1. You have already developed a writing habit.
No, you don’t need to write every single day to make it as a writer. But let’s be honest — you probably do need be writing on more days than not.
Writing — and rewriting — are the only “rules” to becoming a successful writer. There’s no other way.
If you want to succeed as a writer, and you already do write regularly, that’s a good sign that you can do the work it takes to become successful. You aren’t waiting for writing to happen to you.
2. You are in this for the long haul.
Sure, it would be awesome to have your writing “discovered” and become an overnight success. Get the six-figure book deal, high paying speaking engagements — whatever the endgame of your writing dream may be.
However, you know that those stories are anomalies in the writing world. If you accept that most writers don’t get rich right out of the gate, you’ll be much better prepared to commit yourself to write despite all of the time and effort it takes.
In other words? You’re not fooling yourself into thinking that writing means easy money.
3. You’re happy to do your own research.
When I first began my writing career last April, I had no idea what I was doing. That meant I had to do some research just to get started. I not only had to follow directions on the platform, but I also needed to get an idea for what was successful.
Yes, people gave advice and suggestions along the way. But nobody held my hand and said, “Okay, here’s what you need to get started.” I got myself started. And to be frank, I didn’t always follow the advice given to me because I felt it was important that I forged my own path and did what made sense for my style.
4. You know that everything you write won’t be gold.
Even now that I have thousands of followers and am doing much better than I was six months ago, I still write stories that flop. Unless you’re seriously high level and have already made a (huge) name for yourself here, you are going to have pieces that don’t do well. At all.
Realistic writers know that they aren’t going to nail it every time. That’s okay. The people who are cut out for writing understand that 1.) they aren’t perfect, and 2.) readers don’t always respond well regardless.
You keep writing anyway.
5. You enjoy writing and want to keep doing it — even when it’s hard.
So clearly, you know that writing is hard work. But you keep doing it anyway. And you like it. If you enjoy writing despite how hard it can be, and you can keep writing past the rejection and naysayers, you’re so much more likely to make it here.
A lot of writers talk about burning out, and sure, that’s a thing. But burn out happens more because you’re not taking care of your whole self. The people who are basically made for writing don’t get burned out by writing itself. They love to write. At least, when it comes to their preferred topics.
Freelancing burned me out partly because it was all about writing for businesses which didn’t even interest me.
6. You aren’t willing to give up, but you are willing to get better.
The people who are cut out for writing know how to improve upon their work. They are willing to read more about writing as a craft. They can handle critiques. In fact, they are continually writing and rewriting to create better work.
Sometimes, they feel discouraged. Yes, rejection stings. Slumps can hit us all. But successful writers don’t give up. They make use of their fear and doubts by working even harder.
7. You’re open to seeing where writing might take you.
You’ve waved goodbye to that master plan, right? As incredible as it can be to become a writer who works from home and is essentially their own boss, it’s a helluva lot of work too. Unfortunately, all of that hard work comes with zero guarantees.
There’s no single trajectory that will bring you to the success you crave. There are countless ways your career might pan out as a writer. And countless ways it could fizzle out.
Successful writers know this. There’s no straight path to success — and that’s just fine.
8. You find inspiration everywhere.
Maybe you’re running to Starbucks with your daughter. Or seeing a movie with a friend. It doesn’t really matter what you do, because successful writers find their inspiration everywhere.
So much of writing is simply making sense of the thoughts inside your head. Which naturally follows that so many writers are deep and even solitary thinkers. We don’t need to do much to seek out adventure or give ourselves amazing ideas.
We’re already overflowing with them.
9. Your jealousy of other writers inspires you to keep on writing.
Instead of complaining that other writers are enjoying the success you’re sure you should be having, you’re inspired by what they do. You understand their popularity and strive to enjoy such success in your own niche.
Rather than be discouraged, you think, “If they can do it, why not me too?”
Similarly, you don’t get bent out of shape thinking you’re somehow adversaries, or even in competition with each other. You know that there’s plenty of room enough for every serious writer.
10. You’ve got a great voice.
You understand that you can’t write for everybody. Maybe you’ve even tried. But at this stage, you know that your voice appeals only to certain readers. So you’re leaning into that voice.
One of the least convenient realities of writing is that some people naturally have a great writing voice, while others never seem to figure out how to hone any voice at all. And maybe that’s what people mean when they say things like “Bad writers can’t become good writers.”
It’s not an elitist thing. It’s simply that anyone can learn the mechanics of writing and still struggle to develop any kind of voice that ultimately sets them apart from anybody else.
If you’re cut out for this endeavor, you’ll find your voice.