Wednesday, July 30, 2014

5 Signs You’re a Writer

1. You rewrite the endings of movies in your head to create the outcome you want.

For example, did you know that Jack and Rose both survived the sinking Titanic, married, and lived happily ever after? Or that Captain Miller didn’t die saving Private Ryan. In my version, Ryan is the grandfather of the doctor who will discover the cure for cancer.

It was a little harder to rewrite Perfect Storm since I’ve been told it was a true story, but I managed to do it. I figure if politicians can rewrite history to suit them, I can rewrite it to suit me. All survived.

2. You keep lists of names of people and places you think may be interesting names in a story someday.  

Do you suppose Steele Mattingly, Cincinnati Zoo’s former veterinarian, would be opposed to me using his name in a spy novel? I’ll put him in a safe house on Crooked Tree Road in Burnt Corn, Alabama. He’ll be there protecting a woman named Diamond Lee Kinsington. I kid you not.

3. You write scenarios to explain strange behavior.

Suppose you go to a garage sale where a woman is selling all of her husband’s sports equipment for next to nothing. Before you leave, you’ve created a scenario in your mind about what may have happened to him –or what is about to happen between them. Of course while you’re there you score a Calloway pitching wedge for a dollar. It’s a golf club. A good golf club.

4. You have scribbled notes everywhere of ideas you want to preserve.
You have a purse or pocketful of notes on napkins, envelopes, paper plates, church bulletins, and on the back of an important form your husband needs for work. Hey, he’s the one who left it on the kitchen table.

5. You speak with dialogue tags.

Woman at the store (okay, yes, it was me) “Tom loves to shop… she said sarcastically.”

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you may be a writer. Or just a person I'd like to know.


  1. Great post! You really painted a clear picture, and if I didn't know any better, I'd say you wrote about me specifically. Yes, I do all of the above. My favourite, #4.

    In one of the classes I attended at Write to Publish Writers Conference (WTP), they strongly encouraged us to keep a note/writing pad by your bed, on the kitchen table, in the den, etc, so you have something to write when the ideas come. You MAY search frantically for pen/paper but chances are, by the time you find them, you've forgotten your brilliant idea(s).

    I bought 5 small WTP notebooks and put one in every corner on the house (and even brought one to work) to make sure I always had one on hand. And yes I do the other points as well. So I guess I AM a writer!

    Thanks for sharing! Blessings! Renee-Ann <><

    1. You ARE a writer, Renee Ann! I was pretty sure you would hit at least four of these!

  2. I love this post. I was smiling as I read each one, especially #4. I know about the notebooks but I haven't followed that advice yet. I have piles of envelopes, margins of newspapers, and ad inserts filled with scribbles!

    1. Too funny, Pam! I forgot about the margins of newspapers and I have one siting right here with a note about next week's blog post scribbled on it. Now if I could just read what I wrote...

  3. Phone books work for notes, also. I have a local one in my car and it has notes on writing subjects, as does the bottom of the Kleenex box and anything else I can use. ALL of these apply to me, so must be a writer. Good post.

    1. I love it! And a phone book with a Sharpie pen? You may wind up with a novel! You can call it "Area Code" or "I've Got Your Number!" Or how about "Alphabetical Order?"

  4. I just saw "phone book with a Sharpie pen!" what a, ahem, novel idea!! and yes, I've done all five, altho #1 is more apt for reading and "adjusting" scenes or descriptions to my "standard." but yes, the movie thing too. and ohhhhhhhh, so many scraps of paper - which the ones that make the cut are secured in a journal purchase specifically for this very purpose! and the least thing, hint, suggestion, name, scenario, can and does set off a whole notion for a new story!! example: my friend casually asked me about my writing recently, if I've started on anything new? then uttered something about a withered garden... so, you guessed it, The Withered Garden now has a page in The Journal, awaiting her characters and enough of a plot / storyline to write it down - meanwhile it incubates...
    ~ Robin

    1. I love it, Robin! We are kindred spirits! And I love the idea of having a place to hold all those bits and pieces of ideas and scraps of paper. I would literally need something with pockets or zip lock bags of for all of my musings! I always intend to transfer them into a "safe place" but it never happens! Can't wait to read "The Withered Garden." All kinds of possibilities there!


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