It’s Wednesday and as promised I have returned with the further instalment of the signs to be looking for if you doubt you are a writer or suspect someone close to you being one as well. I have four shorter points to discuss, which are certainly more obvious than not, but then again we are all prone to ignore or forget the obvious, even when it is staring at our faces and bitch slapping greasy cheeks with the force of a volleyball player’s service.
4. Hazed Look
Writers don’t usually enjoy the Real World experience with unpleasant things that have to be done in order to not starve and have Internet access and the logic that drives reality’s as Greek to us as creativity is to the movie industry. Concepts like personal finances confuse the major number in our ranks. Just read what Scalzi had to say about it. Frankly, it’s way more fun in Writer-land, where responsibilities don’t follow and you can be your own deity in a realm that exists to satisfy your whims. Telltale sign that a writer is in that happy place is the hazed look that resembles a zombie’s slack expression, but not quite there yet. Usually there is intensity in the eyes directed to a faraway point not unlike dramatic flashbacks in Latin American soap operas. You spot that strange look; you are dealing with a writer. If you realize time’s skipped and you have been daydreaming, then you are potentially a writer at heart. If this zoning out persists and you do enjoy involving yourself into the fates of nonexistent people, then chances grow for you to be a writer at heart.
5. Vocalized Creative Prowess
The VCP is the most elusive and sliest signs to spot a writer. All VCP practitioners reveal a negative and often malicious reaction to the latest movie/book/song that is milking the better part of consumers [New Moon, Twilight saga, all under drinking age pop singers are my sole targets for outrage] and publicly declare that they can write better scripts, novels and lyrics with their hands tied, one eye pierced and half the brain lost to a lobotomy gone wrong. Now I can imagine that with the low quality high gloss garbage the entertainment industry has and is spawning a lot of people will get these ideas, but among the majority are the writers at heart, who feel outraged that their field is molested by stupidity. Quite frankly VCP drives writers to sit down and prove that there is quality still to be found, even if it nears extinction.
6. “Love to Hate” Syndrome
Real writers [aka the devoted ones, writers at heart] cannot experience a novel in the manner a regular non-writing person would. More often than not they snicker at poorly written works, learn from the classics and modern titles, but I think it’s in our genome to never love a novel without some allergic reaction that tips our fragile mental welfare. Most common is crippling frustration that you could never ever in a million years write anything as brilliant. Then there is the rage, which manifests in those cases, where the said writer sees his idea written not only better written, but also filling a niche in the market, which would have made said writer rich to a degree and unique. Last but not least the professional envy, which turns a writer’s face greener than grass and the selfish wish to one day be at that caliber. Naturally I am not saying that all writers feel all these things all the time. We muster true happiness that someone else we know is doing great or that a concept is being well received or that an idea we are toying with has an analogue in the market, but these negative reactions to outstanding books have their way of creeping in the dark and striking, when we least suspect it. Sadly, this is one of the kryptonite sides of being a writer.
7. Scribble Typist Addiction
It would have been pointless to add this tid bit in the beginning as it would make all the other fun facts about writer’s behavior irrelevant, but if you suffer from the STA, which means the inability to not write, then you are a writer. You may not have all the awards, movies deals, fans and royalties from foreign translations, but if sanity is threatened by the overpopulation building inside your cranium and you need to materialize the stories on paper, then you can sleep soundly, because you are a writer. To further illustrate my point I will direct you to the army, where you see all these ranks and medals, but at the end of the day, when the general takes off his stripes he is the same as the regular soldier, a man or woman brave enough to risk their life for the country. Writers don’t sacrifice their lives literally, but when vocation calls you respond.