If you find yourself asking this question, chances are you already are a writer in some form or another. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t published (…yet!) or even if you haven’t finished a full-length work, you ARE a writer simply by thinking so. If one has to ask, the wheels have already turned and the sheer curiosity of it is enough to brand yourself a writer.
I know of my own personal journey as a writer started before I even learned to read and write. Stories have always fascinated me and thinking upon it now, all those hours I spent imagining stories of adventure, romance and quirky, hilarious tales for my dolls and stuffed animals during playtime were my introductions into becoming a writer. After learning to read and write at the age of 4, I was merely given the proper tools for conveying the stories brimming in my head.
I remember my early dabbles into more formal writing- the 5th grade writing competition and conference that my English teacher signed me up for, my developing a semi-following for my teen writing in middle school, my exaggerated tales and monologues of longing in high school, to more creative ventures in college years and now with my first full length novel completed.
Writing has always been a part of me, even when I didn’t necessarily have the words for it. So perhaps it is to say not how do you know when you’re a writer but what you do with it when you realize you are? Will you let the stories in your mind go undiscovered? Or remain for your own personal amusement? Or will you formally do something about it? The choice is up to you. The quill is in your hands.