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You Know You’re a Writer If . . .

Friday, March 23, 2007


Signs you might be afflicted with the condition known as WRITER:

  • You would rather talk to the voices in your head than the person sitting next to you.
  • You know the research librarian’s office, cell, and home phone numbers but can’t remember your own.
  • Some of the letters on your keyboard are completely worn off.
  • You would rather write than go out.
  • Your/you’re and their/there/they’re errors send you into an apoplectic fit.
  • You get cranky if you don’t get to write.
  • You’ve ever said, “The voices are getting louder; I must go write.”
  • When talking with others, you mentally edit their dialogue and compose tags and beats.
  • You’ve heard/seen something and thought, I need to write that down.
  • You’ve ever written a scene, outline, synopsis, or character sketch on a restaurant napkin . . . and it wasn’t a paper napkin.
  • In the middle of the night, you grab the pen and paper you keep next to your bed to write down a scene to make the voices be quiet so you can get some sleep.
  • You end an argument with your spouse by saying, “Oh, wait, I have to write this down–this is the perfect conflict for my characters! Now, repeat what you just yelled.”
  • Getting the scene finished is more important than food, coffee, or the bathroom.
  • You have a momentary reality lapse and mention your characters’ situation as a prayer request in Sunday school.
  • A blank wall becomes the screen where the scene you’re writing takes place right in front of your eyes.
  • The easiest way for you to deal with conflict is to go home and write it into your story.
  • You have filed and cross-referenced every issue of The Writer and Writer’s Digest you’ve ever received.
  • You purposely eavesdrop when out in public.
  • At parties, your method of making conversation is to discover people in the room with interesting occupations (preferably your hero’s or heroine’s) so you can conduct research.
  • You listen to the writer’s commentary on every DVD so that you can analyze his/her writing process.
  • You have a favorite line from every movie you’ve seen.
  • You can’t write because you’re mad at one of your characters.
  • You argue with said character.
  • You have a folder on your computer labeled “Ideas.” Some of the files within this folder have only one or two words or sentences and while they made perfect sense fifteen years ago, between the software changes in that period of time garbling half the words and your own faulty memory, you have no idea what it means or where you were going with it. But you keep it anyway because you never know, you might remember it eventually.
  • You drive three hours to a city where you don’t know anyone, spend another three hours driving around the city, then drive three hours home and decide NOT to set your story there.

More “You Know You’re a Writer If . . .” Posts:
More You Know You’re a Writer If . . .
Even MORE You Know You’re a Writer If . . .
You Know You’re A Writer If, Extended Edition

  1. Friday, March 23, 2007 8:43 pm

    LOLOLOL! I think you pretty much covered all the bases! But if I think of another affliction I’ll be sure and share it!


  2. Saturday, March 24, 2007 12:23 am

    That was hilarious, especially the two word files in a folder called ideas. Well, at least I know I’m officially a writer. I love your site!



  3. Saturday, March 24, 2007 1:12 am

    Nothing to add, but these two are *totally* me!

    -You listen to the writer’s commentary on every DVD so that you can analyze his/her writing process.

    -You have a favorite line from every movie you’ve seen.


  4. Saturday, March 24, 2007 11:52 am

    These were hilarious. Though I laughed at them, my husband laughed more…is that a bad sign? LOL


  5. Sunday, March 25, 2007 11:02 pm

    The first one is SO me!! I would totally rather talk to the people in my head. They’re so much more interesting.

    –You can’t write because you’re mad at one of your characters.

    ^ Totally guilty! Hopelessly guilty. Ditto for the one after it too. I’ve lost track of how many arguements I’ve had with one Captain Tanner Edwards, US Army. He is so pig-headed!

    –A blank wall becomes the screen where the scene you’re writing takes place right in front of your eyes.

    Or the window (my desk faces a big picture window), the road in front of me, the inside of my eyelids, the back courtyard at work, the table, the floor, my cat’s back. You get the picture.


  6. Mary permalink
    Monday, April 2, 2007 2:09 pm

    Wow, this is so great XD I ESPECIALLY agree with

    The blank wall in front of you becomes a screen for one of your scenes
    You get cranky when you don’t write (Worse than when I’m PMSing)

    I have one to add, too!

    – You start to laugh out loud in public, becuase you just came up with something your character might say
    (Extra points if you rush to the bathroom in the middle of a movie, take out your notebook and write it down)


  7. Thursday, November 8, 2007 9:41 am

    Kaye, these were quite entertaining! Here are a few from my personal pocket:

    You know you’re a writer if…

    …you don’t know how to work the radio in your car because you spend all your driving time talking into a tape recorder.

    …the batteries for said recorder need to be changed more often than the ones in your daughters’ Rescue Pets.

    …the Rescue Pets are so charming you decide to name the dogs in your manuscript after them.

    …you introduce said manuscript to the local librarians as your newest child.

    …the librarians see you coming and say, “Hey, there’s that racy girl who wrote a few books.”

    …your relatives expect signed copies of your friends’ works for Christmas.

