Too many times, I’ve met like-minded creatives, writers, to be more precise, but when I ask them what they do, nine times out of ten, they’ll describe some other aspect of their lives…like being a teacher, plumber, or a pen-pusher in a stuffy office, invariably telling me what it is that pays the bills and keeps the wolf from the door…and when I add… You write, right?… my second question is inevitably followed by a bit of word stumbling before a meek sounding Oh yeah, I write all the time emerges…
Maybe I’m asking the question in the wrong way… because in my opinion, if you are a writer, it is what you ARE…not just what you do.
I have my own theory on when someone can call themselves a writer, and here are my top five writer-defining traits:
1. Your day is not complete until you’ve scribbled or typed up something. And every day is the same.
2. You go deaf to the people around you because you are preoccupied with the characters in your head.
3. You have to be alone, a lot, because there is a story bursting to get out of your buzzing brain and onto the page.
4. You analyze human behaviour (including your own!) all the time!
5. No matter how many rejections, setbacks or interference you experience, you cannot abandon your writing projects.
And even if it takes years to reap the rewards through the publication, production or the award that you have been striving for, unless you are back in the literary saddle the very next day, expressing and interpreting life in your own unique way, then what is it that you do (or are) exactly?
There is no magic formula as to how you do it, but the magic will emerge if you do it, A LOT!