Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a writer? On the outside, it seems nice! You have a creative pastime, with lots of things to write about, an interesting conversation topic on hand in awkward situations, with practically all the creative freedom in the world!
You would be half correct.
In reality, it’s a lot more chaotic than it appears. After consulting some of my writer-friends and myself, I was able to put together a collection of things we writers do that just make sense:
- Constantly doubting if you know the correct definition of a word
Constantly doubting if you know the correct definition of a word
Yes, it happens. Sometimes we think we know what “incongruent” means, and sometimes we don’t. Despite our confidence levels, we will always double-check to make sure we’re correct.
- Seeing inspiration everywhere
It’s kind of wonderful that writers can go outside and find inspiration in something as small as the sunlight dappling through the leaves of a tree, or the way someone texts on their phone, or even the style of someone’s hair. We never know what will spark a moment of inspiration, but we always welcome it. Because frankly, writing is hard, and we need all the help we can get.
- Having some level of knowledge in about every topic imaginable
Do I know random facts about both ancient and modern symbols? Yes. Does my friend know random words in German and weird facts about ancient German mythology? Yes. Did my friend collect reference photos of ancient mummies for research? Yes. It’s a writer thing. We can’t help it: if we want to use something in our writing, we need to be experts in the topic to make sure we use it right.
- Being able to write masterful sentences but unable to speak out loud
My friend can write beautiful sonnets about love, my other friend could convince you that dinosaurs weren’t real and support it with fact, and I can tell you a story that brings you into another world. However, my poet friend also once said “And he made the blind walk” out loud, my journalist friend sometimes has to stop herself from speaking and collect her thoughts, and my sister has a running joke where she repeats all the times I spoke out loud and the sentence was completely incoherent. Please don’t make us read out loud in class.
- Interrupting perfectly good conversations because inspiration hits
Not just conversations: both myself and my friend have interrupted romantic moments with our partners (both past and present) to write down an idea for a line or a plot point that struck us at the moment. It tends to make things a little awkward after the inspiration stops.
- Having to take day-long breaks from writing because you can’t remember that one word
My poet friend will shut her computer, my journalist friend walks in circles around her desk, and I will spend fifteen minutes searching through Google for that one-specific-word before giving up and calling it a day, knowing that sometime in the next 48 hours, I will remember the word I needed to use
- 90% of the time is spent Not Writing
Yes, you heard it here first, folks. We will spend hours watching youtube videos about a specific topic or researching an instance in history or daydreaming about something we want to write but when we finally sit down to write?
We tend to stare at a blank page and call it progress.