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Writer’s Life – 35 Signs You May Be a Writer

Last updated on March 12, 2017

Writers come in a multitude of varieties, but the thing that makes us a unique tribe?  The way our crazy little writer brains work.

Ever doubted you really were a writer?  See if any of these things sound familiar to you.  Off the top of my head…


35 Signs You May Be a Writer


  1. Consider Scrabble a competition sport and can admit to having had one of the worst arguments of your relationship over what was supposed to have been a friendly Friday evening game and were banned from the game thereafter to the point of it being thrown in the garbage and made to promise never to buy another one.  (ahem…)
  2. You can remember the name and pertinent fact of every character you’ve ever created, but can’t remember your own phone number.
  3. Even with the computer and endless access to Internet information, still think spending time in Stacks at the library doing research sounds like a fun use of a free weekend.
  4. Constantly check out new bookshelves no matter what store you’re in.  Just in case.
  5. Can’t understand how you managed to kill your plants again.  Until you remember you haven’t watered them since you started your new manuscript.  Three months ago.
  6. Have a favourite type of pen for writing longhand and lose your shit when they go off the market. (seriously, has happened to me on three occasions over the years – it’s a problem)
  7. Carry a bag everywhere to hold a special writer notebook in case of sudden inspiration.  Even to funerals.  (yeah…)
  8. Finding an unexpected stationary sale gets you more excited than what your significant other gave you for your last anniversary.
  9. Own several coffee cups the size of your head and don’t use them for decoration or planting flowers.
  10. Live for last minute cancellations of weekend plans, because they give you more time to write.  And don’t feel guilty about it.
  11. Consider people who claim to “hate books” a different sub-species.
  12. Have zoned out during a serious conversation, because something said gave you an idea and you started seeing the movie of your next story right before your eyes.  And then realised there was a canyon-long silence with the other person giving you that “Well, what do you think?” look and actually expected you to produce an intelligent answer, but you had no idea what they were blathering on about and didn’t care, because you could still see the newly hatched characters dancing around behind them who were infinitely more interesting just then.  (yup, quite the catch I am…)
  13. Develop an eye twitch when you read tweets like “Your awesome” or “Thanx 4 UR follow”.
  14. Don’t have an issue with not talking to other people for a week or more in favour of writing sparkling narration for fictional characters.
  15. Have woken out of a sound sleep to race to your keyboard or any available piece of paper to jot down a quickly evaporating flash of brilliance.
  16. man-1465441_1920Make behavioural notes while observing other riders on public transit.
  17. Have moved your desk multiple times after changing the room you write in, because when you tried to write it felt “off”.
  18. Have read every book on your multiple bookshelves.
  19. Read the listed contents of cereal boxes at breakfast if you run out of newspaper or finish your book before you’re done eating.
  20. Squeal with delight to find that book that was missing out of your collection at a garage sale for a quarter.
  21. Can lose days or even weeks working on your new story before coming up for air and can’t understand why other people have a problem with this.
  22. Think everything you write is total crap as opposed to posers who profess every word that comes out of their heads is brilliance-personified and feel the need to blog the shit out of it, bad grammar, misspelling and metaphors included.  And feel embarrassed for them.
  23. Eavesdrop with abandon while on public transit to absorb the cadence of conversation.
  24. Audibly scoff even when alone when you read tweets full of typos in your Twitter feed from people who describe themselves as writers.
  25. Have lied about being sick to get out of weekend plans to give you more time to write.  And don’t feel guilty about it.  (notice a trend?)
  26. Have become an overnight expert in medieval architecture, hand-to-hand combat, edge weapons, migration patterns of early man, plant-based dyes, woad buildings, palmistry, nuclear fission, geology, mummification technique, jousting, astrophysics or any other crazy thing for the sake of being able to speak with authority in a story.
  27. Live in constant dread under the looming threat that you’ll be discovered as a fraud, because you don’t really understand why you do what you do or know how to answer anyone when they ask you to clarify what you mean when you mention you’re a writer.
  28. Feel weird if you don’t write for a day.  And start to feel physically and mentally “off” if it goes on longer.
  29. Listen to very specific kinds of music depending on what you’re writing and make meticulous playlists to achieve moods or for writing particular stories.
  30. Read the dictionary for fun.
  31. Can’t understand why nobody takes it seriously when they ask you what you’d like for a gift and you tell them a case of printer paper or gift cards for Staples.
  32. Have everything arranged on your desk in such a way that you don’t need to take your eyes off your writing when you need to reach out to grab something.
  33. When moving, refuse to allow anyone to touch your desk and pack it up yourself – last.  And set it up first before putting the kids’ beds together and arrange everything exactly the way you need, so you can get used to writing in the new location with as little disturbance of the creative writer aura around it as possible.
  34. The sound of the phone ringing during your writing time sets your teeth on edge and you can admit to turning the phone off or lying about having not answered, “Oh, you called?  Funny, I didn’t see a missed call, it must not have gone through.  Maybe the cell tower was down???”.  (ahem)
  35. Have had something from every story you’ve written stick with you and over time have built up a weird collection of “inspirational” objects or memorabilia including things like a scale-size model draft horse, crystal ball, kimono, telescope or full-sized artist skeleton.

Oh, there’s so many more.  lol  Well, there’s an extra-special glimpse into my life, eh?  I’m betting some of you won’t even find any of that weird.  Writer brothers!  Don’t worry if no one around you understands you.  The rest of us do, so you’re not alone.  And that’s as close to each other as any of us want to get, but we all understand, so none of us are taking it personally.

Now quit pissing around on the Internet and get back to your manuscript!  😛


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