1. Your idea of a clean desk means you can see over the top of the piles.
2. You know exactly where everything is in those piles.
3. You can spend hours leafing through the pages of a dictionary.
4. You can write an eight-page email and feel like you’ve only written a paragraph.
5. You know everything happens for a reason…even if you have to make one up.
6. You can entertain yourself all afternoon creating character descriptions for people whom you observe in an airport, on a bus, at the mall, etc..
7. You often play a mental game called “What If?” and concoct wild endings for situations.
8. You second guess every decision you make.
9. You have purses, boxes, envelopes and/or drawers stuffed with notes on article/book/essay/story ideas.
10. You mentally re-write dialog/story lines while watching bad movies/television shows.
11. You have a hard time finding anybody who will play Scrabble with you.
12. You feel like a fraud; especially when the words seem to flow like water.
13. You can break into a cold sweat at the sight of an empty page.
14. Things don’t make sense until you have written about them.
15. Friends and family members sometimes find your thoughts and ideas peculiar.
16. There are days when you’d rather scrape that ucky brown stuff from around the base of the toilet with a toothbrush than write.
17. You wake up in the middle of the night and write down an article or story idea/plot line/snappy remark that came to you in your sleep.
18. You are perfectly happy being alone for hours/days/weeks on end.
19. Sometimes you would do anything so you don’t have to be alone…and write.
20. You read as much to study writing style as you do to gather information.
21. Without provocation strangers on a bus, train or airplane tell you intimate details of their lives.
22. You must write.
23. You can’t imagine a life without writing.
© Donna Chavez, 2003
Excerpted from “The Professional Writer’s Starter Kit”
It’s truly scary how many of these are true…