26 Obvious Signs You’re a Writer

26 Obvious Signs You’re a Writer

Ah, the writing life. You know it so well.

Endless caffeine, a little bit of procrastination, blank Word documents, piles of notebooks, bouts of self-doubt and the satisfying clickety-clack of the keyboard. All things those of us who fancy ourselves writers are intimately familiar with. (OK. Maybe it’s a lot of procrastination, not just a little.)

We took to social media to ask writers all over the world to complete the sentence, “You know you’re a writer when…” The results are hilarious, honest and heartfelt.

You know you’re a writer when…

1. You keep a journal and pen by your bed — you know, for those middle-of-the-night bursts of inspiration.

2. Every moment when you’re not writing is spent thinking about writing.

3. You take a sick day from work to stay home and work on your latest project.

4. You can never have enough coffee to keep you going.

5. You have a stockpile of 15+ blank notebooks and journals and buy more faster than you fill them.

6. Your friends, family, and colleagues make you write their important emails, cover letters…and even the inscriptions on greeting cards.

7. You turn down plans with family and friends so you can keep writing.

8. You type, type, type away and don’t even care about the time.

9. Your wrist physically aches.

10. Every person you see, whether on a bus, at work or out shopping, becomes a potential character for your novel.


11. You finish reading a novel and you head straight to your laptop to start writing yours!

12. Your friends and family are a tad sick of hearing about your latest writing project.

13. You get in a writing groove and just can’t stop.

14. Word counts only slightly stress you out. OK. They really stress you out.

15. There’s paper wadded up all over your floor from editing.

16. You’ve perfected the art of procrastination.

17. Your computer is filled with half-baked story ideas that you’ll get to one day.

18. A blank page no longer scares you.

19. You think “this will make a great story” as you’re in the middle of an experience.

20. You document your life on the Internet.

21. You’d rather be reading a book.

22. You use words like an artist uses paint.

23. Every part of your life (purse, car, house) is filled with random Post-it Notes and scribbled-on-receipts because you got an idea at a random moment.

24. Killing off one of your beloved characters gives you real heartbreak.

25. You finally admit it to yourself.

26. You write. Simple as that.

Go on! Add to this list in the comments. You know you’re a writer when…

Thank you to members of the , and Facebook communities for contributing to this post!

Filed Under: Craft

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  • Writers are drawn to other writers which is likely the reason I took the entire day to read comments on this post. My goal is to eventually become a freelance writer, so I want to learn from those who chose this path and made it work.

    As a little girl, I was drawn to elderly people in my life. Not just because of their stories, but the way they told their stories fascinated me. My grandmother got a twinkle in her eye and looked off into the distance as though she could see the story unfold as she told it.

    We didn’t have much money early on, so words and ideas became toys and friends. My mother often teased me because I talked to myself as I played in the dirt. Really, I just acted out the stories in my head and sometimes out loud, which, at times, led others to think me odd.

    Around the age of 12, I received a blank journal for Christmas. In my mind, it was a book not yet written, full of blank pages that wanted me to imagine what each and every one should become.

    Most kids my age played outside while the grown-ups gossiped around the kitchen table. But I sat in the other room and took notes in my journal. I collected their stories like baseball cards and kept dozens of journals through the years full of ideas and characters.

    Unfortunately, my journals were destroyed in a flood many years ago. The sisters in the sewing circle likely prayed for that flood when they discovered what I’d collected through the years without their knowledge.

    Interviewing the elderly and documenting their stories has remained one of my favorite past times to this day. Recently, however, that took on a whole new meaning for our family when what we thought was a virus became a life changing event.

    My husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October. Because he required full-time care, I left the corporate world to care for him. I attempted to make the best of a difficult situation and began to write again after many years of focused effort on family and career.

    Instead of paper journals, I now use social media to keep family and friends informed of my husband’s progress. Those posts have evolved into a blog. I would love advice from any of you in that regard.

    Since I discovered, The Write Life, I realized there could be a freelance writer for hire yet unnoticed inside me. My goal is to learn from other writers like you and see my circumstances not as tragic or difficult, but as opportunity to become someone I’ve always wanted to be.

  • Robintvale says:

    After a good critique swap You don’t want to read their book anymore; not because you don’t like, but because your own is calling you and it whispers, “fix me.”

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