cold or the flu or she hasn’t gone to medical school and is therefore not qualified. There is no gray area to being a member of any of those occupations. Either you are or you aren’t. But when it comes to being a writer, everyone I know has a book they’ve been dying to write.

    I graduated with a BA in a bunch of different disciplines and one of them (arguably the first one) is writing. But I have a hard time convincing myself that I’m a qualified writer because it’s something I was doing long before I walked across a stage to accept a degree, and it’s something that a lot of people can do without ever stepping foot on a college campus. What good is an English degree in a world that “txts” like that and will articulate an entire thought like this: LOL :)?

    If you’ve had this crisis before, let me save you some time and anxiety.

    You are a writer the instant you put pen to paper (or finger to key). Your writing may be crappy right now, but it will get better. Even published authors don’t magically make solid-gold writing appear. Writing may not be like plumbing because anybody can do it without passing some test saying they’re qualified, but that doesn’t mean they’re any good at it.

    Here are 3 signs to watch for if you’re starting to doubt whether you have the wherewithal to be a writer:

    1) If you write in complete sentences and have a decent grasp on grammar, you are ahead of the game. This is one of those friends-jumping-off-bridges situations. Resist the urge to get lazy with punctuation and capitalization–your readers (and future employers) will appreciate it.

    2) You write regularly. This is important because your brain is a muscle and your writing must be exercised regularly. Writing is not a dessert to binge on. Slow and steady builds muscles, quick and quit makes for sloppy, inconsistent work.

    3) Inspiration is everywhere. Don’t worry about running out. Use what inspires you today; tomorrow is not today’s problem. You’re a creative person, and chances are once you use up all the inspiration you’ve got, your super-imaginative self will come up with something new for you to write about.


    Jacqui Bryant’s love for reading, ability to create adventure, and general curiosity for all things unconventional in life may outweigh her ability to write well. But she hopes not. 

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    Justine Tal Goldberg

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Jacqui. Getting comfortable calling yourself a writer is the first and often most challenging step to being a writer. Why stand in your own way? Accept that you’re a writer and get on with the important stuff … writing!

    Christopher Savage

    I agree with that second step especially. Part of feeling the “writer” part of your persona is practice and frequency. If you do write on a continual basis, you’ll eventually let any pretension felt towards labeling yourself a writer slip away, simply because it’s what you do.

    Jose Skinner

    Read a lot. Especially contemporary stuff–to know what your contemporaries are up to, at the very least.

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