You Know You’re a Writer When . . .

  • You mentally insert punctuation into everyday conversations.
  • It’s 8:00 in the evening and you’re still in your pajamas.  But your character is fully gowned and off to the ball!
  • You have ever almost mentioned the plight of one of your characters as a prayer request.
  • You witness a fastfood worker tripping while carrying two large garbage bags, both of which spill open and carpet the floor (and the employee), and your first thought is, “This would make a great scene for my story!”
  • You get story ideas from your History 300 final exam.
  • You deliberately pick a fight with your sibling or spouse just to get dialogue inspiration.
  • You have completely worn off the lettering on more than three keys on your keyboard.
  • You are more concerned with finishing your current scene than using the restroom.
  • The fire alarm goes off and your first concern is to save your story notes.
  • You have ever gotten into an argument with one of your characters.  Bonus points if it was in a public place.
  • You choose the company of your characters over human companionship on a Saturday night.
  • In the middle of being proposed to by your significant other, you grab a pad of paper and start taking notes.
  • You get revenge by modeling characters after people and then subjecting the characters to cruel torture.  Mwa ha ha!
  • You break out into maniacal laughter while typing, and your roommate thinks nothing of it.
  • You sometimes get confused as to whether it was you or your main character who just said/did something.
  • Someone cuts you off in traffic and you compose a cruel limerick in retaliation.
  • You talk to your characters or narrate stories to yourself while driving.
  • You have ever stopped midway through preparing dinner to make edits to a story, then completely forgot that you were cooking until the smoke alarm went off.
  • Midway through a PowerPoint presentation in class, you suddenly realize that the fact you just gave happened in your historical fiction story, but not in real life.
  • To cure your writers’ block, you give your students a brainstorming activity as homework, then use their ideas.
  • When the voices in your head get too distracting, you have to drop what you’re doing and write.
  • You proofread your text messages . . . twice!
  • You use correct grammar and punctuation in your grocery lists.
  • You brought story notes on your honeymoon.
  • You refer to your first child as your “rough draft”.
  • You try to claim your characters as dependents when doing your taxes.
  • You feel confused when encountering a meal that cannot be eaten one-handed while typing.
  • You alliterate conversations just for fun.
  • You have attempted to argue with your spouse in iambic pentameter.
  • You discipline your children by making them edit your first drafts.
  • The weight of story notes scattered across your desk is greater than the actual weight of the desk.
  • You have composed one or more love sonnets to coffee.
  • You have a grammar handbook on your nightstand.
  • You sleep with a notepad and pen because “inspiration can strike at any time.”
  • You have considered sacrificing a bull or cherished relative in the hopes of incurring the favor of your muse.
  • You can not only quote Kipling, Tennyson, and Wordsworth, you actually know exactly where the quotations are from.
  • You cherish a deep fondness toward a particular mark of punctuation.  (Sigh, I love commas!)
  • You attempt to purchase a rare poison just to see if your villain can actually do it.  And then expect the police to believe you.
  • You decorate your Christmas tree with rejection letters from publishers.
  • You actually know how many times Dr. Seuss’s first manuscript was rejected, and find it inspiring.
  • Describing the banquet scene in your story is a higher priority than feeding the cat . . . or the children.
  • You have higher security measures guarding your stories than your house.
  • You consider taking out a life insurance policy on your latest work-in-progress.
  • While in ER for an extraordinarily painful injury, you take careful notes for a possible future short story.
  • You intake your coffee through an IV, since it saves the trouble of getting up from the computer.
  • You wish they would bottle a perfume that smells like old books or fresh paper.
  • Even though you actually make money at your day job, you stubbornly insist on calling yourself a writer on forms that request your occupation.
  • You prick your finger and ink comes out instead of blood.
  • You follow publishing companies on Twitter . . . and actually read their tweets.
  • You have used or considered the pick-up line “Hey, want to come up to my place and look at my character sketches?”
  • You’ve smiled and nodded more than twice while reading this list.
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About HistoryGypsy

I'm a high school history teacher and author of upcoming novel Sidhe Eyes. I live in gorgeous Qingdao, China, where I spend much of my free time studying the fascinating and frustrating Chinese language, eating odd things, or taking long walks along the Yellow Sea. At "While We're Paused" I have the pleasure of blogging about things that catch my interest: good books, language, history, poetry, writing tips, grammar rants, random humor . . . I don't like to get in a rut! Some of my favorite writers include (and this is by no means an exhaustive list): Dorothy Sayers, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Jules Verne, Baroness Orczy, Geoffrey Wawro, John Lynn, Bill Bryson, the Bronte sisters, John Christopher, J.M. Barrie, O. Henry, Roald Dahl, and Robert Graves. I usually find myself reading no less than three books at a time!

Posted on January 23, 2011, in Humor, Stephanie Thompson and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’m guilty on several counts; which ones will remain a closely kept secret. (BTW, my favorite punctuation mark is the semi-colon–poor abused thing!)

  2. Reading this involved a lot of nodding, laughing, and sighs…

  3. I prefer not to admit how many of them are true of me.

  4. “You break out into maniacal laughter while typing, and your roommate thinks nothing of it.”

    This has been true for me for months, but it started when working on a paper for class. That was the same night I developed the Pants of Genius, another treatment for writer’s block.

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