Do you remember the famous Rainer Maria Rilkie quoted by Sister Mary Clarence to Rita? It goes something like this: “If all you can think about when you get up in the morning is singing (writing), then you’re a singer, girl (writer).”*
Are you a writer? Don’t tell me you want to be one. Ask yourself, do you think about writing all day long? Do you find any excuse to pick up a pen and move it across paper? Do you keep a prolific journal? If so, you are probably a writer. Don’t worry about titles such as author, aspiring writer, writing enthusiast. Just think about the act of writing. We all write by necessity. What I’m talking about here is more than just putting words on paper.
Some people are movers. They need to move to think and process. They are dancers and athletes and the sort of people happy in jobs that let them move. They are miserable when they are forced to be still for hours on end.
Some people are talkers. They need to verbalize their thoughts and experiences to understand and internalize life.
Some of us are writers. We may not write stories or desire to publish, but we write to make sense of our world and figure things out. A writer who is not writing is paying for therapy somewhere.
I write for the same reason I breathe. If I don’t, I will die ~ Isaac Asimov
If you are a writer, own it, not as what you do, but who you are. You may write business correspondence or reports or memos or long journal entries or letters to your family. No one said you have to write stories, though one day you might want to. Whether you publish or not, share what you write, or not, revise and edit what you write, or not, you are a writer.
Writers write, regardless of content. I am a writer. Are you?
* Sister Mary Clarence is referencing Rilke’s first letter, in which he says: “This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write?” In Sister Act II.