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15 Obvious Signs That You Are a Writer

15 Obvious Signs That You Are a Writer

From crumpled papers, to little scribbles at the edge of your books, you’ve always been a literary mess.

Regardless of where you find yourself, one thing is never absent from your side–some form of writing material, whether it’s paper and a pen, or a digital memo. Some people think it weird but, to you, it’s just the way you are. Ever since you learned the difference between the letters ‘A’ and ‘B’, you’d rather write it than say it.

It’s almost as if you were born…differently.

The truth is you actually are. Some people are born with specific qualities that others lack. For writers, this is so true. Here are 15 signs you’re a writer, even when you feel otherwise.

1. You are a word hoarder

If the sentence makes sense, then you must have it. You can’t read books without having a notepad by your side. Why? It’s because you have this feeling that you’d read something that just makes sense.

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As a result of this, you have lots of Post-it notes, jottings, memos and even scribbles on your tissue paper all in the name of “I don’t want to forget that”.

2. You love adventure

Whether it’s a movie of a 12-year old-boy trapped in time, the love story of woman who finally found true love after several heartbreaks, or your fantasies of saving the day, your mind is never in one place. You love the thrill of creating pictures with your words. Leaving the present reality for short periods of time is what seems to keep you “alive”. Sometimes you’re accused of not paying attention. Well, if only they could follow you into the world you were in…then they’d understand.

3. You love to read

To you, putting your nose in a book is your definition of fun. While everyone else goes out to the movies or the game, you prefer quiet time with your legs curled up and a book in your hands. Loaning a book out is difficult because the only thing going through your mind is, “what if he doesn’t bring it back?” You can’t even bear taking some books to certain places because of the fear of losing them.

4. You’d rather write it than say it

At that moment when your boss seems to be the devil himself, you can’t bring yourself to tell him off to his face. It’s not that you’re afraid, but you just can’t. You’d rather give him a piece of your mind in an email.

The same goes when making a complaint about a product or service to a company. You will skip the toll free line and look for the contact email instead. The birthday gifts you send out have more than the words “Happy Birthday” on the cards. You either add a poem, something funny or just…something more.

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5. You know good writing when you see it

Even though you think you’re not good enough, you have good taste for writing. You appreciate writing that’s constructed expertly. Sometimes, you read a sentence and paragraph repeatedly not because of what is written but how it’s written. And when you come across something amazing, you smile.

6. You observe and create stories about people

Your eyes are never in one place. While everyone else is chattering away, you’re silently watching people’s actions. Sometimes you’re caught staring. At other times, you’re making up mental stories without anyone taking notice.

7.  You see every experience as a goldmine

To you, nothing is a waste. Whether you get soaked in the rain, or your dog playfully chases your neighbour’s 6-year-old son down the street, it’s something to write about. While others feel dejected by certain happenings, you’re not because to you, it’s something extra to add to your diary.

8. You value your journals over shoes

You could discard your old shoes and even give some off to charity, but your filled up journals? Never! Not even in your second life. As long as a book has a sentence you wrote, the last thing you want to do is throw it away.

9. You see writing as a form of therapy

For you, putting words on paper is therapeutic. Whenever you feel angry, lonely or just depressed, your best friend isn’t the bottle, but that piece of paper next to you. If days pass without you writing something down, your emotions could go berserk. At this point, you know it’s time to go back to your first love.

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10. You are curious about your environment

Your sensitivity is at its peak. You know when the regular dog is not at the park, or when people start to act differently. Sometimes you take interest in things and objects that are often overlooked by others. That’s a trait that not everyone has. You’re always given the advice to “forget about it,” but you just can’t.

11. You love listening to your thoughts

Thinking comes naturally to you. While others try as much as possible to avoid it, you embrace it. “Why do you think so much?” is probably a question you’re often asked. The truth is, you don’t have an answer to that because you just do it!

12. You cherish every compliment

No, you don’t get proud when people praise you, but you fall in love with the people who do. Whenever someone tells you how great a writer you are, you replay that moment in your head several times. You go back to the piece you were praised about and read it over and over again, like you were trying to search out the reason for the compliment. This propels you enough to write even more.

13. You believe you can be better

Whenever you see someone who writes better than you, something wakes up on your inside. “If he can write like that, I can too”. Sometimes, this could lead to you trying to imitate his style. But this doesn’t last for long as sooner or later, you find your voice and get better at your craft.

14. You magically launch into a writing frenzy

At first writer’s block hits you and all you see is a blank page. Minutes later, you’re scribbling away like you’re being chased by your thoughts. At times, you only planned on doing a half page write up. But after some minutes, you’re already two pages deep. And you’re not even halfway there.

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15. You never stop writing

Even if you had the most demanding job that took up most of your waking hours, you would always find time to pen something down. Even if you lost everything in this world, one of the first things you would get would be a pen and paper. How about when you sleep? Writing material is always at arm’s length. Something could pop out while you sleep…so why not write it down.

Doubting your ability to write is completely normal. Even Stephen King once felt he was a terrible writer. Yet he wrote some of the best novels–and is still writing! You’re not alone. And you’re not like everyone else either. You’re unique. You’re special. You’re a writer!

Featured photo credit: Natural light in Steilacoom Park, WA/Christian Gonzalez via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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