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View Full Version : You Know You're a Writer When. . . .



Orianna2000
06-21-2011, 05:48 PM
I saw that you had one of these, but it's been a few years since anyone added to it. Is it okay to start fresh?

You know you're a writer when . . .


. . . the keyboard on your laptop has several letters so worn off that you can no longer read them . . . and it doesn't matter, because you type so well on instinct.

. . . you always scramble to write down your dreams, because you never know when one will contain the plot element you need for your current WIP. Or be inspiration for a whole new novel.

. . . while shopping, you see an item and think, "Oh, So-and-So (your main character) would love that!!" And you actually consider buying it, even though you would never in a million years use it/wear it yourself.

. . . the fingernails on your pinkie and ring finger grow crooked, because of how you hold your hands on the keyboard.


Sadly, all true! Anyone else?

KidCassandra
06-21-2011, 06:34 PM
... you mentally narrate your own life in third person.

... you focus so hard on your plot problems when you lie down in bed that you literally dream up the answers as you sleep.

... your preferred form of procrastination is posting on a writers' forum.

areteus
06-21-2011, 06:40 PM
... relationships are no longer about getting sex but obtaining material for fleshing out your love scenes

... you find yourself predicting the end of plots of books, films and TV shows and getting it 100% right all the time because 'that's how I would have ended it'.

... life is not an endless grind of pain and worthless poverty, it's research for your next novel about a penniless writer.

Jonathan Dalar
06-21-2011, 06:51 PM
...you find yourself predicting the end of plots of books, films and TV shows and getting it 100% right all the time because... "they messed it up by going with the cliche; they had a much better ending they didn't use."

...you find yourself looking forward to family vacations because you're going to where you set one of your novels and you can do some more research.

...you find yourself mis-remembering conversations because you modified them how your characters would have replayed the scene.

willietheshakes
06-21-2011, 07:18 PM
... you have a trench -- not a groove, a trench -- above your first knuckle on one finger because of how, and how long, you hold your pen.

Archie1989
06-21-2011, 07:26 PM
. . . your parents/roommate/significant other is seriously considering sending you to see a psychiatrist because of your mood swings when it comes to your writing . . . .

Orianna2000
06-21-2011, 07:56 PM
... you have a trench -- not a groove, a trench -- above your first knuckle on one finger because of how, and how long, you hold your pen.
Before I switched to typing, this was so true! I still have a "scar" on my middle finger from holding the pen.

stormie
06-21-2011, 08:02 PM
I love reading these. All so true! (Esp. the worn-out lettering on the keyboard.)


Here's mine:

...going into Staples for one item, staying an hour, coming out with a filled shopping cart.

areteus
06-21-2011, 08:07 PM
...you wander around charity bookshops picking up obscure reference works because 'it may come in useful for research some day'. [Not that I haven't just come back from doing just that or anything... :)]

areteus
06-21-2011, 08:08 PM
Before I switched to typing, this was so true! I still have a "scar" on my middle finger from holding the pen.

Me too... had it since I was 12...

CaroGirl
06-21-2011, 08:17 PM
...you become enthusiastic about undergoing medical procedures, trips to the emergency room and going skydiving because you could "use that" in your next novel.

I, too, have a disfiguring lump on my right middle finger (although I no longer write by hand).

AlishaS
06-21-2011, 08:18 PM
...when you go crazy because you've lost your pen. And no one understands that not any is as good as the next, and not any pen has the ability to write a novel.

I have a certain brand of pen--and notebook for that matter--that I only, ONLY use for writing, and nothing else compares.

Anna L.
06-21-2011, 08:41 PM
...your self-esteem is determined by your word count.

You don't write for a week and you feel like a loser, then you have a 3000-word day and you feel awesome.

Fiona
06-21-2011, 08:53 PM
... Several letters on my laptop keyboard are loose and almost fallen off, as if I've been pressing down too hard during my writing frenzy.....

scarletpeaches
06-21-2011, 08:55 PM
...you finish the shit that you start.

CaroGirl
06-21-2011, 08:57 PM
...you check your email in-box 100x per hour and are sure such behaviour is not clinically obsessive.

jaksen
06-21-2011, 08:59 PM
When you're at a family affair, or a party, or luncheon, or any type of social gathering, you hunt around for an open PC or laptop so you can quickly write out a few passages, then email them to yourself.

