You know you’re a writer when…


I thought I’d have a little fun today so I gave myself an hour to come up with as many different situations I could think of when you know you’re a writer. So, you know when you’re a writer when…

  1. Every argument you have becomes fodder for your WIP, but smarter, snappier and with you winning.
  2. You would rather spend time on your WIP than do work that pays more in a day than you book will likely earn in a month.
  3. You love every part of your WIP.
  4. You hate every part of your WIP.
  5. You know what WIP means.
  6. You stop a conversation mid-sentence to write down a plot point that’s just occurred to you.
  7. You cannot stop thinking about your novel. Ever. Even in your dreams.
  8. You know your main character better than your best friend.
  9. You have conversations with your characters in your head.
  10. Your friends stop asking about how your latest book’s going.
  11. You visit a beautiful park and wonder how you can squeeze the location into your novel.
  12. You’re on the suspect lists of law enforcement and intelligence agencies across the world due to your Google search history.
  13. Putting your feet up and staring out of the window are considered work.
  14. When something exciting happens you immediately create a mental checklist of how it felt, smelled, tasted, looked and sounded.
  15. You cringe every time you read a sentence containing an adverb, even when its use is perfectly reasonable. Including this sentence.
  16. You find yourself mentally editing a passage you’ve just read. In a published book. By a prize-winning author.
  17. You give character’s names that relate to people you know, in a way only you would recognise, then kill them off.
  18. You laugh to yourself whenever you read the part where the above character dies.
  19. Backache is a constant companion.
  20. You treat going to the bathroom as a reward.
  21. You know at least twenty alternatives to the word ‘look’.
  22. You growl each time you type the word ‘that’.
  23. You can be disappointed after writing 2000 words in a day, yet delighted on another day with just 200 words.
  24. You ignore every line in a flattering review except the one that starts ‘my only issue with the book is…’.
  25. When talking with friends, you mentally rework anything you say that ends in a preposition.
  26. You know every aspect of a town you’ve never visited.
  27. You have files full of first drafts of work – on your computer, on bookshelves or in the loft – that you will never, ever look at.
  28. You are the ‘pro’ in procrastination.
  29. You look up from your laptop after writing a particularly intense scene to find the whole coffee shop staring at you.
  30. You laugh whenever friends tell you they are too busy to do something.
  31. All of your friends think you sit around doing nothing, even when your ebook is published, yet look at you in admiration when they get their hands on your paperback.
  32. You cannot read your own work, even after it’s published, without editing it in your head.
  33. Instead of getting angry when somebody insults you, you appreciate their unique terminology and note it down for later use.
  34. You find yourself cursing out loud when something happens in a book / TV series / movie identical to something you’ve written months earlier but have yet to publish.
  35. Your friends start to worry what they tell you will end up in your next book.
  36. Your friends recognise conversations in your latest book.
  37. For every story you’re working on, there are one hundred others jostling for your attention.
  38. You use the same word repeatedly in a conversation over a short space of time only to never use it again.
  39. You look for subtext in every conversation.
  40. You throw a book across the room wondering how such rubbish could ever get published.
  41. You throw a book across the room knowing you could never write so beautifully.
  42. You can spend an hour editing a sentence in multiple ways to make it perfect, only to realise the final version is the same as what you started with.
  43. You classify reading this list as ‘research’.
  44. Your friends look at you funny because they’ve just read that scene in your latest book.
  45. You feel guilty spending time with your family because you should be writing your WIP.
  46. You spend an hour editing an email because ‘the pacing was wrong’.
  47. On bad days you include tweets as part of your word count.
  48. You organise a family day out so you can visit a setting for your latest book.
  49. You mentally divide the world into writers and everybody else.
  50. You know that even if you never write another word again, you will always view the world as a writer.

OK, I admit it took me a little longer than an hour (80 minutes to be exact), but that’s my list. What have I missed? What things do you find yourself doing that only writers do? I’d love to hear from you.

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