    …your college-age cousins call you at 2 a.m. from some bar because they have the PERFECT comic relief scene in mind for you…and it involves driving through the Taco Bell in reverse.

    And you know you’re Penny Dawn if you’ve referenced said Taco Bell run in your novella, Frenchin’ (see!

    Isn’t good to know we all have company? 🙂


  8. Keara permalink
    Sunday, December 9, 2007 7:10 pm

    Haha. Well, you know the sad part is that while I was reading this I was arguing with myself about what should happen to a certain character in my story.

    And then I found myself arguing with that character and laughing because it was in here. I do now realize I am truely a born writer, and that frightens me.

    Here’s one I think all the time. Especially today.

    You know you’re a writer if…

    -The notebook you carry around is top secret. Until, you realize, that people around the world will end up reading it, but you won’t let your own friends even touch it.

    -You often find yourself thinking about said notebook and deciding that you would gladly let others read it IF it was a diary and not what it really is.


  9. Anne permalink
    Monday, September 8, 2008 1:18 pm

    “-The notebook you carry around is top secret. Until, you realize, that people around the world will end up reading it, but you won’t let your own friends even touch it.

    -You often find yourself thinking about said notebook and deciding that you would gladly let others read it IF it was a diary and not what it really is.”

    Haha, SO TRUE, Keara!My notebook is MINE! I would never let anyone read the stories on my computer until they’re absolutely finished!

    I agree with about 99% of the posts here, they made me laugh so much! 😀

    Here are some from me:

    You know you’re a writer if:

    – The list “You know you’re a writer if…” makes you happy because it confirms that you have a writer’s nature.

    – Said list also relieves you because you realise that you’re not going insane and that other writers feel like you, too.

    – Secretly you want to be the only one relating to the feelings, because you want to be special.

    – At school you secrety look forward to writing papers in English/(insert native language here).

    – Despite the above point you complain just as much as your fellow students when you’re given the assignment, but that’s only because you don’t want them to think you’re weird.

    – Getting your papers back is like Christmas Eve, and you love the teachers who write little reviews of your text at the bottom of the page.

    – Every crappy situation gets better because you can use the experience later.


    • tiffany zurzolo permalink
      Wednesday, December 29, 2010 9:35 pm

      haha i agree with all of yours!
      from me:
      –if while your talking to someone, you constantly correct others’ bad grammar
      –you then have to defend yourself as not being a grammar snob and only concerned for said someone’s english grade
      –you create your own side stories to connect woth your favorite books as you read them
      –as you read or write, you become a character
      –when a teacher introduces a writing assignment your writing hand is already itching for your pen..and everyone in the room knows it
      –your characters and languge arts teachers are your besties
      –you’re socially awkward because you’ve grown up talking with the voices in your head
      –you got really excited with how many of these you relate to, and must consult your notebook to document the uncanny similarities


  10. Kelly permalink
    Monday, October 20, 2008 4:49 pm

    Have a few more…thanks for the wonderful thoughts. I literally just looked at my keyboard this morning at work and realized I had worn off my “N” and “M” keys…HA HA.

    -You secretly think that you won’t get any “real respect” for your work until you go crazy or die.

    -Even though you try your hardest to resist, you often correct your own grammar on IM.

    -In the back of your mind, you laugh when others don’t know what the word annotate means.

    -Although you won’t outwardly admit it, you enjoy creating a Style Guide specific to your group so that you can prove others wrong (e.g. “Well, according to page 8 of our guide”…then interject with your corrections).

    -In college you and your English Major friends would reply to a joke “That’s so punny”…then laugh hystericallly.

    -If a client gives you a project without a deadline, you break into a cold sweat.

    -One of the three below Jane Austen obsessions belong to you:
    *You are secretly in a Jane Austen book club
    *When you hear people rave about the next
    greatest Pride and Prejudice movie you
    comment loudly, “Well, it’s not as good as
    the PBS version”…then you go home and
    watch the entire series (8 hours straight).
    *You have a license plate frame that
    reads, “I’d rather be in Pemberley”


  11. Anne permalink
    Thursday, January 22, 2009 3:26 pm

    Got another one:

    You sometimes – often out of nowhere – sink into deep despair because you know you’ve forgotten a great idea/expression/etc. that you came up with earlier.
    (I’m in that situation right now) arghhhh..! I came up with something really good – it was an expression – and now it’s gone!


  12. Le-Le permalink
    Monday, February 9, 2009 11:59 am

    This was awesome, very funny as well as true, I only have three to add:

    -You rarely listen to music in your car beacause you’re brainstorming ideas.

    -Every song you do hear on the radio links to a scene in your novel somehow.

    -You’ve accidently knocked off your side view mirror because you were listening to music, brainstormin an idea, and lost track of your concentration of the road. (That was me. Lol.)