Adam
06-21-2011, 09:15 PM
...thanks to hours of slumping over a keyboard, your spine resembles a slinky.

Phaeal
06-21-2011, 10:17 PM
....You look forward to sitting on the beach with a nice big stack of editing on your lap....

lindseyanne
06-21-2011, 10:20 PM
...when you go crazy because you've lost your pen. And no one understands that not any is as good as the next, and not any pen has the ability to write a novel.

I do most of my writing on a computer, but I do this too. My pens are my pens, and that's it. I don't like losing them.

Libbie
06-21-2011, 10:33 PM
... you have a trench -- not a groove, a trench -- above your first knuckle on one finger because of how, and how long, you hold your pen.

I am just old enough to have one of these, having come of age immediately before there were computers in every home. I used to write EVERYTHING by hand, including my childhood novels.

You know you're a writer when...

...you look at candid photos of yourself and wonder how they'd look inside a dust jacket.

Darkshore
06-21-2011, 10:55 PM
... you mentally narrate your own life in third person.

... you focus so hard on your plot problems when you lie down in bed that you literally dream up the answers as you sleep.

... your preferred form of procrastination is posting on a writers' forum.

I am very guilty of this first one. If I just get done writing or reading something I find that my mind goes completely bonkers and I'm actually writing out dialogue in my head without even realizing it. The worst part is half the time once I notice I'm doing it I don't even know what it's about or even who the characters were. I'm also guilty of the wordcount confidence, and thinking up plot lines in my sleep. It's so hard to enjoy movies now though, I spot the cliche a mile away and can predict exactly what the movie is going to do wrong where a book would have went a different a much more entertaining route.

Bubastes
06-21-2011, 11:10 PM
These have been mentioned before, but are so true:

... you lust after office supplies.

... you own an Alphasmart Neo and you've convinced someone else to buy one too.

JayMan
06-21-2011, 11:14 PM
It's so hard to enjoy movies now though, I spot the cliche a mile away and can predict exactly what the movie is going to do wrong where a book would have went a different a much more entertaining route.
I agree with this completely.

Chris1981
06-22-2011, 01:36 AM
...there is a pen. It is actually the pen. You have twelve just like it, but this one is special. Because it just is, that's why. Stop asking silly questions and put down that pen before somebody gets hurt. :)

...unfinished stories, novels, etc. on the hard drive irritate you more than half a pound of sand in your drawers.

...nobody in your household is in school, but you look forward to back-to-school sales because that's the best time to stock up on office supplies. (Where am I going to put three cases of printer paper?)

...if you've been published, your new goal afterward became, "Be published again."

Phaeal
06-22-2011, 02:07 AM
...if you've been published, your new goal afterward became, "Be published again."

No, to be published BETTER, BIGGER, FASTER!

Plot Device
06-22-2011, 02:23 AM
... when having to choose between replacing your windshield wiper blades or buying a new ink cartridge, the ink cartridge wins.

... you can recite with 100% recall huge swaths of dialogue, word-for-word from your current WIP, even if you haven't even written those parts yet.

... if you have to put that WIP down but eventually come back to it years later, you can STILL recall those same bits of never-written dialogue, word-for-word, and nothing as changed.

... you sit up in bed for many hours late into the night with the laptop, writing non-stop. And eventually sleep takes over so you push the laptop aside and flop sideways onto your pillow and pass out in seconds. Then the next morning, as soon as you wake up, you grab the laptop and resume writing, not even bothering to get out of bed and take a pee, never mind showering, dressing or even eating.

... you vascilate back and forth between weeks of needing to have someone --anyone-- read your latest progress. But then after a few reads have been achieved, you slip back into seclusion and write in private for many more weeks, not discussing it with anyone. Lather rinse repeat.

adarkfox
06-22-2011, 07:44 AM
LoL... I've worn out keys.. and worn OFF keys on the laptop. Oops.

