Friday, October 1, 2010


"Good grief, Cheops, why do you always have to be different!"

Dear You—

I was inspired to write the following by a post in the LinkedIn Writer's Group Writing Mafia. I guess it's a rather revealing statement which surprised even me - its author - given my rather difficult circumstances right now. But, it's from the heart. 

I hope it helps some of my fellow writers and encourages them to realize that you don't have to be on the Best Seller list to feel that when you decided to become a writer, you made the right decision.

Yes, it is indeed a bloody long paragraph, but sometimes the content dictates the format. Not sure it would fit on my headstone. 

Read on. 

You know you are a writer when...
You know you are a writer when: nothing else seems to be as important; you write in your mind even if not writing physically; the mere sight of a keyboard induces a desire to write; your children become jealous of the time you devote to writing rather than them; you enjoy the actual writing even more than the research; your typical e-mail runs to several pages; you never run short of raw material because you have learned to listen and observe; you attach little importance to the practicalities of everyday living; your idea of relaxing is to browse bookstores or to read; you suddenly discover you have learned to plot; your characters become as real to you as your friends; you become largely indifferent to your surroundings if you can write; you define every flat surface in terms of its suitability as a writing surface; you don’t much care what you wear providing it has pockets for pen, notebook, recorder and camera; you dislike getting tired because you know you cannot write as well; you are largely indifferent to money providing you have enough to survive; your friends don’t understand what motivates you; almost no one understands what you do all day; you have no problem being alone because when you are writing of course you aren’t; you love writing even more than sex; you regard the vicissitudes of life as raw material; you find that in some way you don’t quite understand you are at last able to reach out and touch complete strangers deeply and profoundly through the written word; you realize that there is nothing else that you would prefer to do and that, whatever your circumstances, fundamentally you have attained that state we all strive for: You are at least content, and if you weren’t a writer, and therefore of an innately melancholy disposition, you might even call yourself happy.


Seattle WA October 1 2010


  1. Hi Victor
    I agree with your take on being a writer completely and utterly! It's what makes me want to get up in the morning, and makes me sad when I have to go to bed. Sometimes I don't, though, and have to do a bit of rewriting (lol).

  2. Hi Victor,
    I think you forgot something. You know you are a writer when every available bookshelf is full but you still want more books, and every room in the house contains notebooks for those sudden inspirations. Especially the bathroom.