Ten Ways You Know You’re A Writer

The good, the bad and the crazy…

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I have always known that I am a writer. I think it’s something I was just born to be. I love reading. I love stories. Really, a life without stories, is more than I could bear to think about. It would be the ultimate torture. In fact, when I am struggling to write, it feels a lot like I can’t breathe; as if a part of me is crying, and I don’t know how to help it.

That’s the thing with writing. The stories inside you are desperate to get out, and the struggle is being able to actually get them out.

In thinking about writing, I thought I’d try to compile a list of reasons how you would know if you’re a writer.

1. You study people and things, constantly looking for inspiration and ideas.

Everything has a story, and you feel that it is down to you to discover it.

2. You always carry a notebook.

Whether paper, or digital, you need something with you to write down those little sparks of inspiration, before they flit away from you.

3. You have a notebook hoard.

This is a guaranteed sign of a writer. I’m serious. Dragons have nothing on writers when it comes to hoarding… Some of these may be filled, but others may only have half a page filled. You love them, either way.

4. You’re always reading.

This is the key to becoming a better writer. You have to read. There is no other option here. Read. Read a lot. Read everything and anything you can. Even if the story is bad, you may add to your vocabulary. There’s always a silver lining.

5. You keep a running list of characters, settings and situations.

Friends, enemies, natural disasters. They all go down. Your house, your school, the local park. These are all perfect story fodder, and you’re constantly adding to them as the ideas strike.

6. Your idea of a good night involves pyjamas, a blanket, snacks and your laptop/notebook.

Seriously, what else could anyone need? Am I right?! That draft won’t write itself, so a night spent like this, writing dangerously, is the perfect option for any writer.

7. You live in constant fear of your inner critic.

Mine is named Muriel. I wrote about her in this post. She is mean and nasty and loves to make me put myself down. She hates it when I’m doing well and writing easily. She loves to put doubts in my mind, and will, if I let her, stop me writing altogether.

8. You can detect spelling and grammatical errors like a cat can find the only person in the room that is scared of them.

Seriously, does the term ‘grammar nazi’ mean anything to you? And pfft! Who needs spellcheck?!

9. You spend half your time in a dreamworld.

Yep, you’re quite happy to spend hours at a time with your own imagination, working out plot holes and ways to make your stories just that little bit better- that’s if you aren’t just stuck in an entirely new story altogether.

10. You are happiest when you’re writing.

Writing is my happy place. It is my refuge. When I am happy, or sad, it is the first thing that I turn to. It is the first thing I think of when I wake up, and no matter how bad I may feel when I start writing, I always feel better by the time that I’m done.

So, there it is. My ten ways of knowing that I’m a writer. Can you think of any others? Drop them in the comments. I’d love to read them. 🙂


Timescales In Writing

Timescales In Writing

An Experiment

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I’m taking a writing course, and at the moment, I’ve been looking at genre fiction. The thing is that, while I’ve looked at genre fiction before, and I know what it is, something in the notes made me realise something that I’ve not really considered before.

That something, is time. Most of my writing projects have taken place over a seemingly infinite time period. What I mean here is not that I allowed myself infinite time to finish a piece (obviously, that would be ridiculous) but that the stories themselves don’t seem to have a specific time frame for me to work with.

I plan to change that. Today, I begin planning a novella in parts. Seven parts, to be exact. The idea is that each part will cover one day. The story will, therefore, be told in the time span of a week.

I have a few ideas bouncing around at the moment, but nothing particularly concrete, and you know what? I’m actually okay with that. While I will plan the story, I am quite happy to give my imagination free rein to come up with the story that it wants to tell. My only restriction is that it must all happen within the space of a week.

I don’t know how long it will take me to write this, but I will keep a log during this time, and hopefully I will update you soon.

Have any of you ever come up against this? Have you written something set within a specific time frame?

Let me know in the comments. 🙂

If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂

Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Free Writing

Free Writing

And The Benefits Of Practicing It.

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Yesterday, I really struggled to write. I got so frustrated and angry with myself, because anything I sat down to work on just seemed to come out as unreadable rubbish. I mean, it was that bad, that I found myself cringing.

I was in two minds as to whether I should just give up completely. Thankfully, it was at that moment, that a very well timed email came into my inbox, and I found myself reading the exact advice that I needed at that time.

The email basically said, that even if I had writer’s block, or was worried about writing absolute rubbish, that the best thing I could do was to just push on forward.

It claimed that it was the actual physical mechanism and body memory of writing that was important. It explained it sort of like needing to go to the gym to exercise my muscles, except that this time, the muscle I was exercising, was my writing brain.

It sounds so simple, that it’s crazy, but it really worked yesterday. I got so stuck on my novel that I just ended up opening a blank document, and typing, mostly without really thinking about it.

Free writing is something that I haven’t done much of lately, and yesterday, I was kicking myself, because I think this practice is actually invaluable to me. The act of giving myself the freedom to write… just write… even if it’s complete and utter rubbish, really helped to free me up, and I’ve not felt this inspired in a long time.

I’m not sure if it will work for everyone, but what I will say, is that if you have writer’s block, just give it a try, and you may find that it frees you up and you’ll then be able to write in a far more effective and productive way.

All I know is, that it’s really helped me so much, and now, all I need to do is to remember to do it!

Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.