Confessions Of A Writer
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Confessions Of A Writer

Writers are weird

Confessions Of A Writer

Writers are an odd lot; we do weird things and we often have very weird habits. Most writers keep a notebook with them always, not so they can jot down a quick grocery list, but so they can take notes on the conversation that’s going on at the table next to theirs during lunch. That, or so they can take notes on a new character based on someone they met in the grocery store check-out line. We have weird habits, we stay up all night sometimes working on our latest piece, only to throw it away the next day and start all over. Many of us live on things like coffee, or tea, and quick meals like muffins and Little Debbie’s. We spend a lot of our time sitting at our desk, often without pants, typing away, hoping this will be the book that gets published.

We eavesdrop on other people’s conversations. That’s right we listen in on what others are talking about, and we do it a lot. It helps build our skills with dialogue and it comes with the territory. We can’t help it. When we go out to eat, to the park, wherever there are people really, we pay attention to who is sitting next to us. We listen; it helps us build our character’s dialogue, gives us ideas, and helps us determine the type of voice our characters should have. It gives us new ideas for our characters, personality traits, tone of voice, etc.

We often have terrible social skills, I know I do. Many of us spend more time at a party watching the people than we do talking to them. We watch them because it gives us great ideas for characters, what they might look like, how they might dress, how they might act, even how they would hold a drink, or walk. People are great research tools. Another confession, sometimes writers watch other people a little too closely. We can learn so much just by paying close attention to the way that people act, talk, and carry themselves.

We also have a tendency of blowing people, or social engagements, off for the sake of our work. There have been plenty of times that I’ve had a deadline looming over my head, so I’ve been unable to spend time on the phone or go out for dinner. We tend to lose ourselves in our work, forgetting that there are other things besides our writing that need tending to. I have gone weeks without calling my family because I’ve been so focused on my work that I’ve simply lost track of the time between phone calls.

Writers are weird. We roam around our homes in the middle of the night in search of inspiration. We live on caffeine and junk food. We steal from other writers, as author John Dufresne says we should; it’s the seventh commandment. We write with no pants on, if the mood strikes us. We listen to other people’s conversations, and often use snippets in our own dialogue at some point in time. We carry around our handy-dandy notebooks in the hopes that some inspiration will strike us while we’re doing our everyday errands. We often don’t sleep like normal people, yet we blend in with the rest of society and play the part as expected. No one ever suspects that we might not be anything but your average person just having lunch at your local diner.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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