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 Jun. 28 2015 at 4:28 pm
gladinorsk SILVER, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
7 articles 0 photos 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." Psalm 16:2

(I'm not clumsy. I just do random gravity checks...Yep, still works!)

Soooo many good moments in there! My favorites, though, would have to be: "You narrate your life experiences...referring to yourself in the third person", "You would write with a stick in the mud if need be", and, best yet, "You're never cold; you're frigid".

on Apr. 10 2015 at 8:30 am
GillianBorromeo PLATINUM, San Pedro City, Laguna, Other
24 articles 0 photos 38 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The reward of a thing well done is having done it."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

There should be a "made me smile and shout yes!" and "made me nod" button on the side. I'd press it fourteen times. Good job!

on Mar. 31 2015 at 11:14 pm
The_DoctorDonna PLATINUM, Anytown, Iowa
44 articles 2 photos 105 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Nothing is impossible. The word itself says 'I'm Possible'"

Wow you literally just described my life haha. I thought I was the only one who smelled pages (my family laughs at me all the time for that one lol)

on Mar. 30 2015 at 9:41 am
CNBono17 SILVER, Rural, South Carolina
5 articles 0 photos 248 comments

Favorite Quote:
Lego ergo sum (Latin—I read, therefore, I am)
The pen is mightier than the sword—unknown
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity—1 Timothy 4:12

How loudly can I say AMEN? Except for me, I don't use a phone book for names. I use baby name websites…Everything else, about bookstores, semicolons, research, synonyms, is completely applicable; I love this!

RealRiter GOLD said...
on Mar. 23 2015 at 5:07 pm
RealRiter GOLD, Astoria, Oregon
10 articles 0 photos 65 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I did not fail 101 times, but I simply found 101 ways that did not work." -Thomas Edison

Wow. So perfect. Totally me. Awesome story. Great job!

Beila BRONZE said...
on Mar. 9 2015 at 2:56 am
Beila BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
3 articles 0 photos 516 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." -Mark Twain

Yes! Thank goodness! So you mean to tell me I'm normal?! :P That thing about semicolons--too true; I will never stop being addicted to that key. :) Everything and everyone in my life is narrated, although we alternate points of view until I sometimes catch myself remembering other people's falsified thoughts to them... and then it gets awkward. ;) For the record, all of my life is in lists. I am only ever frigid, livid, or riveted... by other great writing. What a joy to read!

on May. 27 2014 at 12:09 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 love this. I laugh every time I see it. So clever, and so brilliantly assembled. Definitely one of my favorites on TeenInk.

on Nov. 14 2013 at 3:36 am
Ray--yo PLATINUM, Kathmandu, Other
43 articles 2 photos 581 comments

Favorite Quote:
God Makes No Mistakes. (Gaga?)
"I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." -Liesel Meminger via Markus Zusac, "The Book Thief"

It felt like you spied my life for a few years and wrote down every single detail you saw; Readng this was an experience: I smiled, laughed, went 'Wooh" at times and got a few suspicious looks from my mom! I am very, very happily marking this a favourite.

on Jul. 12 2013 at 2:52 pm
bookmouse BRONZE, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
1 article 90 photos 251 comments
So true! You nailed it!

ClaireM. ELITE said...
on Jun. 12 2013 at 12:45 am
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments
Ahahahaha, thank you!  Here's a big writer's hug:  (((((YOU)))))   =)

ClaireM. ELITE said...
on Jun. 12 2013 at 12:44 am
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments
Thank you, my dear!   I absolutely detest puncuation and speeling (oops, spelling) errors, so yes, I know exactly how you feel.  Oh and also when people capitalize the first letter of EVERY word, like this: I Like To Write.   ...why??  :D

ClaireM. ELITE said...
on Jun. 12 2013 at 12:41 am
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments
Thanks so much!  It's incredible to know there are others who feel this way about writing. ;P

ClaireM. ELITE said...
on Jun. 12 2013 at 12:39 am
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments
Ahahahahaha xD

ClaireM. ELITE said...
on Jun. 12 2013 at 12:38 am
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments
Thanks a million!!

ClaireM. ELITE said...
on Jun. 12 2013 at 12:38 am
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments
I'm a full-out punctuation addict, so I know how you feel. :P  Thank you so much for reviewing!  

ClaireM. ELITE said...
on Jun. 12 2013 at 12:37 am
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments
Wow, thank you so so so much!  You don't know how much this touched me, mostly because someone else feels exactly the way I do about writing and isn't that a lovely thing. <3

ClaireM. ELITE said...
on Jun. 12 2013 at 12:35 am
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments
Thank you so much!  I hope you consider yourself a writer; we need as many as we can get. :)

ClaireM. ELITE said...
on Jun. 12 2013 at 12:34 am
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments
Ah, the difficulties of being a passionate writer. :D  Thank you for your thoughts--they mean a lot!

kmeep GOLD said...
on Apr. 10 2013 at 5:08 pm
kmeep GOLD, Woodbury, New Jersey
17 articles 2 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you can't laugh at yourself, laugh at other people.
-Tim Hawkins

So true! :) I liked the part about the word 'deplorable' and the sniffing the books thing. (I do that and get weird looks.) Also the worst moments thing is true about me as is the part about the paper monster and the typos.Oh, and the childhood journals, and most of the other things you mentioned. (And all my friends AND enemies have become charcters at some point.)  

on Apr. 10 2013 at 11:08 am
ilikeearth SILVER, Mission, Texas
8 articles 9 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are." -Quentin Crisp
"I'm a journalist, I run to the fire, that's what we do." -Shepard Smith
"Forget Prince Charming, I want James Dean" -Me

This actually made me LOL. When spell was misspelled I laughed out loud, really I did! I almost died of giggles at getting high off of the smell of old books and calling red crimson or scarlet. Bravo!