An innumerable amount of phrases define writers.
Write what you know. Are you a panster or a plotter? Writers are prone toward alcoholism – ok, the last one is just my own personal observation.
I’m sure something comes to mind when you think of writers. If you are a writer, you likely hear these phrases like a backward occult chant in your ear. The words buzz. The first few times you hear them you chew on their taste. Then the taste disappears and the meaning disappears and you are left with a mass of mush.
But writers are not one. They are not alike. They are not able to be specifically defined by anything other than their shared ability to put words on the page.
So why write if you don’t fit into what everyone else believes is a typical writer?
Perhaps my professor said it best; if you write because you can’t think of anything else, because not putting those words on the page is a fate worse than death, you are and should be a writer.
In a sense, I believe she was saying to me that I should only be a writer if I have the taste for it. I should crave nothing else but the way it feels to get a story down on the page. And I agree with her.
I write because it is necessary for my sanity. Even as I write this, it is a result of an itch to discuss this particular topic.
Perhaps the correct question to ask yourself is, why do you write? If your answer consists of anything other than “because I have to get this out on the page”, you might be on the wrong path.
My disclaimer is that not every stage of life allows for flourishing creativity and excessive amounts of time to explore your craft. Therefor, if right now writing is necessary for learning or for surviving, that doesn’t mean you are not and never will be destined to be a writer.
I commend a boy I once knew who was told that he just shouldn’t be a writer. Because, instead of listening to anyone else and hanging up the towel, he told them all to sod off.
And to quote another influential person in my life: character will always trump talent.