You Know You’re a Writer When…

I woke up around 5 this morning. Not happily, mind you, especially since it’s a Saturday (who wants to wake up that early on a Saturday?!), but even though my body was still in sleep mode, my mind decided to be my alarm clock and say, “Hey! Let’s write!”

If you’re into stories (and writing them), you probably know what I mean. You get this idea, this picture, in your head. And then you get to thinking about it. You add a few characters, add some nice scenery. Add a plot point and some dialogue. Pretty soon you have your own mini movie going on in your head, repeating itself over and over. And if you’re a writer, and you get that idea in your head, you can’t help but want to write it down.

Even if it’s at a time when most people are still asleep.

I won’t lie that I groggily got up and yanked my laptop open a little too hard, but once I got some caffeine into my system (thank you, chocolate) and put my fingers to the keyboard, my lack of sleep became an after thought. That idea that replayed itself in imagination suddenly found itself on a screen. Suddenly, ideas became words.

A story was born.

I think it’s moments like these that you know you are a writer. At least it’s one of the ways you know, I suppose. Whatever grips your mind grips your heart, and for me, thinking of a story at 5 in the morning and figuring it out for so long that I can’t rest until I write it down is my proof that I’m a writer. No, I’m not published yet. I’m certainly making no money off of what I write (darn it). But it’s what I love, and even if I can’t make a living off of it, I’ll still be writing with a smile on my face.

It reminds me of that scene in Sister Act 2, when Whoopi Goldberg was talking to Lauryn Hill about being a singer. She used the analogy of being a writer-i.e., if you wake up and all you can think about it writing, then you’re a writer. I think that analogy can go with us in whatever we do. If you wake up and think about playing music, then you’re a musician. If you wake up and think about running your business, then you’re a businessman/businesswoman. If you wake up and think you’re a millionaire, then you’re a millionaire (okay, maybe it doesn’t work for everything, but it would be nice if we could think something up and then POOF! It happens.)

Regardless, being a writer-whether published and making money or just scribbling in a journal-is a wonderful thing to be.

Even at 5 in the morning.