Whenever you write something - anything- a crucial question may come up at some point, (regardless of whether you want to be published or not), that is: have you really got what it takes to be a writer? I will never be tired of repeating it: we are all born writers. Writing is a part of our cultural skill set; it's just that someone enjoys it more than others! As a crime novel writer, I'm always looking for clues. Here are my personal 5 clues which, broadly speaking, describe a writer.
1. You never stop reading. That is basically the key to every successful writer (and person as well). Reading stimulates thinking, it's like an unlimited inspiration source. And it's not all only about plots, but also about writing styles and general creativity.
PS: reading makes your vocabulary richer and larger. And a writer is always hungry for new words, isn't he? Or she?
2. Pen and paper everywhere. They are inside all your bags, the internal pocket of your jacket, on your night table, in the kitchen stuck to the fridge door; and obviously they are on your desk at home and at work. Moreover, the writer often develops a particular idiosyncrasy for a certain type of paper (are you familiar with the morbid relation between the writer and the Post-it?) or favourite pen.
PS: Where's the only place where there's no pen and paper? Where the most brilliant ideas come of course, such as when you are having a shower! I'm equipping myself with a waterproof board.
3. Amazon compulsive buyer. Or, to clarify, you are probably paying the university fees of some Amazon manager's son by ordering all those books through them. You can just imagine the guy who's packaging your order, how is bound to know your address by heart. Even your postman knows that if there is any Amazon package on his delivery box, that's definitely yours. For more information, see point No 1. Moreover, remember that books could have another use once you finished reading them!
PS: I'm just talking about the number of packages because the writer has already stopped counting all the ebooks he/she buys.
4. The eternal editing. It doesn't matter how many times you've written the same paragraph: it will never be perfect and there will always be something that could be improved. As a matter of fact, it's an endless editing nightmare, and that could be one of the factors that makes the publishing harder. Poor Chase Williams!
5. Not a fashionista. Is it a silly clue? Perhaps, but while talking with other fellow writers it turns out that none of us likes the career man/woman look. It's way better to wear a casual or sporting outfit, or the comfy drastic pyjamas.
PS: Have you ever seen a writer wearing a tie, suit, bluetooth earpiece and leather briefcase? I don't think so. Writer's paradise is not located in the City of London, but instead on the sofa, equipped with a soft quilt, laptop, junk food and a ready-to-go Wii!