...when you "check-in" to social occasions your mentally "check-out" - hey, the chars in your head are way more interesting

scope
06-22-2011, 08:38 AM
Do you call someone who writes a book a writer or an author? That's aquestion of eternal debate. Most say we are all writers, which is of course true. But I've always said that to differentiate between the two words it makes sense to call someone who's unpublished a writer, and someone who is published an author. It really means nothing but I think it does serve some purpose, although I really don't care.

Orianna2000
06-22-2011, 04:07 PM
Do you call someone who writes a book a writer or an author?
This is a bit off topic, but my opinion is: I'm a writer because that's what I do--I write. Yes, I'm also an author, because I've been published. But I don't write solely to get published, I write because it's in my soul and I would shrivel up and die if I stopped writing. So, while I have earned the right to call myself an author, if I so choose, I prefer the title of writer. Does that make sense?

Phaeal
06-22-2011, 06:40 PM
Do you call someone who writes a book a writer or an author? That's aquestion of eternal debate. Most say we are all writers, which is of course true. But I've always said that to differentiate between the two words it makes sense to call someone who's unpublished a writer, and someone who is published an author. It really means nothing but I think it does serve some purpose, although I really don't care.

As long as agents and editors continue to put "Dear Author" in their form rejection letters, I refuse to acknowledge such a functional distinction between the words -- too many of the pros don't seem to.

scarletpeaches
06-22-2011, 07:22 PM
I have no problem with ignoring what agents do if they send letters with "Dear Author," instead of a name. After all, that's exactly what they tell us not to do.

writingismypassion
06-22-2011, 11:05 PM
...when I daydream about the characters in my novel rather than daydreaming about my own life.

Orianna2000
06-22-2011, 11:17 PM
...when I daydream about the characters in my novel rather than daydreaming about my own life.
Do non-writers actually daydream about their own lives? How boring!

writingismypassion
06-23-2011, 12:28 AM
Do non-writers actually daydream about their own lives? How boring!

I'm a dreamer, what can I say! :)

Vivi
06-24-2011, 11:11 PM
I only ever write long texts on the computer and I still have one of those writer's callouses on my middle finger. I thought everyone over age 10 did? (Don't people have to take notes in school anymore?)


... you can recite with 100% recall huge swaths of dialogue, word-for-word from your current WIP, even if you haven't even written those parts yet.

... if you have to put that WIP down but eventually come back to it years later, you can STILL recall those same bits of never-written dialogue, word-for-word, and nothing as changed.


Oh, I wish I could do that!

related:
... when you are never without a pencil and a pack of post-its somewhere on your person, because scenes just come to you during work, shopping, public transport etc. and if you don't write them down immediately, they'll never be as good when you try to remember in the evening.

... you take on an extra job just to be able to buy a small netbook, solely to be able to do something useful during your daily commute. (and because the post-its are stacking up because you're never getting around to typing them out)

... you are much faster typing in your own style (even if that means with your off hand only, because the other is on the mouse), than how you learned it 'properly' once in the "ten fingers blind" way.

... you mostly dream in third person, or from the POV of characters who are nothing like yourself and you are somewhat aware it's not really happening to you while you dream. (makes all the difference between having a nightmare and dreaming an exciting sci-fi horror story)

Brindle MacWuff
06-24-2011, 11:19 PM
...when I apologise to my pen, Monsieur Monty B, after I write a lot of cack, and then he says, Alor, mon ami, calmez-vous, let me be your guide.... and we're off!

VP_Benni
06-25-2011, 06:06 AM
...you're counting keystrokes in your sleep.

~Amber~

Tepelus
06-25-2011, 05:56 PM
... you have a trench -- not a groove, a trench -- above your first knuckle on one finger because of how, and how long, you hold your pen.


I had a trench and a bump on my middle finge from when I used to draw growing up. I drew all the time until I hit my twenties and since then haven't drawn much of anything, especially these past six years.

swvaughn
06-25-2011, 08:19 PM
...you're writing in a notebook, 'cuz you're sitting in the ER with your husband for eleven freakin' hours, and you notice that you have written several pages...

...and you try to press CTRL + S.

Little Ming
06-25-2011, 08:21 PM
... you are much faster typing in your own style (even if that means with your off hand only, because the other is on the mouse), than how you learned it 'properly' once in the "ten fingers blind" way.

