Writing is a funny thing. It can be exhausting. It can be lonely. And you also get to do the most random things or have an excuse to think the most random things, all in the name of your craft.
So today, with the help of a number of friends from Realm Makers, I present to you a non-exhaustive list of ‘you know you are a writer when…’ complete with my own sarcastic responses when I feel the need.
You know you are a writer when…
- When you buy a calendar for the sole purpose of keeping up with the dates of your hero’s journey, then hide it because it’s marked with ominous things like – kidnapping, J— dies, break-in… this is such a great idea. Massacre village. Create a bomb. Yeah… probably best it stays hidden.
- When you are distressed about a situation and someone says, “Just change it then.” But you can’t because it was not your fault this situation happened. It was the character’s fault that they ended up there and now they have to deal with it. If you don’t understand, then I can’t explain. But we can’t just change things.
- When you need to know how long it takes a welt to fade so you grab the nearest ruler and whack yourself across the palm and monitor the process of fading. Or consider taking pictures of a random bruise on your leg every day to monitor the process of healing/coloration.
- When you come up with a new character and two hours later you have their entire life planned out in your head. Including a tragic backstory, have related them distantly to the MC, and figured out how to make them face their greatest fear.
- When your first conscious thought as you are waking up from sedation after surgery is, “I have to remember how this feels so I can use it in a story!” …this being the only reason I ever want to faint or be in surgery.
- When you half expect to be on a government watch list because of your Google history. I mean, come on. I don’t really want to build a bomb. I just want to know how to make one…
- When you have a narcissist temporarily around and you keep notes for a future villain character to keep your sanity. Works every time.
- When new ideas keep sneaking up on you, so light-footed you barely know they’re there, only to holler in your ear: “WRITE ME! WRITE ME NOW!” and then you have to gather all your wits and explain calmly that you need to finish this other story first – an argument you do not always win. Good luck. Let me know how to do it once you figure it out.
- When your Youtube history/recommendations feature a disturbing amount of unsolved murder documentaries. Well… I mean, you know.
- When you type the word “drag” and your fingers automatically add an “on”. But of course. How else are you to write it? XD
- When you’re just writing peacefully and “Wham!”, your main character gets hit in the head with stale bread and you automatically duck (almost falling off your chair) because you had no idea it was coming either. Or they suddenly drug someone who was annoying them and you just stare at the screen then start laughing because you’d no idea they were so passive aggressive.
- You low key act out your characters’ facial expressions//body language//whisper their lines as you write. Then realize your family is in the same room…
- When every time you see someone’s bare shoulders you think about how smooth they are without scars from a whip…and how they’d look with said scars. I mean… *coughs* it’s a natural though, right?
- You take a break from tearing down camp, and stare into space at the surroundings and begin to write part of a story in your head. Or anything else for that matter. A river outside your train. A burning city. The ceiling…
- When you own three baby name books, have since you were fifteen, and kids aren’t even on your horizon. Alternatively, there is this thing called Google.
- You know you’re a writer when you zone out while doing dishes to build your fantasy world. Or spend the time talking personality types with your brother who also writes.
- When you’re driving down the road and a story idea comes to you and you tell your passenger, “Quick, write this down!” because you don’t have a Connected Car that would do it for you. Or try to jot it down on your hand while driving with only passable results.
- When your son has way too high expectations of current robots and AI because they can do so much more in your stories. Or you have high expectations of people in general…
- When you do really weird things to yourself for the sake of research. May or may not include licking your own hand, punching yourself in the leg, and wearing an eye patch around the house. No comment.
- When you are animatedly discussing the plot in the doctor’s office with your spouse and have to pause to explain to the horrified onlooker so she doesn’t get the wrong idea and take steps accordingly. No, I’m not going punch someone in the throat and half-strangle them, just…
- When your sister walks in on you kissing your bedpost. I keep locks on my doors.
- When you have a creative career but are viewed by some like an annoying home makeup consultant who is pressuring her friends to buy her product, even though you don’t yet have anything to sell, and was just sharing your excitement at the things happening in your life. Adds people to list of those not worth telling things. It’s a long list.
- When people often assume that anyone could easily learn in a month what it took you years of blood, sweat, and tears to achieve. Let’s have a challenge, shall we?
- When you look at your Scrabble rack and see all the different fantasy character names you could make from your otherwise useless letters. One consonant and four vowels. Let’s see…
- When you hope no one opens your Internet history only because you don’t want to explain why you Googled descriptions of cold weather as an emotion, loincloths, bullwhip effects on a person’s back, and a bunch of definitions of random (and a bit strange) words and their synonyms just so you can make sure to use them properly. I mean, their faces would be amusing, but…
- When you have to teach your dictionary how to spell something that only exists in your novel… Yes, Verus is a name and Stealthmaster is a real position. Get with it.
- When a search helicopter is hovering just over the rooftops looking for someone and they come very close to where you are walking. You quickly look around wondering where you could run/hide if they were looking for you and what would your character do in this situation?! Or lassoing it and climbing aboard. You know…
- When you argue with your character over the storyline… and your character wins. Again no comment. *scowls at a row of laughing characters*
- When you lie awake at night and devise even crueler things to do to your main character. I just read/watched a painful scene. How can I do something worse?
- When someone approaches you at a funeral with an idea for a book you should write. Would you like to be in a coffin next?
What are some of your favorite ‘you know you are a writer’ experiences?