12 Signs That You’re a Writer at Heart

If you have ever wondered if you could have been a great writer, there are a few signs you might have missed that would indicate the truth. Even if you are only suspecting it now, after a stable career, a second degree, or starting a family, it’s never too late to start writing.

signs of a writer

Many successful published authors in the world did not start writing until they retired from their regular lives. Regardless of your age, you might have a great novel within you.

J.K. Rowling had never been published before Harry Potter and was turned down by 12 well-known publishers before being picked up by Bloomsbury, with only a £1,500 advance. The only reason Bloomsbury’s editor, Barry Cunningham agreed, was because he gave the first chapter to the chairman’s 8-year-old daughter, Alice Newton, to read, and she demanded more.

I have met many writers who have the kind of talent it takes to top the New York Times Best Seller list with ease, yet many of them do not publish their work. They write for the sheer joy of writing, and most just post their work online for the world to enjoy.

But if you ever wondered if you are a writer at heart, check out the following:

12 Signs You Are a Writer….

1. Dream Writer

Have you ever fantasized about writing? Or have you just fantasized more than you think is normal? If you have a tendency to drift off into fantasy land, you might be a writer. One of the traits of a great storyteller is the ability to fantasize vividly. Many writers can do this at will, and some can do it while keeping up with a conversation.

Daydreaming Writer
2. A Childhood Passion

Did you enjoy writing when you were young? If you enjoyed writing as a child, it could be a sign that you were meant to write. Children know what they like and tend to understand what they will do with their life, even if they cannot express it.

Childhood Writing Passion

Take the child who is always concerned with the well being of others becoming a doctor or nurse, or the child who loved to sing being active in the church choir all her life. There are numerous examples.

3. A Born Screenwriter

Do you have a knack for figuring out movie plots? Writers think differently from others. While those around you are getting cheap thrills and are completely surprised by thriller movies, the natural writer is ten scenes ahead in figuring out who the killer is or how the mystery is solved.

Many writers were surprised that the people in the theater around them watching The Sixth Sense did not know Bruce Willis was dead until the very end. To us, it was obvious around the midway point because there was no other way for the story to play out. Everyone loves a good story.

4. Reading Is (Forever) A Hobby

Do you absolutely love to read? Writers read. It’s just a fact of life for us. That’s not to say that everyone who reads can write, but writers are drawn to books like ants to a picnic. If you love to write and have always been an avid reader, well… need I say more?

Avid Reader Writer
5. No Glory? No Problem

Have you ever considered living like a pauper, yet still wanted to write? Have you faced the prospect that committing yourself to writing full-time might mean living in poverty, yet you still want to write? If writing appeals to you more than living poorly repels you, you’ve got the bug. But do you have the talent?

6. Can’t Stop Writing

Do you have more than a couple of notebooks filled with writing from cover to cover? When writers first start, they write anywhere and everywhere. As children, we write on walls, then in journals, books, and notebooks. Later, we find ourselves scribbling ideas on cocktail napkins and the backs of envelopes when nothing else is handy.

Writer Scribbling in Cafe

Anyone who has jumped out of bed after a dream and frantically searched in the dark for something to write with and on will know what I mean.

7. The Day Dreamer

Have you ever found yourself lost in thought, totally immersed in your own plots, poems, or lyrics when you should be focusing on something else? If you get an idea for a story stuck in your head and keep going back to it, even at inopportune moments, it’s like a drive within you that forces you to follow through with an idea. This is a really good sign that there’s a writer lurking beneath the surface.

8. “Tell Us A Story”

Do children prefer you tell them a story of your own making rather than from a book? Kids can spot a storyteller a mile away. The very first time you tell a story, you might as well hang a sign around your neck that only children can read, proclaiming you a storyteller.

Engaging Children with Storytelling
9. What’s That Word?

