6 Tell-Tale Signs You’re a Writer*

1. Simplicity Be Damned!

You obsess, perhaps a bit like the way I did over what my first blog entry would be about–to which my hyper-logical, complimentary other half soothed with, “just introduce yourself”. So simple yet too simple for me (just who do I think I am?)

2. System Overloading

The first leads right into the next sign: you over analyze.  Everything. (Which you may have been able to deduce I have a problem with given all the parenthetical asides already and the possible lack of a steadily progressing, streamlined idea). I’ve often wondered, did this come before the writing or did the writing stem from it as a necessary outlet? I think they developed about the same time in my preteens. You may argue that obsession and over analysis are one in the same. I beg to differ. Being an over-analytic gets Sherlock Holmes into a lot of trouble –because he can’t turn a blind eye–but he solves the issues! Obsession…well, obsession makes you all that much closer to the villain archetype (I just admitted to being a villain archetype, didn’t I?). And not to mention, obsession brings you that much closer to misery. 



3. Cats.

Speaking of misery. Just a jest. I love my prowling, reflective-eyed keepers of the Underworld. I even wrote a poem about them called “The Order of Felis Domestica”, which you can find in this lovely lit mag here.

Nala...no, she's not dead. She's recharging her demonic energy

Nala…no, she’s not dead. She’s recharging her demonic energy

Captcha disarms unsuspecting victims with her adorable allure

Captcha disarms unsuspecting victims with her adorable allure

How'd that get in there?

How’d that get in there?

You had to know I was gonna talk about this. Even those who don’t have cats can empathize (dog lovers, bird lovers, turtle lovers, ferret lovers, what have you). I recently happened to notice that there’s an abundance of cat lovers in the writing field. Or maybe not all of you are “cat lovers” per se, but slaves to cats rather. You live for their benefit: keeping the bottom of their food dish from becoming visible, having phalanges with which they can torment like baby mice, maintaining a nice, cushiony body that they can knead in their one particular moment of affection (also known to a feline as weakness).

4. Your Internal Compass is Always Pointed Due Institutions that Exist Solely to House Books

You know where the library is, and you know how to use it. In fact, you get excited about trips to the library even though you already have hundreds of books in your living space, threatening to bury you at any given moment and steal your last breath, which you would willingly forfeit just to go on living with the damn things. Because living without them is not an option.

5. You Daydream

A lot. Daydreaming may also be known as an activity my best friend/writing partner extraordinaire likes to call “what-if-ing.” What-if-ing can consume you. I personally wish I had more of a knack for it, to just sit down and let everything else go–the cleaning, the cats, the obsession and over analysis about other aspects of my life. But when it does take hold of me, watch out. Stark. Raving. Mad.

You appreciate these paroxysms as a writer; there is some value in being, in a sense, mad. But, please, do not think I am making light of psychological imbalances–it is in fact one of my biggest fears (which I intend to write about in a later post). I am only tipping my hat to the suffering and psychological torture that incessantly plops down on the billows of the writer’s productivity.

6. A Multilayered View of the World

Finally, as a writer, you may find that you associate events of your life, or favorite songs and books, with milestones (or fictional events) in your writing: when you finished writing that poem on the metaphysical nature of the coffee mug, you were listening to  “Satan Gave Me a Taco” by Beck; when you finished your novel, your nephew was born not a month later (a month may seem, to the non-writer, like too big of a time gap for these two events to be relevant, but that’s why this post is entitled “6 Tell-Tale Signs You’re a Writer” and not “6 Weird, Random Things That Don’t Really Ring True for Non-Writers”). You get the picture.

*bonus sign, you know the author that used ‘tell-tale’ in one of his story titles


So while outlining some of the tell-tale signs of being a writer, I suppose I did just what my complimentary part said I should do: introduce myself (and maybe I fulfilled this task a bit over-zealously). What are some signs you deem indicative of being a writer that bleed into you day to day life in a helpful (or not so helpful) way? When did you first KNOW?

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4 Responses to 6 Tell-Tale Signs You’re a Writer*

  1. Smash says:

    Great post! I really enjoyed this list 🙂

  2. ElleKurz says:

    I’m going to disagree with the over-analyzing thing. That’s just you and your chosen outlet is writing. It’s like a sadist who becomes a butcher instead of a serial killer. 🙂 I think the biggest thing is what-if-ing. (Thanks for the shout out, by the way); also, self-medication and sadism. In the infamous words of Richard Castle: “There are only two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and writers. I’m the kind that pays better.” Also, an arduous desire to travel and/or experience things that others generally don’t want to experience. Like a sweat lodge for instant. Great first blog, and an entirely awesome way to introduce yourself. Love the pics of the cats. I heartily LOL’d.

    • A. B. Davis says:

      Maybe the over-analyzing is just me; or maybe you’re just the only writer who DOESN’T do it–but then that’s hard to believe. Good quote. I dig that. And the sadist thing–though I think the serial killer option would be far more interesting than cutting up animal carcasses to feed the masses. Regarding your hearty LOL, I’m glad my cats serve some purpose.


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