The answer: Always.
You are always a writer. I alluded to this concept a couple of posts ago, where I mentioned you should be yourself always in all things you do.
I brought up fighting, but the criss-cross paths going through my mind looped in other topics, namely writing, but also things like behavior in public, in relationships, and with your family and friends.
For instance, I used to post quite a bit on dating websites, back when I was dating. I always wrote to people that I behaved BADLY on the first date. It was a habit I formed to quickly weed out women I call ~fish~. A fish, see, is one who is slinky under the water and gorgeous and beautiful and calm, but soon as you break the water to grab her, she fins the shit out of you and scoots away.
I don't like fishy women, and so I weeded them out early by being myself on the first date. I say I behave badly, but what I mean is I would do stuff like tell a dirty joke, curse, drink if I wanted, and if God or politics had the obnoxisity to poke up their ugly heads on that first date, I played Whack-A-Mole and banged the shit out of the topic until she knew all my views left-right from heaven to hell.
It worked, too. Had I done that in my early years, I would probably have weeded out my first (ex) wife. She's not a bad woman, but she's more prudish than I am.
My (second and most-excellent) wife is far less prudish. She is, in fact, very like-minded to me, and on our second date we found ourselves in Austin getting tattoos together. I can't sum it up better than that. We're both crazy impulsive complete opposites, a high school dropout (her) married to the class valedictorian (me).
Anyway, back on topic, I asked, When are you a writer?
The answer is ALWAYS!
I try to rope it in at work, especially if I get too flamboyant, but sometimes I let it get the best of me and I send out an email that has some Eric-isms in it, or some pithy and cheeky way of stating some point.
My old boss used to try to edit my emails before I sent them out. He said I was too crass. I let him edit a few, but he killed them and so I cut him out and did my thing, and eventually switched to a new boss because, as Homey the Clown would say: Homey don't play that! Whack!
Where's my loaded tube sock when I need it?
My next boss also said I was crass, but he only asked that I tone it down.
My next boss hasn't said much, and in fact I think he likes it.
The common thing that ALL of my bosses have said, and many of my co-workers, is this: Eric, you should be a writer!
On the websites where I posted: Eric (Saul), you should be a writer!
And I say always: I am.
When they aren't complaining about the crass-icity of my emails, bosses and co-workers respond with messages reading: Well-written (without the dash).
I've even had people ask if I really wrote that, or copied it from somewhere.
Last week we had a discussion about proving a null hypothesis. A customer and a business group asked me to prove we do not require a test to ensure our product is a quality product.
I responded with a Bigfoot analogy. I said, paraphrased because I can't find the email:
You're asking me to prove Bigfoot does NOT exist. The only way to do this is to head into the woods and look for footprints and show a large area of land without evidence of Bigfoot. The question is: How big of a plat do I need to cover before you believe there is no Bigfoot?
It's a good analogy, and it stuck, and now it's being latched onto and repeated because it is a memorable way of understanding the problem with proving a null hypothesis true. I can only disprove Bigfoot does not exist, by finding him, but I cannot prove he does not exist. See?
The point is, I'm a writer always in all things I do, and that includes goofy emails at work and home and crazy posts online both here and facebook.
Are you a Writer always? Or should I say Artist. Do people look at your work and say: You should be a writer/poet/songwriter/singer/painter/photographer!
If they do, maybe you should listen.