Guest Post: What Makes a Writer?

Today's guest post comes from my dear friend Mariella Hunt! What makes a writer? Who decides? What do you think? Check out Mariella's thoughts, and feel free to share your opinion in the comments! Guest Post: What Makes a Writer?

During NaNoWriMo, I found several controversial articles stating that writers write. It triggered so many arguments, I couldn't help meditating on the matter. I wound up agreeing with both sides to an extent.

We have to remember that life makes it hard to just write, and it's unfair to disqualify someone as a writer because they can't do it every day. Sometimes writers can't write, and it's not that they don't want to. Other duties get in the way.

These are other signs you may be a writer. Pay attention to your daily routine—maybe you'll notice a few of them! While these aren't all the signs, they're the ones I found most of my writer friends relate to.

  • Writers daydream when we're supposed to be working on chores or school. We might be unloading the dishwasher, but our minds are somewhere else—not in a messy kitchen, but the universe we've crafted in our books.
  • Writers get frustrated when people say writing's not a 'real job.' Those people don't know the effort it takes to craft a story, let alone a novel. They've never faced the challenge of focusing on a storyline when we have so many ideas. They never felt restless staring at a blank document, praying for the perfect ending to write itself. Writing is work. You're a writer if you're passionate about helping people understand that.
  • Writers have a habit of correcting peoples' grammar, sometimes out loud. We might spend long hours thinking of better ways to say what that other person said. Most of us have issues with chatspeak and harbor a fascination for big words, sometimes even dead words. Because of this, we might confuse people in daily conversation and enjoy it!
  • Honest writers are never satisfied with our work. We struggle to ignore the inner editor so we can reach the end of a chapter…then we scroll up and change things again, but don't ask because we'll deny it! After all, editing is for later drafts…or so they say.
  • We gaze out the car window at buildings, wondering what the background music would be if we were in a movie. Our imaginations panic over situations that will never happen; they whisper solutions we'll never need.
  • It frustrates us that we can't write our life stories to make them more exciting or comfortable. Since we can't write our life stories, we write novels. Most of us don't make characters representing ourselves, but we might accidentally give protagonists our traits!
  • We're often caught staring into space with looks of contemplation. Most of us have had to assure people multiple times that nothing is wrong—we aren't angry, and we're not tired. We're plotting!
  • We carry a bit of each book we've read in our hearts. Even if we didn't enjoy the read, we catalog the book as an example of what not to do in our writing.

Sometimes you can't write as you'd like to, but that doesn't make you less of a writer. Writers can't always write. It would seem a true writer is the person who always wants to write (even when they put it off. It is a lot of work!)

If you're too busy to just write, don't be discouraged…you're still a storyteller with a heart full of ideas!

Would you add anything to this list?

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Check out this special guest post for @brianawrites in which @mariellahunt discusses what it means to be a writer. (Click to tweet)