When you come across a word you do not recognize, do you NEED to find its meaning? Writers are wordsmiths. We love to come across words we do not understand and more often than not, we can deduce the meaning by simply reading it in a sentence or from the context of the paragraph.

Still, we have to know for sure. We keep several dictionaries and a thesaurus or two lying around the house. Does this sound like you?

10. Board Games Are Fun!

Do you find words more fun than a barrel full of board games? When it comes to playing games, most people like cards, monopoly, or other board games that move quickly or involve very little brain power. For them, fun means cycling down the mind and operating on autopilot.

Writers are drawn to crosswords, scrabble and Trivia. What kind of games do you enjoy?

11. Long-Term Part-Time Job

Do you write whenever you get the chance, despite a hectic lifestyle or a tiring career? A natural-born writer can’t help themselves. If they’re not writing, they’re thinking about writing. If they work 16 hours a day, they sleep six, write for one, and spend the rest driving back and forth.

When you’re not writing, do you find yourself wishing you were? Do you make the time? If so, you are more than likely a writer at heart.

12. It’s 5 Already?

When you write, and this is really important, do you lose track of time? If you’ve ever found yourself sitting in front of your word processor at 3:30 am when you meant to stop writing at midnight, you’ve skimmed the surface of the writer’s zone.

This is a magical world that somehow speeds up natural time. You begin to write, and the next thing you know, you’ve produced eight thousand words, and it’s almost dawn. It’s a wonderful and creative place that you long to revisit. If this is you, please consider showing your work to a publisher.

… And 3 Signs You’re Not

And then, there are people who think they are writers, who are in the zone for a temporary high, but are basically not in it for the long haul. Are you on this side of the fence?

1. No To Criticism!

Do you take criticism well? If you are turned down by a publisher or told by someone, in whose opinion you hold no value, that you cannot write well and it just rolls off without the sting of being cut by a sharp knife, you may not be a writer. One thing almost all writers have in common is that we are a sensitive bunch, with feelings easily hurt when it comes to our life’s ambition.

Writer Reflecting on Criticism

We do not become easily dissuaded or disillusioned, but it hurts intensely when someone tells us we are not good at what we dedicate our lives to, regardless of who it is. This deep sensitivity stems from the immense amount of heart a writer puts into their work.

It is akin to being told by someone you are deeply, madly, passionately in love with that they do not love you back.

2. Bells And Whistles

Do you detest some aspects of writing, like editing or proofreading, rewriting or researching? Any writer who tells you they hate to edit or that research is tedious is likely just telling you what they think you want to hear. The fact is, writing is not just about putting down meaningful words for us. We may whine and moan about some parts of our profession, but we wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

We even love the most tedious parts of what we do. If you truly dislike editing or researching, you might be good with words, but are you truly in love with the profession?

3. Not A Bragging Right

Do you view writing as a romantic profession, or something worth bragging about? Do you boast about being a writer or use it to impress others? If you write to impress people or because the idea of being a writer is somehow romantic to you, you might want to rethink what you are doing. If you write part-time and dream of doing something else, you probably should.

Dedicated Writer Working

If you write well enough to earn a little money online but are unconcerned with what you sell or to whom, you may be doing much more harm than good.

What it Means to be a Writer?

Writing is a sacred calling that pulls at your soul.

It’s the air that you breathe and what keeps your heart beating. Your soul is filled with words that have no meaning until you sit down and channel them through your heart like a sieve. This is what writing means to a writer. The writing profession is unlike any other because it’s not just a profession to us; it’s a way of life. We are drawn to it, sometimes despite our best efforts to pull away.

You’ll find us scribbling endlessly on scrap paper, writing during our lunch breaks at a corner table, and sitting at our computers for 20 hours at a time. We write because we must. Sometimes, our words please others, which is good. We write even when they do not. If this doesn’t resonate with you, you might not be a writer. You might just be good at writing.

Cyril Connolly said it best: ‘Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.’ So, tell us, are you a writer at heart?