These traits and habits . . . oh yes! They’re all very applicable to us writers. Read below to see . . . and understand. Hey, it’s just how we are . . .Life gets very interesting. (Ask my family) I found this list floating around–I don’t know who wrote it, but seriously, they’re all very true. My commentary will be in parentheses.
• You find yourself writing loads of fanfiction for your favorite movies, books, and TV shows.
• You will defend your favorite character to the point of death.
(I’ve died many times–more than what’s good for me)
• You write fanfiction for your own books in order to resurrect a favorite character you had to kill for the sake of the story.
• You can’t read a book or watch a movie without thoroughly analyzing each character and deciding which one is your favorite.
• Your favorite character usually dies, and you jump up and shout “I KNEW IT!” before falling back on the couch and sobbing.
• You find yourself critiquing books you read.
• You know at least four synonyms for every word (Leave, exit, flee, depart, farewell).
• You HAVE to have a large purse, so you can keep the two current books you’re reading, your pencil box, your sketchbook, and a notebook (preferably more) inside it.
(I have many purses–categorized *haha*)
• You tend to stick pencils in your hair, then forget about them and walk around looking for something to write with (alas, absentmindedness comes with being a writer).
(um . . . how about substituting dreaminess for absentmindedness. We aren’t exactly lunatics)
• You get so wrapped up in stories that you find yourself talking to them (“How COULD he???” “What were you THINKING?” “This story is AWFUL!” “I wonder if they wrote any more books…”).
• You spend entire days talking, dressing, and acting like a character to ‘get inside their head’.
(Every day it is someone else *laughs*)
• You have made up your own fantasy language.
• You never get High elves, dark elves, wild elves, night elves, or santa elves mixed up.
• You automatically use your pen name more than your real one.
(Even on school essays!!)
• You have more character files than the FBI.
• You would rather talk to your characters than the person sitting by you.
• You’re upset because you grew up in a normal family with two parents, five kids, and a dog. What a gyp.
(Why can’t life be more like a novel?)
• You simply smile and nod when people say ‘you’re crazy’ because you know it and you’re proud of it.
• You keep every notebook you’ve ever had with writing it because one of them might spark an idea some day.
• You have notebook stuffed with funny, witty, or clever lines that you will change a little and use yourself (It is NOT plagiarism!!)
• You start a book/movie and instantly know who is going to die and who will survive.
• You start a book/movie and know how the plot will turn out after the first five chapters.
• Nobody likes to watch movies with you because you talk through the whole thing, pointing out mistakes, laughing, crying, and over-reacting.
• You go into fits watching someone write with bad grammar.
(Look out for the grammar Nazis)
• You find yourself talking about your characters as if they were real. “So-and-so said… uh, I mean, I wrote…”
• After correcting your mistake, you apologize to the character because the person you were talking to wouldn’t have understood.
• “New Book Smell” perfume would sell
• You consider ink on your fingers to be badges of honor
• You can’t stand it when all anybody ever does is SAY things – ‘she said’ ‘he said’
• You’re always on the lookout for real models for your characters
• Getting the scene finished is more important than food, coffee, or the bathroom.
• You have a favorite line from every movie you’ve seen.
· You can’t write because you’re mad at one of your characters.
· You argue with said character.
· You threaten to kill said character off if he/she doesn’t behave.
• You have a folder on your computer labeled “Ideas.” Some of the files within this folder have only one or two words or sentences and while they made perfect sense a year ago, between the software changes in that period of time garbling half the words and your own faulty memory, you have no idea what it means or where you were going with it. But you keep it anyway because you never know, you might remember it eventually.
· You wake up in the middle of the night and scrabble for the pen and paper you keep next to your bed to write down a scene to make the voices be quiet so you can get some sleep.
(ALL the time, at the worst time, a thought will just randomly pop up, and there’s never a pen and napkin handy
• You end an argument with someone by saying, “Oh, wait, I have to write this down–this is the perfect conflict for my characters! Now, repeat what you just yelled.”
• You know the difference between metaphor, allegory, and analogy—and you use all of them.
• The thought of sharing a computer with someone else horrifies you. What if they accidentally download a virus? What if they change the settings in Word? WHAT IF THEY READ MY STUFF???
• You live in a constant state of “What if?”
(And I’m a native to the land of If only)
• You think that sobbing hysterically is a good sign when people read your book
• You think someone hitting you hard after reading your book is a good sign, too
• You think someone boycotting you after reading your book is also good
• You know that one day the whole world will read your stuff, but for the moment – “NOBODY LOOK AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN! I AM TYPING!”
• You look on eavesdropping as ‘collecting ideas’
• The notebook you carry around is top secret. Until, you realize, that people around the world will end up reading it, but you won’t let your own friends even touch it.
• The list “You know you’re a writer if…” makes you happy because it confirms that you have a writer’s nature.
