Find me online!

twittergoogle plusemail

November 4, 2012

How to tell you're a writer

I recently finished Con & Conjure, a book by Lisa Shearin, and decided to look up her blog since I haven't done so in a while. She's a fantasy writer, and that series is about an elf named Raine Benares who has basically been getting into a lot of trouble.

But this isn't a blog about Shearin or her books (that may come later).

Instead, it's inspired by one of her blog posts, where she talks about November being NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a challenge where you are supposed to write 50,000 words in a month.

Right now, there's no way I can do that, but in her post talking about her plans for it, she linked to a wonderful post on the Writability blog.

The post, entitled "Ten Indisputable Signs that You're a Writer," gives...well, ten signs that you are a writer. I guess, going by this post, I am a writer! As long as you don't have to meet *all* of the criteria listed, anyway.

Let's see how I measure up.

1) You constantly edit

Guilty as charged, at least to an extent. I find myself editing everything from the book I'm reading to the news crawl underneath the talking heads on the news networks. And inevitably I notice a funny misspelling. (1/1)

2) You're highly observant

Ok, I can't necessarily say that I am (just ask the wife, who has seen me not notice something that's right in front of me). I also don't file them away in a "I could write about this later" folder in my head. However, when I *do* notice things or events or people, I do find myself occasionally wondering how I could work that into a story.

So maybe give me half a point? (1.5/2)

3) You often ask "how could I describe this?"

No, I don't really do this at all, at least not consistently. If I'm out in a rainstorm, I'm typically just trying to stay dry or get to where I'm going. I'm not really thinking how I would describe the rain drumming onto my umbrella. (1.5/3)

4) You have a hyperactive imagination

Guilty! My imagination is on overdrive, and I sometimes think if I could just get some order to the ideas constantly speeding through my head, I might actually be able to develop one of them. My problem is that I can't switch it off, and it often becomes a blur. (2.5/4)

5) You feel inspired after reading a good book

That's definitely true, though I have yet to harness that inspiration. I also feel inspired when I hear others talk about their writing craft. That's one of the things I loved about V-Con this year. So many great panels and getting to talk to a plethora of writers.

Now it's up to me to do something with it. (3.5/5)

6) You often daydream about your WiP (Work in Progress)

The rare times I do have a WiP, I do find myself thinking about it a lot even when I can't actually be writing it. So I would say that's a definite yes (though I haven't been able to test it out *too* much). (4.5/6)

7) You feel guilty if you haven't written anything in a while

That's another one I'm guilty of. (see what I did there?) Yes, which is why it's been so hard to be away from this blog, not to mention actually writing stories. It's hard to stay away, but it's also hard to actually buckle down and do it. I have to get past that second part. If you can buckle down, then staying away from it becomes an easy thing to deal with. You just don't do it. (5.5/7)

8) Grammar jokes are funny

Yes, I do find grammar humour to be utterly hilarious. Much to my wife's chagrin sometimes, I think. I think that's why I'm such a fan of puns, too. (6.5/8)

9) You can't get enough books

Any who have seen my bookshelves know that's true. I have always loved books, always having one around at all times. The only time I've ever not been in the middle of a book is when I've finished one on a Saturday and the next book I wanted to read, I had left at work. Then I read a magazine or two until it's finally time to collect what I want to read.

There can never be too many books. (7.5/9)

10) You keep doing this writing thing

While I have my stops and starts, my writer's block, my laziness, my head is always thinking of something to write about. Even if I don't actually get it written. That's why this blog has been restarted twice, why I continue to look into short story courses and the like.

Because while I find it hard to keep going sometimes, I always feel so accomplished when I've been able to actually get something down on paper, or more exactly, on screen. That drive is always there, even if I deny it to myself. (8.5/10)

And that, my friends, is why I do believe I'm a writer.

What about you, my fellow writers. How do you fall in this "test"?

I'd love to know.


  1. RE #9 - My mom still tells the story, when you come up in conversation, about how you were reading at the age of 3. "Not just repeating but actually reading!" This most recent time was after I mentioned how you keep kicking my butt so thoroughly at words with friends. "Well of course! I mean, he was reading at 3! Not just repeating but actually reading!" LOL

  2. LOL I knew my ears were burning for some reason. :) I didn't realize it was at 3, though. That's good information!

  3. That's age 3 according to my mom. I imagine she's fairly accurate because more than just my mom has told stories about how extremely young you were.

  4. I knew it was young, but I was thinking 4. I'll have to change my stories to accommodate!

  5. Well, it's like this....hey, WAIT! You changed your blog format! And I love it! Very professional looking, Dave. Streamlined, concise. Has a good beat & you can dance to it. Oh, wait...that's the wrong category. Most won't even have a clue about that reference.

    So, the list of 10 points. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about why I write, or what quantifies the fact that I'm a writer. I do it because I'm incapable of NOT doing it. Seriously. I simply can't avoid writing. I do it for work, I do it for personal enjoyment, I do it as a hobby, I do it to help others (and fervently hope that I am somewhat successful in that endeavor), I do it for joy. I just write.

    As for the 10 points, some of them ring true for me, others wouldn't even occur to me. Writing is just part of the fabric of my consciousness AND my subconscious. It's something that's such an intrinsic part of me, that there's always a melody trilling just beneath the surface of my mind, waiting to be weaved into a fabric of words on paper or on screen.

    So maybe these thoughts would be add-ons to the original 10? Maybe. :)

    - Dawnie

  6. LOL you missed the "Welcome to the new Buttoned-Up Mind" post that I put out on Saturday? :P

    Glad you like it. I do like it a lot too. And I love the "featured posts" slider too.

    Yeah, I think those would be good add-ons. Like all things writing, there is no one set of rules that dictate whether you're a writer or not.

    I like the way you do it, though.

  7. And you were my 2000th comment, Dawnie! Congratulations! LOL

    1. 2000th comment? Wowsers, that's impressive, Dave! I don't have a clue how to track number of comments, but it would be interesting to look at. Go, buddy! Congrats on the very cool milestone, and I'm thrilled it was me that tipped the ticker over the big number! :)

    2. Oh, this template also has threaded replies! I didn't know that. :)

      Part of the Blogger layout is Blog Stats. On mine, you can see it at the bottom of the left column, underneath the awards.

      Then again, I open it up and it's an HTML/Javascript thing, so maybe I got it somewhere? Not sure.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.