You may love turning a phrase, clever wording, and poetry. You may even enjoy jotting down a few stanzas of your own, now and then. But how do you know if you are a blue-blood writer? The following are personal signs and symptoms that tell me I can hardly be anything else.
1. You feel naked if you go anywhere without paper and a pen.
2. Alliteration comes naturally to you.
3. You pay close attention to your surroundings and are a people-watcher.
4. The sight of blank paper is exciting.
5. You are a pen snob. If you are, you know what I mean. (OptiFlow or Signo Uniball, Bold 207)
6. You also have a defined standard for notebooks that you use. (hard back, wide-ruled, medium-sized, foldable)
7. You go through pens and notebooks at a ridiculous rate.
8. You can’t think of not writing for a day.
9. Any day that you don’t get to write feels “off” in some way.
10. You can’t rest if something isn’t worded quite right.
11. You can turn any mundane detail into a poem.
12. Writing comes as close to being Harry Potter as possible because you can be the creator of worlds.
As a writing teacher, I know when I see a burgeoning author in one of my students. Not everyone is supposed to be a passionate writer, and many students have a good way with words and logic even if they are not born poets. Those who stand out have an innate comfort with language that cannot be taught – and I am a writing teacher. I can show you what mechanics make a great sentence and how to vary them for a pleasant rhythmic effect, but I cannot instill that poetic element that some students seem born with.
We can often tell someone’s natural talents when he or she is young, and I have been writing stories and poems since I was old enough to string sentences together. I know that I am a writer at heart because, for me, writing feels like flying. With no other task am I more in my element. What’s more, writing shows me what it means to be in one’s element. I enjoy many things and am good at several, but writing is the pastime that, above everything else, makes time immaterial and moves me into a space of timelessness. This is when I am most in the moment.
So what is it for you? What have you been doing since you could walk and talk, or even before? What makes you feel like Harry Potter when he first rode a broomstick? What makes time slip away so that the clock tells you hours have passed when it only feels like a few minutes? These are questions worth asking because, when we find what we were born to do and pursue it, we cannot fail in the end.