What non-writers need to know about writers

This post is going out to all my non-writer friends and family, and is a (mostly) tongue-in-cheek list of things you should know about writers. There is a grain of truth to all of them, and of course, this list is incomplete, only because it’s based on my experiences as a writer, and not writers in general.

1. Any conversation you have with us, or event that you share with us, may be used in a story at any time in the future. Of course, names will be changed to protect the guilty, and it will be embellished to within an inch of its life.

2. We may have based a character on you, but it’t not the one you think. And no, we won’t tell you which one it is.

3. When you ask us how our book is going, and we reply with “which one?” we are only half joking. We flit between WIPs like an ADD kid on a sugar high.

4. Our writing time is precious. It comes in a close second to procrastinating on the internet researching.

5. Theoretically, it takes next to no time to write a book, based on words per hour. It’s finding the right words that take up all of our time.

6. The three essential food groups for a writer are caffeine, alcohol and sugar. Sometimes all at once.

7. We will meticulously set up our study/writing space, only to end up writing on the laptop on the lounge, or spread our paperwork out on the dining table. Creativity cannot be restrained.

8. The only time we’re happy to do the housework is when we’re on a deadline with a book.

9. We will take notes anywhere and everywhere – on napkins, receipts, popcorn containers and on our hands when necessary. It is quite normal for us to wake at 3am, write a few lines, and go back to sleep like nothing ever happened.

10. We are always writing, even when we’re taking part in an activity that looks like it has nothing to do with our work. Staring in to space is plotting, and watching TV or a movie is research.

And a bonus:

11. We love social media. Writing is most often a solitary pursuit, so we use facebook, twitter and whatever new sites and apps are available to keep in touch with the “real world”. Having said that, if you see us pop up too often, ask us sternly “Why aren’t you writing?”

Have I missed anything? Feel free to add to my list in the comments.

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