Tuesday, January 5, 2016

20 Things Writers Can Relate To

We writers are constantly questioned, undermined and quite frankly ignored. For those of you that have chosen the career path of writing, you now know its not an easy one. I thought maybe for some of my readers that are also my fellow colleagues in the freelance writing world, that I might for the sake of our entertainment compile a little list of sad, humorous but true things we all can relate to:

1. It can take years to become a "successful" writer
Yes, we all know how hard it is to make a Benjamin or even a buck for that matter just from writing. Some of us achieve the "successful" writer status, while the rest of us never even get close.

2. Writing is not a hobby
Even for those of us that do not have a full time job as a writer, writing is not simply a quiet past time we enjoy to let all of our feelings out. No, its something we drive ourselves insane with. You can't even catch an hour of sleep without writing in your dreams or subconscious. I cannot tell you how many times I wake up in the middle of the night and jot down a poem or story idea on my Notes app on my phone, or even how many old notebooks I have full of story ideas.

3. We long for a real fountain pen
Any writer will tell you that, for the days you just don't feel like typing, long handing on legal pads or college ruled notebooks is the original cure for writer's block. This involves the purchase of bulk cheap pens. Of course we don't buy the dollar store pens that won't even write an entire word; sure we try to buy Papermate, BIC or Inkjoy, but lets face it.... Every real writer wants a beautiful customized fountain pen that feels like God himself is holding your hand as you produce genius word vomit onto the pages of a tattered notebook. (For the record, we do not use pencils, we'd rather proofread and scribble than erase.)

4. We are always covered in ink
Even if you type 99% of the time, you print things and touch the ink and then touch your face. Or perhaps going back to #3, the cheap pens just spit ink all over you, especially if you have a weakness for the gel ball point pens.....Why I have ink stains on my hands from just this morning...Found some on my cheek too...

5. The ITCH
The ITCH is that insane spark of word genius that you conjure up in your brain, when you're itching to write down your idea but you can't because you're in the middle of other things....So you literally begin to itch... I didn't actually understand this until I was about 16. I thought it was a nervous tick and my mother use to scold me for scratching all the time... I can always tell when I've got a one in a million idea coming though, my neck starts itching....Its weird but you understand!

6. You laugh at your own jokes
You think you're hilarious no matter what other people's reactions are. You write some quirky witty smartassy thing down and you can't help but wildly and insanely roll with laughter like a mad scientist at your own line for a story....I'm not going to lie the line in #3 about God and word vomit had me cackling out loud.

7. Your wrists hurt...all the time...
Not one time may you ever complain, but we all know our wrists hurt all the time. Most of the time its a dull ache that we've learned to ignore but other times when we should be sleeping or paying attention, our wrists scream wildly with pain. No humor there, just the cold hard truth.

8. We don't ask "What would Jesus do?"
Unfortunately we don't ask ourselves "What would Jesus do?" when we are in serious sticky situations... We ask ourselves what our idol of a writer would do... What would Shakespeare do? Doth thou be it dramatic. What would Jane Austen do? I'm just going to be independent and complicated. What would Stephanie Meyer do? Ohhhhhhh I know, be a hopeless modern day romantic, the more sparkles the better!

9. Our internet search histories are scary
We don't think twice about researching how to get away with murder, how to build a bomb at home or identity theft... We are simply trying to educate ourselves so that our stories are realistic as possible, a good writer is also a good researcher. We will research anything if it will help us write. Shooting meth included...

10. We talk about our characters like they're real
If you ever walk in on a writer's conference, you'll find yourself deeply indulging in a juicy description of someone. This person could be a genius, a murderer, diva or even a millionaire, and you are thoroughly entertained until you realize everyone in the room is discussing a person that doesn't even exist...or at least not to you.

11. We want books all the time!!!
Just because we write our own doesn't mean we don't want more. Ebooks are great and my family has been known to give me several gift cards to use for iBooks and AmazonPrime but there is nothing like the smell of a fresh paperback. No matter the genre you can never go wrong giving a writer a book as a present. We keep them and cherish them all. And you better believe we are suckers for Barnes and Nobles blow out sales!

12. We are extremely observant
Not stalkers, observant. While shopping, riding the bus or dining out we notice everyone and everything. We take note of scenery that would make for a good location in a story. We even notice people that walk, talk or act a certain way, all of this information we gather and make mental notes for developing our next character.

13. Daydreamer is an understatement
We spend hours creating alternate realities for our lifelike characters to live in, we can't help but to daydream about putting ourselves in their worlds too.

14. Everyone assumes we are boring people
Usually we are quiet people, which goes back to being observant... But we are not boring people, we have widely varying personality traits that make us as unique as the next person. You can't be boring and be a writer... Creativity is your middle name.

15. Dreaded writer's block
Thomas Hardy help us, every writer has experienced writer's block and we all dread it. Sometimes stress or exciting events bring it on and sometimes nothing at all brings it on. Some days you just can't find the inspiration to write. I've talked to brilliant writers that went through five years of writer's block and couldn't bare to write down anything... I myself went through an eight month period of writer's block once.... It was awful. Writing is what allows your soul to heal if its hurt, to laugh if its happy or to fly when its caged. When you can't write, you can't live.

16. Music makes magic happen
Days spent with your headphones in on a long road trip make for awesome story ideas as the scenery around you changes and the words of the songs you listen to tell you their stories.

17. Severe weather inspires you
When a giant tornadic storm blows up, you better believe I'm literally brainstorming about an end of the world story plot, or even when creepy fog rolls up on my way to work, there's definitely an apocalypse story forming.

18. But, its stuck...
Sometimes you wish there was this certain type of book to read with this certain storyline with a certain plot and certain characters. You search and search online databases for this book because you long to read it. When you can't find the book you're looking for you decide to write it; which brings me to say its like finding a message in a bottle with no corkscrew to open it... Or maybe even you do get it out and you are so proud of it and think its the next best seller and you read it months maybe even years later and realize it sounds like garbled monkey poo.

19. You are a nerd, face it.
You may not be a four-eyed stereotypical nerd but you are a nerd. Google defines nerd as : a single-minded expert in a particular field. Not much explaining to be done after that but you are most definitely a writing nerd or better known as: a word nerd.

20. When you realize writing is your calling
Whether you are 10, 25, or 60, when you finally realize and admit to yourself you were born to write, life flows alot easier. I knew when I was three that I wanted to be a writer but instead I wrestled around with different career paths until I finally admitted to myself, I was born to write and write is what I shall do! There is nothing more vindicating than finding your calling in life. To be "successful" in the world's terms is one thing but to be successful in your own terms of becoming a writer is just the beginning of the world of words.

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