I had the strangest dream the other night. I woke up only remembering parts of it and hazy remnants of events surrounding those moments. I hate not being able to remember dreams. So there I lay for a few minutes just staring at my ceiling trying hard to catch the tail of the dream before it fluttered away.
It took me a moment to realise that the two people I was dreaming about were the main characters from the two books I’ve written. Or more accurately described as WIP. The first guy was from the book I wrote ‘Rotten on the Inside’ that is finished and rotting inside a drawer because I haven’t done anything with it. The other, the main character of my current book, which I have been neglecting because life is just crazy busy right now. I was having a ‘Writers Guilt Nightmare’!
I had to laugh because seriously, could I be any harsher on myself? The first book, the one that in my imagination is only a mere carcass at this stage, I will get back to eventually. I am just a little angry at some of the characters. Yes that is normal. They might not be real to you but they are very real to me. It’s a writers thing. The second book, I am still working on it. I smashed out a whole new chapter just the other day. There is no need for weird dreams!
Writing is hard and writers, well we might be a little weird. I thought that maybe I owed my circle of friends an explanation for my sometimes strange behaviour.
You know you are a writer when…
- You know you are a writer when at least two men in your life strongly believe that everything you write is about them. The upside? You get the idea to create and introduce an absorbed and extremely paranoid character in your current novel. Thank you for being weird guys, it’s inspirational.
- Writing is hard, sometimes your once hyperactive muse magically transformed itself into a sloth. It’s cute but since the sloth is asleep for 98% of the day it makes writing anything even remotely good like trying to type with your feet.
- You constantly feel guilt. I should be writing. Have you finished your book? Did you update your blog? Have you submitted anything new to your editor? When was the last time you updated that little fanfic with a cult-like following that your friends don’t know about? I really, should be writing.
- Your brain is constantly in story mode. Whenever anything remotely interesting happens to you, you start imagining how the character you are writing would handle it. Then you realise that it’s a stupid exercise because last time you looked you …well, are nowhere near as brave, beautiful or even slightly as adventurous as your fictional character.
- You worry about people going through your browser history and not keeping in mind that you don’t actually want to kill anyone, you don’t have an addiction problem and have no real interest in developing that sort of fetish. It’s just research – I promise!
- You are in constant interviewer mode because you are always looking for a good story or real life plot twist. ‘Then what happened?…wow…and then what happened?’ *stuffs popcorn in her mouth*
- Your self-confidence suffers a thousand daily deaths. On occasion you will get the rare feeling that you wrote something brilliant but then in the morning you wake up, roll over, and cringe wondering what the hell you were thinking?! Maybe it was that late night churro.
- You have become an expert on body language. ‘Oh yeah, you t-o-t-a-l-l-y just lied to my face’. We see things other people might not. This may be why we enjoy people watching. (Not stalking…if your stalking someone that is not a writers thing, that is a YOU thing and you should probably cut that out mate.)
- You probably have either more than one job or change careers every leap year. Research, research… research.
- When you are still in the middle of writing your novel there is nothing you hate more than when people ask you to explain what your book is about. How do you explain 240 pages in five minutes?
- You secretly hold people who don’t read books to a lower standard. They can get away more because they probably don’t know any better.
- You fan-girl over other writers. Usually devouring all their books in one sitting. Then eat another Nutella filled donut because deep down inside in places your ego doesn’t talk about you’re afraid, admit it, you’re afraid you might never make someone hair sounds as sexy.
- Your fictional characters are very real to you. Sometimes they do things you didn’t expect or intend them to do and you are left thinking… ‘Do you ever REALLY know someone?’
- You are protective of your work. You both want people to read it and don’t want people to read it. ‘Ok Read it but don’t hate it…. I am so excited about it. Ok yes here read it. No really, go on read it…actually here give it back, don’t worry about it.’
- Your personal privacy is a huge source of angst. Your very real need to build readership VS your very real need NOT to be physically stalked is a constant tug of WAR.
So there you have it, we are normalish….
What? Sorry did you say something? Oh did I forget to mention we have the attention span of puppy. To my friends I confess that when I am staring into your eyes sometimes…not all the time…but sometimes I am lost in another world. No guys that wasn’t me hitting on you, it was me actually lost in world of writting.