1. They never quit learning. They're always doing something to try to get better at writing.
2. They hardly ever talk about songs they've already written. They are more focused on what they want to write next.
3. They are very competitive and yet they cheer when good things happen to other writers.
4. They are a fascinating blend of confidence and insecurity.
5. They don't just want to write great. They ache to do it.
6. They set the bar high for themselves.
7. They experience rejection, and they use it as an opportunity to prove people wrong.
8. They refuse to be boxed in. When other people tell them they can't do something, they take the attitude, "Watch me."
9. When a co-write doesn't go well, they usually assume it's their fault.
10. They take care of business. They're responsible. But I won't lie, almost all of them have areas where they are flaky.
11. They listen to songs differently than anyone who is not a songwriter.
12. They are self aware, but they usually know their weaknesses better than they know their strengths.
13. They love talking about songwriting or listening to other people talk about it.
14. They alternately love what they've written and think what they've written is lame.
15. They have a support system. It might be a supportive spouse or a group of friends, but they've got somebody cheering them on.
16. They believe in themselves, but they take critique. Maybe not always gracefully, but they take it and give it consideration.
17. They love discovering a great song and telling someone else about it.
18. They obsess over where their next idea is going to come from.
19. A great line in a song will make them cry.
20. They find it difficult to set their writing aside completely and not think about it.
There may be a writer out there somewhere who has none of these characteristics, but somehow I doubt it. I kind of think that if I could talk to any songwriter, I'd discover that this list would describe them pretty well.