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You Know You’re A Writer If, Extended Edition

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yes, it’s time once again to revisit the wonderful world of “You Know You’re a Writer If…” If you’ve never read the first three posts, here they are:
You Know You’re a Writer If . . .
More You Know You’re a Writer If . . .
Even MORE You Know You’re a Writer If . . .

You know you’re a writer if . . .

  • You “plead the fifth” on the identity of the person who inspired the dead body in your latest mystery novel.
  • You are a member of and participate in more writing groups than you can count, but you consider yourself anti-social.
  • You’re a romance novelist, but you can figure out a way to write off your ticket to see The A-Team as a research-related expense.
  • You buy a can of something called New Book Smell that is meant for your e-book reader, but you wear it as perfume.
  • You find yourself wishing you’d had a troubled childhood so you’d have something to write about.
  • You spend three hours in the E.R. waiting room and don’t want to leave when your friend is released (and is okay!) because you want to find out what happened to everyone else who came in while you were sitting there.
  • Ninety percent of the nine hundred people you’re “friends” with on Facebook have writer listed either as their job or their top “interest.”
  • Everyone at Panera and/or Starbucks knows you and asks about your current writing project by title.
  • You see a hand-drawn employee appreciation poster at the grocery store with one word misspelled and have to avert your eyes every time you walk past it to keep from attacking it with a red Sharpie.
  • Staring off into space with a glazed look in your eyes is considered “working.”
  • You’ve ever gotten a major cable network to correct text in one of their show promos because the grammatical error in it drove you so crazy you Tweeted about it.
  • You are automatically drawn to the display of journals and fancy notepads/notebooks on the bargain table at every bookstore you enter. And you buy at least two, because you don’t have any in that style yet, even though you have at least fifteen or twenty sitting at home unused.
  • You narrate what’s going on around you. (Bonus points if you do this out loud.)
  • You have a soundtrack of songs you’ve compiled for each of your characters/each of your stories.
  • You secretly correct grammar and spelling errors in friends’ comments on your blog posts.
  • Your dinner conversation about how much poison to use and where to hide the body makes the diners in the next booth call the cops. When the police officer arrives to interrogate you, you end up inviting him to join you so you can interview him for research.
  • Your computer is your only true friend. Until it freezes or the Internet goes down. Then you hate it more than anything in the world.
  • You see a documentary about glass blowing artistry and when you see the guy in the full-body fire-resistant suit who “catches” the hot glass when it’s finished, you think, Hey, I think that’s the job the hero of my next book will have!
  • The only response you can come up with in a major Facebook discussion about which cousin talks the most is: “This is SO going into my next book.”
  • You—SQUIRREL!!!
  • You didn’t know that Starbucks sells anything other than the Venti size. (Seriously? Someone would pay for something smaller than that?)
  • You go into mourning when you kill off a character . . . even if the character deserved to die.
  • You know that “Which of your books is your favorite?” is the second worst question you can be asked. The worst is “Which of your characters is your favorite?”
  • You scrutinize peoples’ appearances and mentally describe them as they’re talking to you.
  • You watch a documentary on TV about a tribe of Cherokee in East Tennessee who think they’re descended from the Lost Tribe of Israel . . . and a novel about how those ancient Hebrews might have gotten over here and settled in the Smoky Mountains starts forming in your head.
  • You know more about your characters than your friends.
  • You can never “clear your mind.”
  • You’ve figured out how to write while driving. And have actually missed your exit/turn because you’re so absorbed in your own story.
  • You can’t remember the last time you ate a hot meal, because as soon as you sit down, a story idea strikes and you must jot it down.
  • You’ve taken your laptop with you to Weight Watchers meetings because you’re on deadline and you’ll have fifteen minutes between weigh-in and the beginning of the meeting to knock out a few hundred words.
  • You pat the lid of your laptop after you close it. (Bonus points if you mutter, “Good girl/boy” while patting.)
  • At parties, some people snoop in the medicine cabinet. You sneak peeks at the bookshelves.
  • You read a list of “you know you’re a writer if…” statements and think of twenty others not covered.

