21 ways to tell when you’re a writer

1. you write

2. you start a project and work at it

3. you write every day

4. you put aside distractions to focus

5. you take yourself seriously as the first audience of your writing

6. you write rubbish first drafts

7. you take a break

8. you edit, edit and edit

9. you value feedback

10. you make every word count

11. you kill unnecessary words

  • adjectives
  • qualifiers (very, sometimes, possibly, probably, quite…)
  • adverbs
  • cliches

12. you persevere

13. you have a voice

  • How do you see writing?
  • What is your style?
  • How would you sum up what most interests you?
  • What values do you want to live and communicate?
  • What unites your favourite pieces of art? (books, films, music, visual art…)
  • How would you imagine your ideal reader?

14. you make yourself memorable

15. you make yourself vulnerable

16. you connect

  • Your writing should make connections for readers — between people, between ideas and theories …
  • You should connect with your readers. This is your tribe, but don’t assume they will follow. Be inviting, be open.
  • You should connect with other writers — these are your peers and you have a lot to learn from one another.
  • You should connect with influencers — those who’ve gone ahead of you who will offer various kinds of support and encouragement if you are genuinely interested in them

17. you listen to the editor

18. you finish

19. you know you can always get better

20. you read

21. you write because you can’t not write

Want to become a different story?



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Jan Fortune

Jan Fortune

Editor, author, feminist & part-time nomad. Helping others develop their writing life and practice. Blog @ https://janfortune.com/