You Are a Writer If ... | Teen Ink

You Are a Writer If ... MAG

November 15, 2012
By ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments

The words “I bought a book” are as commonplace as “I brushed my teeth.”

You're in line at the grocery store and your thoughts are something along the lines of: “The dark-haired woman bent to inspect a pack of Dentyne gum, her beaky nose not seeming to diminish her confidence in the least.”

You get high from the smell of fresh paper.

Half your story is saved on your laptop, and the other half is written on the bottom of a Chinese takeout box.

You would end your lengthy feud with your neighbor, but the ongoing strife is food for a brilliantly scathing memoir.

Your life is in lists.

You read dictionaries and thesauruses like New York Times bestsellers.

You stay up all night to write an enlightening journal entry, even though you know no one will ever read a word of it.

You are a master prioritizer; you shove everything else aside to make time to write.

You have a habit of sniffing the pages of books before reading them.

With a pen and paper, you are supernatural.

You analyze the behavior of those you see on a daily basis for favorable character material.

Writing is what you do best, and you're terrible at it.

Your grocery lists are tangled with ­adjectives. “Blushing cherry tomatoes, stalwart zucchini, bread kneaded with ­passion ….”

The voice in your head says two things: “You call that writing?!” and “You call that writing?!”

You purposely toss paper and assorted junk about the room just so things look ­deliciously untidy.

You think a TV remote is for making phone calls.

You critique your childhood journals for consistency, plot flow, and rhythm.

You pause in the middle of a heated fracas and gasp, “Hold on – what was that word again? Anthropomorphized?”

You once used a leadless mechanical pencil to laboriously etch a new story idea into your trusty legal pad.

You call glasses “spectacles” and red “crimson.”

You believe writer's block should be classified as a terminal illness.

You laugh at random moments for no apparent reason.

You're never cold. You're frigid.

In a past life, you were probably a pencil.

You reached new levels of insanity thanks to the car alarm going off down the street.

You want your published work to be a smash-hit success, with ­oodles of popularity, but you also want it to retain its quiet aura of individuality.

If you had it your way, the next ruler of the universe would be Virginia Woolf or possibly Shakespeare.

Your best work is what you leapt out of bed in the middle of the night to write.

You actually get an itch whenever you spot a grammatical error or typo.

You consider non-writers to be pitiful wastes of the human race.

You don't mind the dizzying process of writing on a toilet paper roll. You've done it four times.

Your room resembles the belly of a paper monster.

Every sad scene you write ends up morphing into last year's Apocalyptic Breakup.

You still can't kick that addiction to semicolons.

You occasionally speel words wrong just to give your readers a jolt.

You know you should feel awful that your great-uncle died, but you can't help thinking that his tumble down a flight of stairs is the perfect way for your antagonist to kick the bucket.

When washing the dishes, you think, The iridescent bubbles trailed over the edge of the cracked bowl and floated on a tide of dishwater.

You can't resist writing a better ending to unsatisfactory books and movies.

The last movie you saw was before the mass obsession with “Twilight.”

You can't pass by the written word. Must. Read.

The original content of your books is completely obscured by your annotations and notes.

You turn your very worst moments into inspiration.

You emerge from your covert writing lair for two things only: coffee and coffee.

You return home from running errands with a bag containing duct tape, a slinky, a mallet, and a banana. In response to the strange looks you receive, you bellow, “For story research purposes only!”

You know every synonym for the word mad – livid, irate, frustrated, fuming, wrathful.

Walking past a bookstore without going inside is an agonizing test of will power.

During particularly trying cases of writer's block, you take up a ridiculous ­activity, like knitting a slipcover for your couch or carving your family's heads in butter.

Your classmates never let you live down your use of the word “deplorable.”

You love reading schlocky novels. They remind you of how much stronger a writer you are.

You narrate your life experiences in your head, often referring to yourself in the third person.

Writing is what scares you.

If someone told you you had to give up writing or die, you'd cheerily reply, “See you at the execution block!”

Broken pencil lead is like a broken bone.

A blinking cursor at the top of a blank page is alternately thrilling and terrifying.

You peruse the phone book for character names.

You keep restaurant menus, ticket stubs, old sticky labels, and letters in a box for future reference.

You would write with a stick in the mud if need be.

When you write, you are yourself in all your glory.

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This article has 28 comments.

on Mar. 29 2013 at 3:25 pm
TaylorWintry DIAMOND, Carrollton, Texas
72 articles 0 photos 860 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby." - Unknown

I loved that!! Honestly described most of us on TI... (: Perfectly written, and I can defintiely tell you're a writer. Plus, I love how you used things from the list IN your list! Great job. BTW, I did get an itch when "spell" was spelled wrong. 0.o

on Mar. 14 2013 at 2:53 am
aladine_98 SILVER, Hemet, California
8 articles 0 photos 69 comments
This was great! It made me laugh, and nod my head, and raise my eyebrows, and impulsively say out loud, "Hey, I do that!". And it made me learn certain things about myself that I normally wouldn't consider. 5 stars for this piece. I loved it. :)

on Mar. 6 2013 at 9:11 pm
Essiemouse GOLD, Brooklyn, New York
11 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The moral of the story is, people suck." -Me

When you misspelled "spell" I honestly started twitching. That characterized me perfectly. O.O GET OUT OF MY CLOSET AND STOP SPYING ON ME.

laila_265 GOLD said...
on Mar. 4 2013 at 9:20 pm
laila_265 GOLD, Houston, Texas
12 articles 0 photos 34 comments
Ha! I love this! So relatable!!!

on Mar. 4 2013 at 8:27 pm
Imaginedangerous PLATINUM, Riverton, Utah
31 articles 0 photos 402 comments
Yes, yes, yes, YES! This is funny and sooooo true. You nailed me and almost every other writer in the world. (No, I can't stop using semicolons and/or dashes, yes, Shakespeare should be king of the universe, yes, I definitely narrate my own life in my head- in third person!) Great job!

on Feb. 24 2013 at 12:10 pm
therealshawn BRONZE, Provo, Utah
2 articles 1 photo 2 comments
I always thought I was the only one who did some of these things -- reading over this article felt like reading my journal. I kept thinking, "How do they know so much about me?" You perfectly captured the thrill and terror and insanity and joy of writing. I absolutely loved it.

on Feb. 20 2013 at 10:15 pm
I guess I'm a writer :). Good, original piece--there were a lot of acute observations in there that I never would have noticed had I not read this article.

SongSparrow said...
on Nov. 28 2012 at 7:47 pm
SongSparrow, Evanston, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 33 comments
That made me feel better.