May 2, 2017

How Do You Know You're a Writer?

Sunrise in Myrtle Beach
Writers' conferences are gearing up for the summer and fall, so I thought I would share part of a post I wrote seven years ago after attending the South Carolina Writers' Workshop (now known as South Carolina Writers Association) conference in Myrtle Beach that year.

The keynote speaker that year was Joshilyn Jackson, and she reminded us that only crazy people try to write.  Why?  Well, if you're a writer, you:


  1. Spend most of your day alone, typing (or staring) at a keyboard
  2. Examine mundane objects trying to create a new and exciting way to describe them
  3. Venture out in public to analyze the behavior of normal people (you do this everywhere you go, actually)
  4. Wake up in the middle of the night with the most amazing prose running through your brain
  5. Get up and write down those musings in the middle of the night or pray that you'll remember them by morning
  6. Do not remember those musings by morning, of course, because you're awake
  7. Live in an imaginary world where everyone behaves as you expect them to ... well, sort of
  8. Love your characters more when they do something you didn't expect and hijack your story for a while (see point above)
  9. Wonder what other people do with all the free time they must have
  10. Try not to act like a crazy person when you finally get to talk to an agent about your work
  11. Read books noticing all of the mistakes in point of view and adverb over usage, wondering why that author got published anyway
What makes us writers?  The desire to share, to tell.  The pressure of words bubbling up in our brains, yearning for release into the world of print.

What makes you a writer?  Or if you're normal, what makes you what you are?

2 comments:

Phil Arnold said...

Number 8 really applies to me. I'm always happy when it does

Barbara V. Evers said...

Phil, I know! It's really amazing to watch something I've created take on it's own will and start acting beyond what I imagined.