I genuinely love writing. It doesn't matter if it's essay writing or creative writing. It doesn't matter if I'm writing for academia or for the Odyssey or just for myself. That's how I know I'm a writer. And usually when I tell people I love writing they ask me how and why I like to write.
Honestly, I don't really have a concrete answer, it's just a feeling. For me, writing isn't a chore, it's a gift. I've forgone Netflix for writing-for-fun (not often, but more than once) because I have a story inside of me that consumes my mind and doesn't let me focus on anything else. Or I'm in the process of forming an idea in my head but can't figure out what to say next, so writing it out organizes and advances my thought process.
My mouth and my mind don't get along as well as my mind and my fingers do. When I write, my mind calms down as the words pour through my fingers. I am confident and brave because I can edit and add things in that my mouth would've forgotten to say.
My body, who silently experiences the world for itself every day, is like my mind: pensive, patient, observant.
My mouth is more impulsive and quick.
My mind can handle many ideas all at once, but my mouth has to go through one by one to sort them out.
My fingers can pull one idea out of my mind and pontificate about that at the top of the page until the next idea jumps out of my mind and into my hands and I can write about that new idea on the very next line. If my mouth doesn't finish a sentence, it's abrupt.
If my fingers don't finish a sentence, it's okay. I can move on and not have to justify my move when I'm writing for myself. And when I'm writing for academia it's okay too- if you're first draft isn't literally a rough draft, you are doing something wrong.
It is in the scrawling sounds of pencil on page where my thoughts are loudest.