Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You Might Be a Writer IF

*I think I've done this here before, but I am still busilly being nepharious on the blog tour, so forgive me if I repeat myself. Fresh blather next week. Recycled blather this week!*

*This was the work of a post meeting party for my writers' group round about 2000. Because people came and went from the group I don't remember the quorum that afternoon, though I can swear to my husband, Dan Hoyt and to Rebecca and Alan Lickiss, as well as Jennifer Roberts and Barbara Nickless. I'd forgotten all about this till I found it in my hard drive while looking for something else.*

You Might Be A Writer If... have knock-down, drag-out arguments with your significant other over verb tenses. pay big bucks for a babysitter so you can go out on a date ... in order to have some time to plot a story.

...revelatory conversations that start with "That's it; I know exactly what to do with Lord Raven!" don't mean you're having an affair. find nothing wrong with foregoing food, sleep and sanitary facilities for three days running in order to get those last three chapters done. talk to walls on a regular basis, but only because your characters refuse to come out into the middle of the big, unprotected room where their enemies might make an attempt on their lives. talk to yourself. Do not! Do too! Do not! Don't listen to him; he doesn't even know how to hold a sword properly!

... conversations that start, "Have you decided how to kill him yet?" don't indicate that you are about to become a felon.

... hearing that you have no clue isn't necessarily a personal remark.

... if a story isn’t accepted, happiness is a detailed personal rejection.

... and then you brag to all your friends about being rejected.

... your computer is three generations old, but your printer is a top of the line, fifty pages per minute model.

... you have to think to remember which of your friends are real, and which are characters in your stories.

... your characters have definite opinions about your friends, hairdos and sex life.

... while plotting a novel you drive your car across a median, barely avoid a stream of oncoming traffic, climb the berm, cross a parking lot, stop against a small tree, and don’t realize you’ve done anything out of the ordinary.

... You ever pumped a total stranger for details of his last illness, so you could use it in a book.

... Often have trouble remembering what day, week, month, year or century you live in.

... Are afraid to park a large car but routinely discuss the mechanics of space travel.

... you have definite opinions about the merits of historical personages so obscure no one else ever heard of them.

... Read Machiavelli’s The Prince on an interstate flight.

... Your four-year-old thinks "editor" is a bad swear word.

... in highschool you used to wander off from parties to research a plot point in the nearest library.

... your writing has ruined more than two serious relationships.

... Your prayers often involve a critique of the divine plot.

... Cleaning is what you do while suffering from the block. And only then.

... Some of the leftovers in your refrigerator have acquired life and are on the verge of sentience. You can’t wait to write about it.

... you have to be a writer, otherwise someone would realize you’re insane.

... you think coffee, donuts and pizza are a complete diet.

... when you were little, your main contribution to the playgroup was making up the "scripts" for playtime.

... your kids talk in hushed tones about your "coming down with a novel."

... Don’t know what the nearest crossroad to your house is, but can tell with certainty what type of carriage was used in 1456 in Wales.

... When a friend asks "what’s new" you give him a synopsis of your latest book.

... Have one or more times scared a late-night diner waitress with a conversation that started with: "now I need to figure out where to hide the body."

... A social life is another name for getting together with other writers and discussing plots.

... While being administered the last rites you think, "dang, I’m too woozy to remember this, and I need it for my mystery novel."

... You quit writing and became so obsessive about so many other things that your family begged you to start again.

... Love to write, but hate every minute of the writing business.

What are your favorite personal You Might Be A Writer If....?


C Kelsey said...

*Ahem. I happen to know for a fact that I'm living in the 25th century. No, my name is not "Buck".

Sarah A. Hoyt said...


You're only living in the twenty fifth century so you can stalk Athena. Doesn't COUNT.

Anonymous said...

Mom? Have you burned dinner? Again?

C Kelsey said...


It's not stalking! It's, umm, playing hide-and-go-seek. It would be stalking only if I intended to pounce on her. And that would be fatal. ;)

Amanda Green said...

Sarah, are you telling me coffee, doughnuts and pizza aren't a complete diet? Say it ain't so! Well, I guess you do have to add in chocolate. And yes, I do brag about the personalized rejections. Aren't I supposed to? ;-p

D. Antone said...

What a great list! It's amazing how accurate most of those are.

Jason Cordova said...

...if you are in the middle of a serious conversation with your loved one and suddenly you say "Hey, that's a great way to blow up the spaceship!"

Sarah A. Hoyt said...


This is why they WATCH me when I show symptoms of novel. Not only have I left the house wiht a frozen chicken under my arm, leaving the purse safely tucked away in the freezer, but I've sat at kitchen table, contentedly drawing plot diagrams while the smoke clouds billow around me...

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

Amanda, sweetie,

You must add peanuts, for some protein. Actually I think that line refers to the first time I was asked for a manuscript from an agent. I literally lived on that stuff. The padding is still with me.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...


We LIVED them. Er... I still do.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...


Oh, yeah, at the time I didn't know this, mostly because it happened last weekend, but... "During a panel you say 'hey, oh, gosh. I've been using swords wrong in my current work in progress' and procede to derail the conversation in the interest of your research."

Sarah A. Hoyt said...


Unless you're Kit, you only er... pounce... on Thena once. After that, if you're alive, you'll speak in a high voice and never have an interest in pouncing on any woman again.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

This is great, Sarah!

Here are my favourites:

Cleaning is what you do when you suffer writers block!

Social Life is another name for getting together with other writers to discuss plots.

While being administered the last rites (undergoing a painful procedure/being stitched up etc) you think, Wow, this is interesting. I must remember it for a book.

And I'll add one more.

You listen to conversations in trains and shopping centres, not because you are nosy, but because it gives you an insight into how people/characters think.

Kate said...

Your ideal vacation is you, your computer, and writing time.

Chris McMahon said...

. . .that sinking morning feeling is the realisation that you face another day in the real world.

WangZheng259 said...

You have trouble entertaining yourself with other people's stories, recreational research, staring at the wall, and so forth without getting ideas, and you know that execution is the part that makes or breaks them.

Whenever ill, even badly so, you reassure yourself with the notion that it is good research.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...


I like diners. Particularly early morning, when the working people come in!

Sarah A. Hoyt said...


I COULD murder for a week vacation right now!

Sarah A. Hoyt said...



Sarah A. Hoyt said...


Sounds familiar!