There are certain... quirks that I believe most writers have. Being a writer is a lot of fun but there are some indubitable mannerisms that I think most writers share. I can not speak for anyone but myself, however, it wouldn't surprise me if other writer's read this and nodded the whole way down the list with random remarks that they do the exact things I inadvertently do. I hope you enjoy getting into the mind of a writer....
As a writer, I...
1.) Have conversations with myself even though I'm not really talking to myself, my characters are talking to each other. Now, most people would characterize this as schizophrenia or having multiple personalities but the reality of it is that sometimes our characters just won't shut up!
2.) Tend to watch, listen, and gawk at other people in such an intrusive way that I am given dirty looks. It's not that I disapprove of these people, in fact, it's the opposite! If I stare at you, it's because I think you would make a great character or your voice, hair, mannerisms, or whatever is unique and I want to ingrain it in my brain so I can copy you on paper. Feel flattered.
3.) Put the eggs in the pantry, the bread in the dishwasher, the empty milk carton in the freezer, and then start the washing machine with no clothes in it... all because I... a) stayed up waaaaay to late writing and I can't get my head on, or b) am so into my plot/characters/manuscript that I can't focus on anything. (Side note- Children could very well contribute to my lack of brain sometimes but I think it's partly my writing, too.)
4.) Have extreme lapses in conversations or daily doings because I was only focusing on my book.
5.) Hear someones life story, traumatic event, funny embarrassing moment, or unique idea and think "How can I put this into a new story?" It happens all the time. Even though I am really [trying] to pay attention to what you are saying, I can't help but turn you into a plot line. Sorry.
6.) Don't like being told I am wrong. Now, I know this is a major character flaw, (and bless my husband for tolerating me), but we writer's
7.) Read some published books and think how in the frigging he#$ did that get PUBLISHED!? I understand that we writer's think we are the best thing since Jane Austen... but seriously... how do books of absolute mediocrity get on the book shelves? Someone, please. Answer that for me. I'm at a loss.
8.) Stalk the blogs of agents and authors to try and decipher the secret to getting published. (I have my favorites but that will have to wait for another post.)
9.) Always carry a book, notepad, and pen with me. Sometimes I use it A LOT. And sometimes I write random things in it that have absolutely no relation to writing or the current book I'm working on. But of course, the second I leave it at home I think of something brilliant and it suddenly vanishes from my brain, never to be seen or heard of again. *Sigh* (I hate that.)
10.) Pray every night that I will have a Stephenie Meyer moment and dream of something brilliant and then wake up the next morning, write a New York Times Bestseller book series and entertain millions and billions of people (worldwide) with my awesome idea that came to me... in a dream.
(We can all dream can't we???)
11.) Sometimes, I narrate my day in a monologue or dialect you would only find in a book. Example: (I'm washing the dishes and this is my internal dialogue)
She washes each dish with impeccable attention to detail of the food particles while listening to her husband ramble about something she is only vaguely interested in.
"Did you hear me?" her husband asks as he moves into her line of sight looking both hopeful and confused.
"Yep. Listening to every word intently, dear." she answers, trying to sound enthusiastic but feeling the exact opposite.
(Don't laugh at me... chances are, if I know you, I have internally done this while speaking to you. I can't help it.)
12.) Have cried, laughed, spoke to, spoke about, or talked smack about all of my characters at one time or another. I spend a good portion of my day thinking about or writing about these people who become real life friends and enemies to me. (This is not limited and includes falling in love with complete fictional people.)
I know it sounds crazy and maybe us writers are, (or maybe it's just me). So, let me go ahead and summarize this for you in one sentence: As a writer I am a bit schizophrenic, gawk at strangers, lose my brain often, have lapses in my day where I can't remember what I just did, turn other peoples traumatic experiences into a story for my own entertainment, play GOD, constantly critique published authors, have a really heavy purse, pre-plan my dreams, talk to myself in book format, and am over and utterly emotional about absolutely fictional people.
See? Doesn't writing sound like fun? Everyone should try it.