You Always Know You’re a Writer

At Limebird Writers, Kate has a great post about when you know you’re a writer and if that affects your writerly journey. She makes the point that, for some, it’s not something you decide to do and can really plan a career for. I especially like:

“Sometimes, writers don’t even decide to be writers. Rather, we accidentally fall in love with storybuilding. Forget planning futures and budgets and retirement. We are so rip-roaring drunk on words that we can’t tear ourselves away long enough to think logically, rationally.

For those of us who are writers long before we recognized the symptoms, how could we possibly prepare ourselves in advance? No wonder I didn’t have a mentor. No wonder I didn’t keep my early stories. Should I really be surprised? I didn’t know what I was! I didn’t know I was already on my quest.”

Like Kate, I didn’t know I was a writer just because I liked making up stories. I thought everyone liked making up stories! Of course I filled marble notebooks with characters and the first page or two of stories that were blatant knock-offs of whatever you were reading at the time–that’s what everyone did in their spare time, right? Eventually I realized that writing (or reading) wasn’t something everyone did for fun and found that it was something people got to do as a career. What could be cooler than that?

And even though I studied English literature and creative writing, that doesn’t mean you need to do the same to be a writer. Like Kate says in her post, there aren’t specific guidelines or paths for writers in the same way there are for doctors or lawyers. Being a writer means a million different things to a million different people. But for most of us, part of it means that need to share stories that you’ve always felt.

Make sure to check out the full post.

8 thoughts on “You Always Know You’re a Writer

  1. Very true….we just love living in a universe which is full of words, expressions, aphorisms, and the like! Reading a good piece (like this one), we can’t just remain aloof and away. Words simply mesmerize us and keep us spellbound.

  2. Annie, thanks for a wonderful summary as well as sharing your own life experience. I love seeing kids nose-deep in notebooks, madly scribbling at some story that loosely revolves around a boy wizard who is trying to save the wizarding world. 🙂 Writers need to write to be happy, simple as that.

  3. “I thought everyone liked making up stories!”

    I remember thinking that well into college. For a while I studied film, then studied English and eventually creative writing. I thought through all of it “why aren’t there more people in my classes? Doesn’t everyone think this is cool?” It’s even why I pushed the thought of being a writer out of my mind for a bit. I figured everyone wants to write or make movies, the reality is few do so the odds are against me. Then the realization slowly crept up on me that while everyone loves hearing a good story, not everyone relishes in creating them like I do.

    I always ironically feel special knowing there are others like me. Thanks for this reflection and the exposure to Limebird 🙂

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