Yes! Glad I'm not the only one. I hated my teachers in grade school who insisted that I keep my fingers on "asdf jkl;" or whatever the hell that was. I typed faster with just my left hand than most my classmates did with all their fingers, and faster than some of the teachers if I used both hands. And yet they still insisted I do it their way. :rant:

Tromboli
06-28-2011, 05:45 AM
...you're writing in a notebook, 'cuz you're sitting in the ER with your husband for eleven freakin' hours, and you notice that you have written several pages...

...and you try to press CTRL + S.


haha, I've never done this. But I wouldn't be surprised.

... you look forward to the "boring" parts of your day so you can spend it thinking about your characters/wip. For me this is driving and put backs (I work at a clothing store and spend 2 hours a day usually buttoning/rehanging and putting away racks of clothing).

Linds
06-28-2011, 06:06 AM
...story and plot ideas drop into your head at random times - like at work or cooking dinner.
...or you find you have too many plot bunnies to fit on the writer's stove - and all your back burners are full to the brim.

My middle finger bump is much smaller now, especially since I type more often than not, but its still there.

I second, or third, or fourth movie/tv plot lines. It is more and less interesting all at once. I used to love figuring it out, but as I've written more, most become very simple to unravel. I find criminal tv series are particularly easily - because they have to set it up and it always ends up being that random person they introduce ten-fifteen minutes in. I catch myself going - why did they introduce this seemingly random/meaningless person? Well they must do it for a reason...

Orianna2000
06-28-2011, 06:25 AM
. . . when your husband tells you something and you mentally edit what he says, deleting a word or two because it "sounds better" that way.

The Kidd
06-28-2011, 07:09 AM
-When you mentally edit everything you read or when you think a collection of text (any text) in terms or word count rather than pages.
-When you see a notebook in a store and have to have it even though you have twenty at home with just one page used.
-When you day dream about literary agents reading your manuscript and loving it.

Brett Marie
06-28-2011, 06:26 PM
... you read an unassailable classic and drive yourself crazy critting it as you go along.

"Come on, Mr. Dickens! No reader is going to believe that kind of coincidence!"
"Oh, Mr. Hugo! Not another info-dump! And get off the soapbox!"
"Enough with the adverbs already, Mr. Bowles!"

J.W.
06-28-2011, 06:32 PM
...Nobody is allowed to touch your computer because their emailing and online banking might somehow ruin your work which has been saved on multiple USB keys.

..."Your computer" is really your sister's computer which you "borrowed" sometime back.

stormie
06-28-2011, 09:05 PM
...you crit emails. :rolleyes:

Darkshore
06-28-2011, 09:22 PM
Heres another: You can no longer sleep well at night due to the massive amounts of dialogue/plot lines screaming inside your skull.

Kitty27
06-29-2011, 09:20 PM
.....you react with snarls and threats of violence when you are interrupted.

......you keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas and when you don't have that,write in the notes section of your Ipod Touch.

.....you've named your computer and there will be bloody hell to pay if anyone fools with it. Your spouse is so traumatized by your epic hissy fits that he/she won't even go into your work area anymore.

......you sit at your computer at 1 and when you come up from the keyboard for air,it's 8 and you don't even remember the time passing by.

.....your family politely continues with conversation at the dinner table while you sit there,completely in a trance and staring off into space as a sudden burst of inspirations takes over.

.....you giggle,rock back and forth,and just about sing as you sit down to write.

Jonathan Dalar
06-29-2011, 09:26 PM
... you read an unassailable classic and drive yourself crazy critting it as you go along.

"Come on, Mr. Dickens! No reader is going to believe that kind of coincidence!"
"Oh, Mr. Hugo! Not another info-dump! And get off the soapbox!"
"Enough with the adverbs already, Mr. Bowles!"

Yes, yes, yes!

Ari Meermans
06-29-2011, 09:47 PM
- you can't leave home without a notebook, two pens, 2 mechanical pencils with the tube of erasers and the lead refills and your camera.

Brett Marie
06-30-2011, 06:33 PM
... your best friend/father/beloved pet dies, and over your grief and anguish, you hear an inner voice saying, "Hey, there's a story in there..."