How You Know You’re a “Real” Writer

06/11/15 3:21 PM

I fell down a dangerous rabbit hole today, one that’s littered with entries from a big-bad computer file known as Random Writing From the Last 20 Years.


I’ve poked around in this file from time to time, but today, I actually read some stuff, and all I have to say is I need to put someone in charge of deleting that file after I die. Like, that needs to happen before ANYTHING else, even before removing the green velvet pouch I keep in my bottom dresser drawer and tossing it over a bridge. (Do you hear that, my dear BFF?)

Yes, my writing has certainly improved over the last 20 years, but honestly, that’s not saying much if you could see the shit circa 1995.

We’re talking I’m still putting two spaces after a period and every single piece includes a thinly veiled version of my ex-boyfriend, you know The One. And, of course, I’m in every piece as well, even though it’s supposed to be FICTION. Not to mention all the freakin’ cats.

So, how do you know you’ve made it as a writer or that you’re a “real” writer? You can write through anxiety, depression, vertigo, butt aches, back aches, family aches and you stop writing yourself and your stupid broken heart into every goddamn story.

People, here’s what I’m saying: my writing about old lady serial killers who murder babies is PROGRESS.

That’s my measuring stick, anyway.

What’s yours?


Posted by Robyn | in Creative Writing, Writing | 2 Comments »

2 Comments on “How You Know You’re a “Real” Writer”

  1. Martin Dugas Says:

    You made me laugh. Don’t delete that file! (don’t show it to anybody, but don’t delete it) I, too, wrote some very bad shit in my early adulthood. Hey, I submitted the worst story ever (trust me) to a short-story contest some twenty years ago (I still have a copy of it — I will NEVER show it to anyone)… If I ever make it as a writer and get published, I only hope nobody will ever bring that old story out!

    I’ve read some stuff I wrote a few years ago and don’t like it. I think it’s a good sign. It’s a proof of progress. Our craft improves with time. So does our reading.

  2. Robyn Says:

    You are absolutely right, Martin. Our shitty first drafts and early drafts show us how far we’ve come! Thanks for commenting.