We've all seen the lists before. "You Know You're a Writer If..." and then a joke about caffeine addiction. Below, you'll find my personal quirks and reasons that peg me into the writerly box. (Caffeine addiction is not one of them. Yes, I down as much as 4 or 5 cups of coffee in a day, but as far as I can tell, so do accountants. And nurses. And, well, adults.)
1) You see a person talking to themselves on the street, and your first thought is: "Perhaps they're speaking with an invisible spirit that's charging them with an impossible quest."
True story. The other night I was driving home from work and saw a woman who kept turning to the person next to her and aruging with them. Except, there was no one next to her. I'm pretty sure she just had some issues going on, but was that my first thought? Of course not!
2) The playlists on your iPod aren't titled things like "Summer 2011" or "Driving Mix", but "Battle Scene" and "Book 2" and "Character Theme Songs."
Even though I listen to white noise rather than music when I'm writing, I love making playlists to help keep the inspiration going at times when I can't write. Which is why, if you're driving next to me, you might see me slicing an invisible sword across my dashboard, or weeping into my steering wheel as I imagine the death of one of my favorite supporting characters.
3) Similar to your iPod, your computer desktop is cluttered with 100 different files, all of which
are documents, all of which have names like "Book 2," "Book2 Take 2", "Book2 3," "Book2 IT WILL NEVER BE FINISHED," and on and on and on...
I am super paranoid about editing a single file over and over and over. I have a fear that I will either accidentally delete something, or purposely edit something out, only to realize 8 months later it was the perfect scene and can never be replicated. So anytime I have an idea that doesn't fit seamlessly into my current draft, I hit select all, copy, and paste that sucker into a new file. Rinse & repeat. Like eight thousand times. A sub-quirk to this quirk is I often get create with file names to help make them more distinguishable, which means I have drafts of my novel with proper file names like "Untitled Novel, Draft 2" and then other copies with names like "Pumpkin Puppy Face Also This is A Book."
4) You refuse to upgrade to anything past Word 97. You have ordered old copies of Word 97 off Ebay to achieve this. When Mac stopped recognizing PowerPC programs, you switched to OpenOffice because it's the closest thing you can get.
This is a true story. I've been writing in Word 97 for the past 16 years. Ain't nothing gonna break my stride. Nobody's gonna slow me down, oh no. Especially not the disorienting look of a brand new program. When I close my eyes and imagine myself writing a book, the program on the screen is Word 97. And so you will have to pry Word 97 (or the OpenOffice equivalent) out of my cold, dead hands. We'll all have computers embedded in our eyeballs and I will still be writing on the same word processing program.
|This girl isn't pissed off, she's |
pondering a plot twist!
I am a proud sufferer of Writer's Face.
So, what are YOUR writing quirks? (Or reading quirks. They often go hand-in-hand!)