I believe anyone can probably list off the top of their head 5 to 10 things that they enjoy and that they think they can do pretty well. But what is that one specialty that is absolutely yours?
It took a lot of searching and stock taking over the years, but when the answer was finally crystal clear, signs, such as the following, were my validation and reminder of my purpose in life.
The fact is that the signs were always there, but launching a career and earning a living were the obvious priorities, to put food on the table and to keep me in cool shoes. But with retirement from my day job just a few years away, there is no doubt in my mind how my golden years will be spent.
For your consideration, here are my Top 10 Signs You Might Be a Writer.
10. Losing track of time
The old adage “time flies when you’re having fun” is correct and also a sign of the type of work for which someone may have a calling. For me, there is no greater gift than when I can spend my whole day at work (or a whole day off from the day job, working on my own writing projects), focused on the written word whether that means writing, editing, proofreading or doing light translation. Honestly, I will put my head down, get into the writing bubble, and with the exception of a bathroom break, the next time I look up it will be lunch time and the next time after that it will be quitting time… a definite sign.
9. Writing tools are the best gifts EVER!
For the last few years, my birthdays and Christmas wish lists have contained items to help me capture blog and story ideas on the fly and convert them to works for you to enjoy. It never gets old for me, even if it means a pack of printing paper, a box of pens, fancy notebooks, or building up a reserve of printing cartridges for those times when the cartridge runs out minutes after the nearest Staples store closed.
8. Your brain is always processing characters and plots
My inner voice seems to start most sentences with “Hey, what about…” constantly pitching ideas, characters and story ideas to me. The trick is to capture them with any of the gifts received in #9, and save them for future reference.
7. You accidentally call your family by your characters’ names
When creating a fictional world, writers need to develop a very strong connection to their characters in order to convey the traits that make them complete, living, breathing and believable characters. The occupational hazard is that their personalities establish such a strong presence in our subconscious that their names may become as conveniently accessible as those of our own loved ones.
6. Your video recorder is often full
When enthusiasm runs high for a creative project (or if a deadline is looming) television takes a back seat… sometimes for weeks. When that happens, I am ok with that, although it stresses me out when I run out of space to store more shows to be watched when the enthusiasm is not running as high. One must make choices in life!
5. No guilt
Similar to point #6, when the creative juices are flowing, it could be the most beautiful day outside but I will not feel an ounce of guilt for staying in, staying in the writing bubble, and getting some of my best work on paper.
4. You feel like a kid in a candy store on a trip to Staples
My never ending challenge is the continuous improvement of my capture, storage and retrieval system for writing ideas. There is no worse feeling than having a moment of brilliance and not having something at my fingertips to capture it. The same also applies to having a great idea, jotting it down, but losing the scrap of paper on which it was written. A visit to the office supplies store warms the cockles of my heart when I find another tool or vehicle to make my “ideas bank” a finely oiled machine for deposits and withdrawals.
3. You feel like it is your superpower
There have been times at the office when some kind of written communication was needed in an extremely tight time frame, or a written piece was needed but little information, instruction or guidance was available. When that happens, something takes over… It starts with a pleasant little adrenaline surge and a degree of focus that allows me to put the nose to the grindstone, concentrate and deliver. It is those times when I pull a rabbit out of my hat in writing the “unwritable”, that I fantasize an image of myself standing in the aisle in superhero stance, hands on my hips, shoulders back, chin up and my cape gently wafting in wind.
On more than one occasion, I have seen a stark contrast in my energy before and after writing. I could be very tired after a hard day’s work, but if I just can tap into a little pocket of energy to get to my writing desk at home, just the act of putting words to paper seems to energize me and recharge my batteries.
When I used to paint, upon completion of a work of art, I used to feel a huge rush. I was not sure if it was a feeling of artistic euphoria in seeing my creation come to fruition or if it was just the paint fumes. But today, the sense of accomplishment I feel when I complete a written piece, even something as simple as a blog post, seems to release that same rush of endorphins… or is it the printing cartridges and scented candles? Either way, to me it is that magical reward for being the conduit between an idea and a physical expression that readers can consume.
That sense of accomplishment and feeling of euphoria are what keep me coming back for more and keep my brain forever churning out ideas for the next great story or blog post.
I guess that makes me a writer!
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Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,