I ask myself this all the time. The headline refers to a comment made in 1979 by a college classmate about my writing life. At the time, I struggled with another question, "Am I a writer or not?" Writers write, and I hesitated way too much.
What makes us hesitate? During that period of time, I could never answer my classmate. I basically had no answer. There was only hesitation and no real writing.
Left abandoned, my writer within didn't get to flex its muscles and move forward to improve. I was stalled. I had a potential vehicle to drive, but never would put gas to take it anywhere.
Finally after college, I decided I wasn't a writer because I wasn't writing. Which in part was true. Some part of me never gave up though, and eventually I shed a lot of the doubt and allowed myself to write.
I spotted this retail sign deteriorated, hidden behind overgrowth, rusty and broken. But I found it appealing to photograph and find the beauty in something upon first glance didn't have much to offer. If I would have not paid attention or hesitated, I may have missed a wonderful chance to connect with my creativity and share my vision with others.
Same too with writing. Wherever I end up, I am enjoying the process and not staring at my writing from a distance. So after many years, my classmate wouldn't have to ask me this question anymore. She'd be asking me, "What are you writing now?"
So ask yourself, "Why aren't you writing?"