Writers, nod along in painful recognition. Non-writers, send wine and chocolate. You’ll see we are a pretty messed up bunch…
The signs of being a writer:
1. You take a notebook and pen with you to bed just in case inspiration strikes as you’re sleeping. Who am I kidding? It ALWAYS happens at night.
2. You have to get the aforementioned pen surgically removed because you slept on it. Okay, that’s a lie but I’m checking I have your full attention.
3. You can finally get revenge on all the people in your life who have peed you off, through the medium of making them ‘baddies’ in your book. Or killing them. Slowly. Violently.
4. You worry that your mum will recognise herself in your next novel, so you make the character extra specially nice. You want a decent Christmas present after all.
5. You initially join every writing group/community known to social media and then curse the millions of updates you receive every single minute. Usually from just one writer who has a new book out don’t you know?
6. You would rather spend time with your characters than most actual people.
7. Writer’s block strikes and your husband moves out for a few weeks. He thought PMS was bad. He was wrong.
8. Coffee becomes your best friend. Coffee becomes a religion.
9. You encourage other writers whilst simultaneously praying that their fingers will drop off. Or if they manage to find a scribe, that their brain stops functioning too. You like yourself a whole lot less than when you first started writing.
10. You dream in novels and short stories.
11. Your friends begin to freak out at how often you just sit staring at them. You do it more because it’s funny watching them squirm.
12. Your world ends when you read a novel that is incredibly similar to your plot line and main character, knowing that you will never be able to prove that you got there first. Gits.
13. You write the food shopping list according to your protagonist’s needs. Your husband then questions the food delivery driver, because you’ve never been fans of sushi, the food choice of lazy toads who cannot be bothered to cook. Freaks.
14. You have to ban yourself from social media when writing because it is a distraction. You ask your husband to hide all your devices and then spend all your writing time either trying to find them or threatening divorce for spousal abuse.
15. Your search history on Google could get you into some serious trouble one day. Research, honest guv.
16. You are dangerously depleted in Vitamin D, lily white, and with haunted eyes, because you avoid the ‘big bad outside’ that pulls you away from your writing spot.
17. You cannot let go of the words. Editing is tantamount to deciding which of your imaginary children you prefer. Although if there’s a little naughty sod paragraph in the mix, infanticide becomes that much easier.
18. People look at you with pity, criticism or derision. What normal person thinks they can be a writer? The answer to your question is, no normal person does. Welcome to the weirdness.
19. You spend hours writing Facebook posts and Tweets because everyone, and I mean, everyone suddenly becomes a grammar aficionado now that you’re a self-proclaimed writer. Add to this being an ex-English teacher, and you’re royally stuffed.
20. You write blog posts about writing rather than actually writing. But this is writing. I am writing, about writing, as a writer, in a written form. I have also just entered a worm hole.