As a fiction writer, I am part of a unique group. Writers get a weird rep sometimes, and the world will probably never come to fully understand or appreciate us. Still, it’s pretty darn fantastic to be a writer and to be read. And so it is with the deepest honor for my fellow writers that I make this list.
You know you’re a writer:
1 … when you worry that someone will see your Google search history of “most dangerous medieval weapons” and “how to survive in the wilderness” and “most painful ways to die.” It was all research – really!
2 … when you write stories in your head while doing mind numbing tasks. “No, really, Boss, I actually like shredding paper all day!” *spends work days plotting out entire series*
3 …. when you’re talking to your family or friends (all non-writers, of course), ranting about your main character, and then the situation turns into the infamous:
Non-writer: Oh, for a second I thought you were talking about a real person…
Writer: Well, that was offensive.
4 … when you pick books to read for two main reasons: 1. it looks like it’s full of delicious drama, and 2. because it’s in the same genre as your WIP and you want to know what your competition has on you.
5 … if you use writer jargon (i.e., WIP, MSS, MC, charries).
6 … if you use the term “word war” and you don’t mean a verbal argument.
7 … when you have to bribe yourself (usually with food) to meet your writing goals.
8 … when you get that ‘look’ from people. “Oh. You’re a writer.”
9 … when people joke about not wanting to make you mad for fear you’ll fictionalize them in your novel and torture them, and you laugh it off. But later you consider how exactly you’d do it…
10 … when people tell you people tell say things like, “It must be so nice doing what you love and never having to work.” And all you can think is that you never said it wasn’t work.
11 … when you joke about being a “starving artist” and then realize that the stereotype fits.
12 … when you meet people and have conversations like this one: “I want to be a writer.” “Oh, you mean a journalist?”
13 … if you think about brainstorming/writing/editing all day long. Literally. You’re making plot diagrams and revising that scene in your head when you’re in the shower, on the city bus, and while you’re making lunch.
14 … if you debate with your writer friends over things like whether “charries” should be pronounced more like “carries” or “cherries.”
15 … when you realize that if one of your non-writer friends listened in a conversations between you and your writer friends, they’d be completely lost and worried for your mental health.
16 … if sometimes you just have a writer breakdown and wonder if everything you ever wrote is just fluff. But then you keep writing anyway.
17 … when you understand how painfully true that famous writing quote is: “Writing is rewriting.”
18 … if you feel sympathy for your character’s trials, but then torture them in the next scene.
19 … when you get frustrated at critic partners/readers for saying “it was a good story.” What does that even mean? What made the story ‘good?’ Let’s all just agree that the word ‘good’ is the most vague and unhelpful word when it comes to feedback.
20 … when you write that your character is holding her breath, and then realize that you’ve been holding yours, too.
21 … if you write the most intense scene of your novel, consequently writing yourself into a tension headache.
22 … when you become addicted to inspiring pictures of potential characters and settings on Pinterest.
23 … if you become addicted to Pinterest in general. I mean, sure, it’s a time sucker, but it can be an educational, inspirational writing tool…
This is not an exhaustive list by far, and I’d love to hear more. What would you add to the list?