When One is Born a Writer….

…one is simply different.  That's all there is to it.  We writers are unique (some might say odd), and often misunderstood, because we have a passion for words.

Queen Victoria, ever mindful of propriety and history, once told her granddaughter, Princess Victoria Eugenie, the future queen of Spain, "Young woman, when one is born a princess, one cannot behave like others."

So, too, with writers.  When one is born a writer, one cannot behave like others because one, above all else, must write.  This means a few adjustments to a normal life. 

When One is Born a Writer, one often must:

  • Stay up past midnight late to write
  • Rise with the dawn to write
  • (When Nanowrimoing, one must sometimes do both of the above)
  • Miss sunny days to work on novel revisions
  • Skip meals to write (somehow, this one never happens to me)
  • Consider books a line item in the budget
  • Live with either pen and paper in hand,  or head buried in a book. 
  • Appear antisocial because of the above
  • Appear dim-witted because you listen and observe instead of talking
  • Have stooped shoulders from working on the computer so much
  • Have poor vission from above
  • Be incapable of walking past a bookstore without going in
  • Be also incapable of walking past a stationary store without going in

Anyone want to add to the list of congenital traits of writers? Post a comment,and I'll compile them all for a future post.

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When One Is Born a Writer, Redux | Charlotte Rains DixonLooking Back, and More Important, Looking Forward | Charlotte Rains DixonMalcolm R. CampbellrebeccaKathleen McDade Recent comment authors
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Louise Bostock

Ignore the laundry so long that a mouse makes its nest in the full basket… http://carminesuperiore.blogspot.com/2007/11/cat-and-mouse.html


Own Costco-size Advil for relief of carpal tunnel.

Constantly weighing what bits of conversation you hear that can make it into a story without losing friends.

Thanks! your list makes me laugh.

K. Harrington

C.J. Harley

So true! I am guilty of ALWAYS having to go in a bookstore when I walk by one. Just gotta do it.

Kate Lord Brown

Oh yes … you think you are just being quiet and interested and everyone else thinks you are ‘special’/antisocial? I’d add:
– surreptitiously earwigging on buses/public transport
– having an almost fetishistic pursuit of the perfect notebook/pen
– if you see someone reading in a cafe, the uncontrollable urge to know what they are reading so intently …

Perhaps shared too much?! Are you NaNoWriMoing? I have just signed up and am very uncertain … how many words? by when??!


Ah, now you see, as a frugal writer living in 150 square feet (an RV), I have learned to be happy in a bookstore without buying, to use libraries, and the like. I’ve been through two HUGE book purges in my life, so I like to give books I am done with away and keep just a few special ones. 😉 Also, I never miss sunny days. That’s what laptops and wireless are for–but then, living beneath a mountain and beside a river, I’m seldom short of inspiration. *grin* I do have this trait though: If someone talks to me… Read more »


Kate: It’s 50,000 words, starting at midnight, November 1st, and submitted by midnight, 1st December. 1667 words a day.

The book “No Plot? No Problem!” is well worth the money.


I’m loving the additions to the When One is Born a Writer…list, keep ’em coming and I’ll compile them next week.

Kate, Nanowrimo is a blast! I’m not doing it this year, but I’d love to cheer you on and hope you’ll keep us updated on your progress.

And Derek, you are by no means a lazy Libra. Far from it.


I can’t say I’ve got all those traits, especially the one about buring the midnight oil.. I am just a lazy Libra though. I certainly rise with the dawn – or usually way before it, and my computer doesn’t think I’m too anti-social and my wife… Well, she’s too busy in her little room! 🙂

Kathleen McDade

I’m not sure if I should be proud or hiding my head in shame because I fit so many of these! 🙂 BTW, I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo, too.


I believe all those bullet points apply to me.

Malcolm R. Campbell

One also knows s/he is a born writer when his/her muse is always tangled up in his/her thoughts.



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