Tuesday, 5 March 2013

5 things writers do that non-writers have no inkling about.

I have noticed certain changes within my cognitive and behavioral patterns since I have become a writer. I’ve also noticed these qualities among other writers that I have come in contact with. Of course as a writer I have to write these little observations down and share them with the whole world (That observation should be number one, but I’m leaving it off the list).
   Here is my compiled list.
1. We make up stories about everyday events. 
I was at church and when the altar boy lit the incense it flared. He put blew it out quickly, but I thought to myself, wouldn’t it make a great story if his robe caught on fire and I ran up to altar grabbing a couple of nun's habits on the way, tackled him to the ground yelling ‘Stop, drop and roll’ and smothered out the fire saving him in the process?

2. When we are not writing, we are thinking about writing, wishing we were writing or chastising ourselves for not writing.

3. We observe people’s personalities a little more carefully to see if they would make a good character. Or we can use their gestures for an existing character. God help the person who pisses us off, they become the villain without a second thought.

4. We read more about the craft (and we start calling it ‘the craft’). It’s because we want to be better writers, so we read about the things successful writers have done so we can learn and become successful ourselves. Before I became a writer I had no clue about ‘show vs. tell.’ I still barely do.

5. When we read a book we are more critical about it. Gone are the days where we read for the pure pleasure of it. Now we look at style, plot, character development (all the things we’re learning about in point number four). We still enjoy reading but we have added a deeper dimension to it.

Those are my top five. I’m sure there are more. What are some things that writers do that non-writers have no clue about?


  1. great article, Nana.
    You hit the nail with these 5 observations :)


  2. LOL, Nana, are you sure you aren't hiding a horror writer inside somewhere? The poor altar boy catching fire in church is something I can see Stephen King doing :)

    I agree with all of them. I especially miss not completely reading for pleasure any longer. I was shocked and still disappointed at the way I read now. I still enjoy it, but it is so different.

    I also listen to people's conversations more now. Not to be nosy, but just to hear dialogue, tone, etc.

    Good post!

    1. Thanks Debbie. Paying closer attention to conversations is very much a writerly thing to do.

  3. Observations on point...especially the part of thinking about writing when not writing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Writing is always on our minds.

  4. Well said. Thanks for sharing, Nana


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