  13. Sunday, March 1, 2009 9:31 pm

    Now I know I’m a writer. I do all of that! HeHe


  14. Hannah permalink
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 6:43 pm

    You know you’re a writer IF….
    *You truly enjoy reading these posts because of all the decent grammar enclosed

    *You’re upset that you grew up in a normal, loving family with two parents, 2.5 kids, and a dog. What a waste…


    • tiffany zurzolo permalink
      Wednesday, December 29, 2010 9:39 pm

      to your last one:

      you’re telling me! i was that kid who fantasized about being an orphan or lost at sea, just so my biographer would have something interesting to write.


      • Sunday, January 16, 2011 6:14 pm

        I was exactly the same way! D: nothing ever happened though


  15. Wednesday, April 1, 2009 10:29 am

    You know you’re a writer if…
    You are actively accused of trying to sabotage your own relationships in order to create honest conflict to write about.


    • Stef permalink
      Friday, February 12, 2010 1:22 pm

      .. They get so cranky !


  16. Bobbie permalink
    Wednesday, April 8, 2009 3:56 pm

    I never thought of it but most of these are true for me. 😀

    You can’t write because you’re mad at one of your characters.

    You argue with said character
    So true for me with one of my characters. I’m thinking of killing her off!


  17. Tuesday, August 4, 2009 2:24 pm

    Now I don’t feel so weird, there are other people like me out there somewhere!


  18. Lydd permalink
    Sunday, October 4, 2009 4:56 pm

    Love them all! I just started writing a novel and I am almost or do almost all this stuff! Crazy, huh? Thanks for posting this.


  19. JEssica permalink
    Monday, January 4, 2010 5:41 am

    Haha I love this!!! Especially…
    “You truly enjoy reading these posts because of all the decent grammar enclosed.”
    Oh wow, so true.
    I have a few to add…

    -You’re behind on your schoolwork (if you go to school) because you write too much.
    -You have stacks of notebooks that you refuse to throw away because “hey, there might be some epic idea in there that I’ll come upon later and write a book about…”
    -It takes all your restraint to not constantly correct grammar/spelling errors.


    • Stef permalink
      Friday, February 12, 2010 1:25 pm

      I have over thirty notebooks, draft books, and random folders filled with epic “stuff” ! Never know what you might need. :]


      • tiffany zurzolo permalink
        Wednesday, December 29, 2010 9:42 pm

        haha, yep. then you never get a chance to file through them all, but you still know something epic is there! And as for schoolwork, it sucks that no teacher will ever take the excuse “But Mrs._____, I was writing for my own mental sanity! That’s why I didn’t read about ATP Synthase!”


  20. Monday, January 25, 2010 5:12 pm

    Man, this stuff is spot on! I do pretty much ALL of these! I also have a few to add:
    – You might be a writer if your friends and family have come to ignore your habit of talking to yourself.
    – You might be a writer if your family and friends either ignore you when you talk to yourself (or your novel characters) or discuss what will happen to the characters.
    – You might be a writer if you can’t help correcting and criticising movies based off of books that you read… I ALWAYS do that! I think that I often annoy my friends by telling them all of the falsehoods of certain movies. I can’t stand it when the movies are not like the book at all!
    – You might be a writer if you visit these websites just to read other comments to see how many others are like you.


  21. Sunday, January 16, 2011 6:13 pm

    You have ever apologized aloud to a character after doing something horrible to them.
    -You write letters to your friends and hand it to them at the end of the day, rather than just speaking to them.
    -You start writing a letter with the intention of it being brief and to-the-point, and it ends up being over ten pages long.
    -You have NEVER started writing a letter and expected it to be short.
    -You can think up an entire story with plot, characters, and setting based on just one small event/object/sentence you just happened to see/hear.
    -You stress out and/or worry about your characters’ situations and problems more than your own.
    -You have stayed up all night working on a story, and then not even realize you had stayed up all night until 7 am.
    -You are disappointed about your happy childhood. (Your characters have much more interesting ones)



  22. Emory Allison Monroe permalink
    Sunday, March 27, 2011 9:27 am

    That describes me! Haha. Once my friend found me talking to myself… or so she thought. haha. Sometimes those characters can be so annoying. Also, the Sunday School one… I cracked up at that one because i have before. I was praying and then I started praying for the characters in my story. Lol.


  23. Friday, September 2, 2011 8:43 am

    What a great and accurate post!


  24. Barbara permalink
    Tuesday, November 8, 2011 4:00 am

    You know you’re a writer when your procrastination of/ not writing makes you a compulsive ‘read about writing’ googler.

    Glad I’m not the only one. 🙂


  25. Barbara permalink
    Tuesday, November 8, 2011 4:16 am

    Thought of another one…err three

    You know you’re a writer if you always have a working pen close by (and have a panic attack when you can’t find it — because it writes better than the other thousand you have stashed around the house), I always wear my hair up in a ponytail so it can hold my pen.

    🙂 the lack of proper punctuation in this post freaks you out a bit 😛


  26. Ariahna permalink
    Thursday, August 9, 2012 2:46 am

    You carry notebooks and pencils/pens with you everywhere

    You zone out, thinking abouy your story multiple times a day

    You have a spot or area where you think best (mines a swing)

    Youve written a scene/chapter, decided to cut it from your story but keep the writting. No one knows why, not even you



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