AND WHAT MAKES YOU A WRITER? Symptoms of being a writer are these: You’re always writing something, whether it’s a list, stream of consciousness prose, a song, a poem, a novel, a screenplay, and/or graffiti on a wall. You can’t possibly use all the ideas for stories that you have. You love the smell of stationery and stationery stores, paper, pens, printers, and sharpened pencils. You’re always mulling over something you’ve written, editing it from all angles. You can’t help but read everything you see with words on it (repeatedly, such as that sign that you’ve read over and over again even though you KNOW what it says, or the cover of the Reader’s Digest that sits on the back of the toilet–your eyes refuse to avoid it). You love words and languages, and you know multiple phrases in multiple languages. You’re critical but progressive–you may change your harsh opinions of some things once you see the beauty of them. It’s likely that you have a pet—and if you’re a stereotypical writer, it’s a cat. Regardless of that last jab, you love cat pictures. You can see the beauty of less than desirable things like blotty pens, old books, and ancient word processors. You have haunted, and shall always haunt, libraries (though you would probably arrange the books by a different method than the present one). And you love the sounds of a typewriter; that cadence of tiny hammers and the ratcheting sound of the carriage return is pure bliss to you.