How do you know when you've become a writer? When you get published? When you put it down as "occupation"? I've come to the conclusion that you're a writer as soon as you've stopped thinking or talking about it and got into a regular writing habit. As a creative writing tutor I am impressed with the wide range of people who write and by their motives. Some have ambition to be published or performed, many just have a great desire to express themselves. In both cases they need an audience to test their writing on, and some sensible and preferably positive feedback to keep them motivated, and to help them improve their style. I've written lots of published technical stuff to do with learning, cooking or project design, but over the past few years I've gone inwards and written a lot of semi-autobiographical poetry and short stories. I've had great satisfaction from collecting the work of my students into a magazine. I hope they've carried on. My other great satisfaction was in writing and directing Hovis in Wonderland, a tribute to the late Hovis Presley (Richard MacFarlane) which we have taken to many stages and festivals across the country. If you need a review, article, or report for your business, house magazine or newsletter I'm interested. See Links for examples on Write out Loud, the archive section on this site and Hovis in Wonderland.