(can’t you just see me grinning?)
• Said list also relieves you because you realize that you’re not going insane and that other writers feel like you, too.
• You sometimes – often out of nowhere – sink into deep despair because you know you’ve forgotten a great idea/expression/etc. that you came up with earlier.
• You are ostracized from society because people frequently hear you say things like “Should I shoot Bob, or push him off a cliff?”
(Person: “I think your sister is touched in the head.”
My sister: “She’s a writer.”)
• You’re behind on your schoolwork (if you go to school) because you write too much.
• You have stacks of notebooks that you refuse to throw away because “hey, there might be some epic idea in there that I’ll come upon later and write a book about…”
• It takes all your restraint to not constantly correct grammar/spelling errors.
• You might be a writer if your friends and family have come to ignore your habit of talking to yourself.
• You might be a writer if your family and friends either ignore you when you talk to yourself (or your novel characters) or discuss what will happen to the characters.
• You might be a writer if you can’t help correcting and criticizing movies based off of books that you read.
•You see a hand-drawn employee appreciation poster at the grocery store with one word misspelled and have to avert your eyes every time you walk past it to keep from attacking it with a red Sharpie.
• Staring off into space with glazed eyes is considered ‘working.’
• You are automatically drawn to the display of journals and fancy notepads/notebooks on the bargain table at every bookstore you enter. And you buy at least two, because you don’t have any in that style yet, even though you have at least fifteen or twenty sitting at home unused.
•You have a soundtrack of songs you’ve compiled for each of your characters/each of your stories.
• Your dinner conversation about how much poison to use and where to hide the body makes the diners in the next booth call the cops.
• Your computer is your only true friend. Until it freezes or the Internet goes down. Then you hate it more than anything in the world.
• The only response you can come up with in a major Facebook discussion about which cousin talks the most is: “This is SO going into my next book.”
• You didn’t know that Starbucks sells anything other than the Venti size. (Seriously? Someone would pay for something smaller than that?)
· You go into mourning when you kill off a character . . . even if the character deserved to die.
•You know that “Which of your books is your favorite?” is the second worst question you can be asked. The worst is “Which of your characters is your favorite?”
You scrutinize peoples’ appearances and mentally describe them as they’re talking to you
(haha! *looks guilty*)
• You know more about your characters than your friends.
• The phrase ‘clear your mind’ means nothing to you.
(how on earth could I do that? It’s just . . . impossible)
• At parties, some people snoop in the medicine cabinet. You sneak peeks at the bookshelves.
• You’ve gone everywhere “in character” for research purposes.
• You buy tons of cool gel-ink or other nifty pens and cannot bypass a sale on your favorite spiral notepads
• You found it much easier to write before you knew all the “rules.”
• Whenever you’re at the bookstore or library, you automatically look for the spot where your books will one day be shelved. Or if you’re published, you to go where you know your books are shelved to see if anyone has checked them out/bought them, because you know how many were there last time.
• You have random pieces of paper, envelopes, napkins, tissue, and church bulletins scattered throughout your house and car that contain the chapter you’re currently writing.
(There are those Saturday Nights/Sundays mornings when inspiration cannot wait until the church service is over with. Then it takes great mental power to zone back in and focus on the pastor’s message. *”He was saying something about . . . uh . . . Romans 6: 11???”*)
• You know more than ten verbs to describe the way someone walked into the room.
(meandered, ambled, strolled, wandered, trotted, crept . . . etc.)
• Poorly written novels make you bipolar—elated knowing that you’re a better writer, and depressed because that hack got published and you can’t get past the acquisitions editor.
• You use semicolons (correctly) in e-mails, forums, and blog posts; you just can’t help yourself.
• It takes you forever to send a text message on your cell phone because you make it properly spelled and punctuated without realizing it. Then you change it to “Chatspeak” so you don’t look incredibly weird.
(just wait till you see my Facebook wall!)
• Writing is all you can think about when you don’t have time to do it, and the last thing you want to do when you set aside time for it.
There’s ink stains on your sheets and pens under your bed…
You think in third person…
You have a favorite word…
When bored, you narrate your life… aloud… in weird accents…
You own a pocket dictionary and occasionally carry it in your purse…
You feel like a failure when someone asks you for a pen and you don’t have one on you…
Napkins are often decorated with haiku…
You use every Borders coupon and ask to be taken to Barnes & Noble to celebrate your birthday…
You use words like “incorrigible” and “haphazard” not because you particularly know what they mean, but because they sound so great…
(IT IS UNIVERSALLY ACKNOWLEDGED THAT WRITERS ARE INCORRIGIBLE CREATURES)
You’re friends are surprised to find out you don’t wear glasses or contacts…
You buy notebooks in bulk…
You value coffee because it keeps you awake late into the night so you can write more…
You are generally awesome. =)