Sometimes I think I am cursed. Who really wants to grow up to be a writer? Well, me. Can’t say why but I knew it before I ever hit puberty. Back then, I thought I had something to say. Of course coaxing this writerly person into being, well, that took years. Then, just when I thought I found her, something strange happened. She not only forgot what she wanted to say, she forgot why she wanted to write.
We have all been there. After all writing is a strange and lonely profession, the quiet cousin to acting minus the people, the props, the cool costumes, and the fame. Although we do get to wear all these different hats and have the added bonus of never having to leave our living rooms. That’s a good thing, right?
Well, let me break that bubble. Don’t write for fame or glory. Write because there is some story creeping up your throat that wants out. Write for the thrill of it. For the mad passion killing off a character brings. Yes, I went there. Then write for the sheer joy of banging your head against a wall because let’s face it, writing requires a certain tolerance to pain and at least a pint of blood a day. It has needs too.
Write, for into all of us a little writer must fall. For those who punch the keys a little too madly there are tell-tale signs to watch for. Writers are known to be artistes, irritable little fowl who mumble and snap at anything not chocolate and coffee born. Encourage them by repeating, “Go write my little darlings. Go write!” Or simply feed them and put them to bed. The snark wears off in time.
Most shy away from the sun, people too. Cat hair is bound to be on their clothes (okay that may be just me) though dog hair counts too. They will be addicted to paper, spiral notebooks, stick-it notes or scratch random lines on walls. Be aware of the permanent ink stains on their hands, coffee/tea stains everywhere else. Do know erasable pens and pencils are their friends. Books will not be random things scattered about their house but priceless artifacts that constitute as doorstops leaned into half walls. They never have enough bookshelves. Also never offer moving help, books weigh a ton.
Writers can be found out and about at coffee shops or libraries, laptop at the ready. The more introverted or book obsessed hole themselves away in dark spaces without windows or doors. Watch for mumbling about deadlines or dead lines as depression and/or anxiety are often side effects from lack of sunlight and fresh air.
Most have other jobs, sometimes two or three. Books are their sanity. Look for the paperback always kept handy by their side. The new best seller you just have to read – chances are they read it first and will give spoiler alerts in the form of a review. TV shows/movies will be fair game for screenplay study on narration, plot, character arcs, and the inciting incident (most possibly timed.) As for climax, at least their meaning is the same. Please note, you have a great cover is writer speak praise.
However, their biggest claim to fame is simply, they love what they do and they try every day to write in some way. Support their habit. Writers need coffee and love too.
Author/Contributor Teresa Little