You Know You’re A Writer When…12 reasons!

February 12, 2011

This week on Twitter, I posted this Tweet:

tried to decorate a room for my Regency novel in my head when I couldn’t sleep last night….#amwriting#youknowyouareawriterwhen

To me, this is perfectly normal behaviour. Who wouldn’t try to decorate the main room of an 1813 Whitechaple fortune teller at 3 o’clock in the morning? But looking at it objectively, I can see that perhaps it is…a trifle odd.

Writers are a unique bunch. In fact, we are heroically unique! In honour of writers everywhere, I have decided to expand my original list of You Know You’re A Writer When…

So, here it is:


1. You will argue the correct meaning of a word with your husband for over twenty minutes

2. You cut out pictures in magazines that best describe your setting

3. You see someone in Wal Mart and think ‘that’s what my character looks like, right there!’

4. You see a couple having an argument as you drive by and you immediately start playing the game: what happens next?

5. While grocery shopping, your characters are talking back and forth in your head. (And they’re so loud, its a wonder you can purchase everything on your list…I call this phenomenon “Writer’s Daze”)

6. You get excited when you find [insert arcane detail here]. For me, its something like a map of the Napoleon Empire or a list of plays from Drury Lane in the 1800’s.

7. Before you go to sleep, you ask your subconscious to provide you with an answer to your plot problem

8. You consult the Tarot for the same (see above)

9. It takes a while for you to proclaim your identity as “A Writer” but once you do, you can’t shut up about it

10. Even the clerk at the local gas station knows you’re trying to get published

11. All your co-workers know what you’re writing and/or your current word count

12. You work through all ‘your issues’ by writing them into a novel. (The story might take place on an astroid colony 1000 years from now but that’s your old nemesis from high school, D.B., getting mangled by a particle beam!)

Writers, am I missing any? Add your own below!


  1. I love this! Now excuse me while I share!

    • Glad you like it! 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Julie J.

  2. You spend dinner internally debating between a ; , “but” or a .

    • Yep, I’ve done something like that before! Great one!

      Thanks for dropping by!
      Julie J.

  3. Story of my life.

    • I knew other writers would relate to this! I’m not the only one! 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Julie J.

  4. In your mind, you compulsively correct typos in other people’s copy, as in “astroid colony”.

    • Ha ha! I had a good chuckle over that one because I’ve been on both sides of that! (Correcting others and being corrected).

      Thanks for dropping by!
      Julie J.

  5. Hey,

    As soon as I got to number 12, about writing in your old nemesis, I burst into laughter. Mine are always involved some how even if they are on planet Zurg. I think it helps to get it out of your system, all those years of angst, you can finally take your revenge out on them.

    The voices in the head are true too. I have lost count on the amount of times people have gave me funny looks because they think I am talking to myself.

    Great post 🙂

    • I once saw a funny T shirt for writers that said “Be Careful Or I’ll Put You In My Novel!” which I think speaks to the whole idea of Writers Revenge!

      Glad you liked the post and could relate!

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Julie J.

  6. You discover that the best source of information for your fantasy novel is a British TV show on the local educational TV station, and become a TV Nazi on Monday nights so you can watch it.

    • Yes! And everyone wonders what’s come over you! It’s like me making my husband download an app to his Ipad from the Museum of London…not something he’ll ever use, but I’m VERY interested in it!

      Thanks for dropping by!
      Julie J.

      • Um, what is it called? I’m searching and I can’t seem to find it. Found an IPhone one, but nothing IPad specific.

      • Yes, that’s the one. It’s meant for a phone (so if you are touring London, you can see the historical pictures that go with the specific, real life places) but somehow hubby downloaded to his Ipad.

        Does that help?
        Julie J.

      • Yes, thanks. You do know that you’ve got Word Press set to the default thread level for comments, which is three? So I had to reply to myself rather than to you.

        Now I’ve got to find maps of Rome and other Mediterranean cities around 1 AD.


  7. So true! And you have to decide between which family you’re going to spend time with…the one in your head, the one in the story you’re already working on, or your real family!

    • It certainly is a balancing act, and one I think that is unique to writers. Characters can become important people in their own right-even though they’re imaginary. I have a soft spot for all my characters, even the not-so-nice ones.

      Making time for them and the writing process is necessary to my mental health! At least, that’s how I explain it to everyone. But finding the time to meet all the needs –as a writer, wife and mom–oh yeah, and as my day job as a teacher!–is my daily time management conundrum!

      Some days I nail it, and others…not so much!

      Thanks for dropping by, Sarah!

      Julie J.

  8. *loves #7*


    When you find yourself in Starbucks, cobbling together scenes written on the phone during the prior week’s commute.

    • That reminds of the low-tech days when I’d have writing on bits of scraps of paper and arrows everywhere to try to follow my train of thought–and then I’d have to figure it all out as I transcribed it!

      Thanks for the comment! Writer’s everywhere understand! 🙂

      Julie J.

  9. This is awesome! Yep, you know you’re a writer when you dash out of bed to write down the perfect word you just thought of. Or when I read another book and find a perfect word. It’s all about the perfect word!

    • Yes, I totally get that!

      Thanks for dropping by Julie!

      Julie J.

  10. […] Naturally, searching for arcane details is part of my You Know You’re A Writer When…12 Reasons! […]

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