We like to pretend we’re just like anyone else. Nothing strange about us.
Oh no. Trouble is, there are all those odd little foibles and habits…
1. When you hear about terrible tragedies on the news, there’s a tiny and very shameful part of you that’s thinking it would make a great story.
2. You long to have proper time to write, free from the distractions of work and life and family, but when you do finally grab some, you fritter half of it away by looking at websites and chat rooms and, um, blogs like this.
3. Your characters may be strolling around inside your own head, but that doesn’t mean they’re not living, breathing people. And when you have to finish a project, you feel a sense of real loss that you won’t be hanging out with them anymore.
4. The entire world can shrink to the size of your email inbox or your letterbox when you’re waiting for news on a writing project. Even though you’re driving yourself mad with the constant checking, you can’t seem to stop doing it. This has an added layer for the published, who have a condition known as OARCD. This stands for Obsessive Amazon Ranking Checking Disorder. There is currently no cure.
5. There is nothing quite as desirable as a lovely new notebook. Apart from perhaps a really good pen. And there’s the feeling of opening the cellophane on a new pack of index cards. Even if you’ve never quite been able to find a use for them, you will some day.
6. Sometimes a plot issue can tie your brain in knots for ages, causing much wailing, weeping and gnashing of teeth. Just as you become utterly convinced that you will NEVER EVER make it work (WAH!) you realise you’ve had a perfectly good solution all along. It has been sitting patiently in one of the waiting rooms of your brain hoping you’d notice it.
7. Your fingers ache and you can hardly turn your head because your neck's so stiff. But you're still smiling - you've just had an especially good sesh at the keyboard and it's all worth it.
8. Just as you’re dropping off to sleep you think of a brilliant line or plot twist but can’t face turning on the light to write it down. So you convince yourself you’ll remember it in the morning, only to find it has gone the moment you open your eyes.
9. Sometimes when you read certain other authors you admire, you feel so envious of their brilliance that your teeth actually hurt.
10. There's a particular bittersweetness in those words, ‘The End’. On the one hand it’s the culmination of months or years of hard work, but on the other, you’re aware that the really hard work has only just begun.
Any of these sound familiar?