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  1. Kav permalink
    Thursday, June 24, 2010 9:15 am

    LOL. Love this one: “You pat the lid of your laptop after you close it. (Bonus points if you mutter, “Good girl/boy” while patting.)” Do I get extra bonus points if I’ve named her? Ms. Buttercup Twittlebottom. 🙂


    • Thursday, June 24, 2010 12:57 pm

      I haven’t named mine, but I do clean the fingerprints and smudges off the cover and lip surround the screen almost obsessively. (That’s what I get for buying one with a shiny purple cover!)


  2. Sylvia M. permalink
    Thursday, June 24, 2010 9:45 am

    Off topic,but I thought everyone would like to know that Love Remains is in stock at CBD!


    • Thursday, June 24, 2010 12:59 pm

      Interesting–it’s not showing up as in stock anywhere else.

      And they’re the first to have The Art of Romance listed for pre-order, too.


  3. Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:36 am

    Love your list! You made me smile today. While I agree with most items, I find the “soundtrack” to be the funniest. I thought I was alone on that one.


    • Thursday, June 24, 2010 1:00 pm

      When I was trying to get Ransome’s Crossing finished last fall, I downloaded a bunch of music from pirate movie soundtracks. It’s amazing how well that helps get me in the right mindset!


  4. Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:47 am

    I loved the one about how much poison to use, and where to hide the body. My daughter just text-messaged me the following question: Would there be a way to tell how long between a person’s death and their body being dumped in an alley?

    I’m a librarian, not a medical examiner….but then I’m also a writer…

    Does anyone know the answer to that question, by the way? 😀


    • Thursday, June 24, 2010 1:01 pm

      I have to admit, I swiped that one from a friend who writes mysteries—though her anecdote was about worrying that someone might call the cops, not that it had actually happened.


  5. Thursday, June 24, 2010 2:12 pm

    Love it!! The poison one almost happened to me. I got some pretty crazy looks that day. I have to admit that I would have asked the cop for an interview also!! LOL. I did interviewed a security guard where my husband works once for a story. Does that count?


  6. Thursday, June 24, 2010 2:49 pm

    Kaye, thank you for the much needed chuckle. I don’t even want to admit how many of those applied. Oh my goodness, we are an interesting lot. 🙂


  7. Thursday, June 24, 2010 6:07 pm

    These crack me up!! But I literally laughed out loud at the SQUIRREL!! 🙂


    • tiffany zurzolo permalink
      Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:05 am

      lol me too. I never thought other writers were just as easily distracted as myself. 🙂 I always thought that every writer (but me) was set on a rigid timeline and always lost somewhere other than “here.”


  8. Saturday, June 26, 2010 3:54 pm

    And here I thought I was the only one who did a lot of these! Guess I’m not as crazy as I thought! I do so many of these without even realizing it.
    Love your list 🙂


  9. Judy permalink
    Saturday, June 26, 2010 5:38 pm

    Regina: Yes, if the kill site and the dump site are far enough apart to have different insects. So kill on the street, drag around the corner into the alley, probably not, even if time elapses (although moving a dead body after some time leaves its own set of clues that the body has been moved.)

    But kill on the street, time of death begins and is determined by all the body processes. Then, load in a car, drive to the next town or to an alley closer or further from the river, dump the body. Insects from that area then show up and time of infestation can determine that the body was dead longer than the insects infested it. Or something like that.

    Tim Downs book “Shoofly Pie” has a similar problem in it. His books are interesting if you like mysteries. Got my copy at Lifeway when Kaye dumped it in my lap and said “You’ll probably like this.” I did.


  10. Friday, April 13, 2012 10:14 am

    You go into mourning when you kill off a character . . . even if the character deserved to die.

    Oh that was sooooo it. I’ve put myself through depression over one…. “accident prone” character who already had a rough history. I’ve even tried to kill her – out of mercy 😛

    Is it true that every artists needs what I call the “squeakie toy”? You know, the stress reliever you can hit around and near-kill just because it gives you something else to think about… or do? 😛


  11. Olivia permalink
    Sunday, September 9, 2012 8:15 pm

    the one about killing off a character even if they deserved it made me laugh my stomach up… maybe i shouldn’t have said that… anyway, when i killed off one of my characters, i started crying so hard, my sister thought my dog had died or something



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