What makes a person a ‘writer’?

Though  what you’ve read may feel magical, the author was no magician. Rather than wave a wand leading to instant words on a page, the writer worked hard when constructing that short story, essay or book. Most often, that hard work was pleasurable, too, akin to the feeling members of a sports team get when winning. The sweat yielded its own reward.

Authors find pleasure in their work – and so do readers – when living like a writer. No, that doesn’t mean having an open booze bottle next to one’s tablet or spending days in a coffee shop toiling at a laptop. To be a writer doesn’t mean to take on the affectations of famous authors who’ve come before.

No, being a writer generally means possessing five key qualities or personality traits:

Writers find people, our world, and the self interesting and want to know more. They explore their surroundings and themselves in any number of ways – reading, traveling, experiencing first-hand, and more. Writers examine their personal beliefs and boundaries and ask questions that others might never even think to raise.

Writers notice details that define a person or place. They discover behaviors that suggest something more is below the surface and make connections that the average person would not otherwise see.

Love of words
Writers revel in the sounds and meanings of words and sentences and passages; they delight in the poetry of language, feel the fire and ice of words. Anyone can be curious and observant, but writers don’t express what they’ve seen or experienced via a painting, song, dance or sculpture but through words on a page. Words are their passion.

Whether writing nonfiction or fiction, prose or poetry, or novels or screenplays, writers are creative. They not only discover intriguing relationships in people’s lives and the universe but can weave words about those associations into gripping sentences and passages.

Write all the time
Most important of all, a writer must write. Writers possess not just the courage to share their observations and personal feelings but a fervor for doing so. They feel empty when they do not write, whether it be to inform, to entertain or to persuade.