Jotting down some ideas? That counts as writing, since brainstorming is an essential part of the writing process.
Taking a shower or bath? That’s letting your unconscious brain do some work, so it definitely counts as writing.
A long walk? Yes, same as above, totally counts as writing.
Attempting to locate a pen that actually writes? That’s pre-writing, which is writing.
Wandering around a bookstore and thinking about all the effort each author put into each book, not to mention the agents, editors, designers, proofreaders, and booksellers, and then getting a half-caf iced latte with oat milk and not buying a single book, but adding a bunch of books to your list of books you plan to borrow from the library? That counts as writing, yes.
Some light gardening? If you think about gardening metaphors while doing it, that’s writing, for sure.
Commenting on a Buy Nothing post about a free lawnmower? That’s writing.
Reading a Substack post about writing every day? That is absolutely writing-adjacent—so yes, it counts.
Thinking about the time you nearly drowned and how life is fleeting and wondering about all your choices in life and what you would do differently if you could do everything over again? That’s writing.
Checking your word count to see if you’ve reached one thousand words and finding out you’ve written eighty-one words? That’s some efficient writing.
Talking about your unfinished screenplay at the dog park? That counts as writing.
Planning to attend a writing retreat, then realizing you’re too poor to attend a writing retreat? That’s a time-honored way of writing.
Reading an article on Jason Isbell and then listening to his music on Spotify? Yes, that’s practically studying writing, so it counts.
Baking a lemon meringue pie, eating the pie, and regretting eating the pie? Counts as writing, assuming you’re writing something about pie.
Adding emojis to a text message? Writing.
Clicking on a targeted ad for a product that promises to make writing easier? Definitely writing.
Reading something someone else wrote and seething with resentment about it? That counts as writing.
Sitting down at your kitchen table with your laptop and intending to write and then imagining that you live in a small town where you go to the diner every day and you tell the waitress you’ll have “the usual” and she brings you coffee with an egg white omelet and a side of turkey bacon and whole wheat toast? That is definitely writing.
Typing on your smartphone while you’re in the bathroom? Now that’s real writing.
Sitting down at your desk and typing words on your keyboard? Yep, not only is that writing, that’s “content creation.” Way to go, writer.