Writers are a notoriously insecure breed, always doubting our ability, value or talent. It can be a lonely life and writing naturally makes you turn inwards as you focus on the characters and storylines you’re creating.
Having a support network of like-minded creatives can be a great way to validate your work and your own position. If you’re anything like me, at some point you’ve questioned whether you can really even call yourself a writer.
Should you qualify the term with another word like aspiring, wannabe or amateur?
So how do you know if you’re really supposed to be a writer? Have you ever experienced any of the following?
- You dream up characters and they take on a life of their own in your mind. Eventually you start to think of them as real people.
- You find yourself day-dreaming poetic sentences and tweaking them until they’re just right.
- You want to write all the time: when you’re in the office, when you’re working out, when you’re shopping, you’re always desperate to be writing instead. The only time this feeling stops is when you actually sit down to write and find yourself staring at a blank screen/page.
- You read obsessively.
- You linger in Waterstones stores, imagining what it would feel like to have one of your books on the shelves.
- You spend hours maniacally writing something and are convinced that it’s amazing. Then you read it back the next day and hate it.
- You become anal about grammar. No newspaper article, website or street sign is safe from your wrath.
- You become adept at predicting plot twists in books, films and television shows because you spend so much time thinking about story arcs.
- You begin to worry that you’re the only person in the world who feels this passionate about writing yet struggles to actually write or doubts their own ability. Then you meet other writers and realise this is pretty much universal.
- No matter how long you go without writing, it never leaves your soul.
So what do you think – are you a writer? What else should be on this list?