How to Know When You’ve Become a Real Writer
It’s way simpler than you think
When you spend all day typing up stories (nonfiction and fiction), your brain changes in funny ways. It only makes sense, since the average writer has a lot on their plate. All that time spent doing one activity develops certain skills, whether they’re useful or not.
You may think that writing doesn’t do anything for your body other than damage your wrists, back, and neck (seriously, try to maintain good posture), but it’s actually great for your brain.
Of course, this isn’t even about the benefits of writing. It’s about all the weird stuff it does to you.
It took me a few years to notice the changes myself. It’s very easy to build habits without even noticing. Fortunately, you can apply your new habits to other aspects of your life once you’ve discovered them. That, or you can just laugh at all your random new skills. For instance…
You’ll Type at Light Speed
The most obvious one, but it took me a while to realize I’d developed it. I only noticed it after I’d destroyed my friends at Typeracer.
Speed typing isn’t exclusive to writers. Lots of gamers, college students, and social media addicts all have it as well. However, being a writer will allow you to develop it every day.
Every article and novel chapter you write will improve your typing skills. Just doing your job or hobby will help you learn how to do it faster.
Typing quickly has lots of obvious and wonderful benefits:
- You’ll be more productive.
- You’ll get work done faster.
- You can list it as a skill on a resume.
- You’ll save your posture and energy by getting things done faster.
The best thing about speed typing is how subconscious it is. You won’t only build it up without trying, you’ll put it into action without trying too.
You’ve Become a Trivia Master
When you write stories and articles all day, you’ll deal with subject matters that you have no experience with. You’ll write things that you won’t recognize a month later because the info left with the article. But then there are the things that stick with you…and they’re never useful.
You can list the four best ways to greet an animal. You can explain how hearing aids work and where to buy them. You’ll know what bone grafting is.
Freelancing asks you to know just about everything in the world. Even fiction writing is benefitted by precise knowledge of how certain systems work. You’ll be doing a metric ton of research for either one.
If you want to do something with all the random facts in your head, write articles about them. Share your knowledge with other writers who are in need of that same random info.
You Understand That Freelancers Rule the World
Once you’ve been a freelancer for long enough, you’ll come to realize something. A huge chunk of all content you consume came from freelancers. The footage on the news, certain episodes of your favorite show, and every other website on the internet came from freelancers.
Copywriting, contributing articles, and content writing in general provides more than you think. You’ll just never know for sure because most of those freelancers are ghostwriters.
Ghostwriters are specifically paid to write content without taking credit for it. It’s strange to agree to be uncredited for work, but it is in exchange for getting paid.
Most of our work may never be accredited to us, so it’s easy to feel unappreciated. Maybe that’s why we need to appreciate each other more?
You Don’t Call Yourself a Writer
Genuine writers are some incredibly humble people. They’re not in it for the fame or bragging rights. They write because it’s their passion. That’s exactly why they usually won’t say that they’re good at it.
Can you knock out a new article every couple of days? Maybe, but in your eyes, it takes more than that to be a true writer. You need to make money from the articles, you need book deals, you need —
Nope. You don’t need any of that.
Real writers are more than their accomplishments or the money in their accounts. You become a writer when you start writing. If you’ve finished the first chapter of your manuscript, you’re a writer. Finished your first freelance article? You’re there.
There’s no legacy to live up to. If you’re hesitant about calling yourself what you are, you need to understand that it doesn’t matter. Call yourself a writer as soon as you’d like. No one’s stopping you.
Writers are funny people. We’re usually humble, not very confident in our skills, and extremely passionate about our craft. If we had more confidence, we’d be unstoppable. Until that day comes, take heart knowing that if you like writing, you’re a true writer.
Kesten E. Harris is an author with four books and counting under his name. When he's not publishing those, he's writing self improvement articles.