Sunday, May 23, 2010

You Might be Addicted to Writing if ….

…You find typos in newspapers, books, magazine articles, bus stop advertisements, hell anywhere at all, and they send you into cataclysmic, apoplectic and phonetic swoons.

…You look around nervously because you can’t resist sticking your nose into a book because you like the smell of new ink and musty old tomes.

…When people are telling you tales of woe, confiding in you about what a hell their life is, and you’re not really listening; you’re trying to figure out a way to use it in a story without any litigious ramifications.

…You have a pen collection the size of the national debt, and you never use them.

…Libraries and book stores turn you into a drooling zombie-like creature oblivious to man or beast, and only a slap upside the head will awaken you from this trance.

…You flip through empty notebooks in stationary stores for no good reason.

…Everything’s a story.

…Thoughts fly! Ideas sear your brain! You search madly for a pen and a scrap of paper to jot this masterpiece down! (You can only find a bus transfer, but use it anyway)

…You stare at your page, write a sentence, scrutinize it, and then go for some ice cream.

…Your idea of fun is spending a sunny afternoon with your nose in a copy of Catch 22, under an Elm, or buried in your dimly lit room with the 40 watt bulb giggling to yourself.

…You find yourself sneering at friends who’ve never heard of Proust or Moliere.

…Your friends say things like “Cumulous Nimbi? You mean clouds, right?”

…You correct not only your friend’s grammar, but the guy on CNN who just mispronounced Uzbekistan and Eyjafjallajökull.

…You can’t help but take those interesting looking pens lying around on people’s desks at work.

…Your idea of light reading is a Webster’s Dictionary, and sometimes the phone book.

…When oddly enough, no one without a College degree in ancient English knows what the hell you’re talking about.

…You gotta buy that old No. 2 Underwood which has no ribbon, no hope of ever working, but would look great in your study.

…You love the smell of fresh newspaper ink in the morning.

Do you have any crazy writer habits and peccadilloes you'd like to share? Leave a comment, and I'll get back to you!

Related Madness: @ZiggyKinsella ~ The 9 unsavory character traits of real authors - match them to yours


  1. You are also addicted to writing if you go to any blog and read it, if it promises to be ABOUT WRITING! This is a great one, and I am an addict! molly

  2. Yes, I'm guilty of that too! I'll visit any blog as long as it's about writing ...

    Thanks for visiting Molly!

  3. In all hilarity lies the bold-faced truth. Every writer I know is guilty of these things! Thanks for the list.

  4. You see, this post is mostly a confession of my writing sins - so I feel the pain! And Confidentially, I thought I was the only one who did these things.

    Thanks for stopping by Avery.

  5. …You look around nervously because you can’t resist sticking your nose into a book because you like the smell of new ink and musty old tomes.

    Guilty as charged!

  6. "…You look around nervously because you can’t resist sticking your nose into a book because you like the smell of new ink and musty old tomes."

    This is behavior indigenous to insanely addicted writers like you and I ...thanks for the comment!

  7. Did you write this post about me? Is there a hidden camera spying on my every move?

    I can so relate to this post. And as for the old typewriter, I paid quite a sum of money for one such as that, purely to admire. I often wonder whose fingertips have tapped away at its little keys. It is a treasure.

    I have also been known to read the telephone book. Perhaps I need help?

  8. Nothing can help you; you are a mad writer. Keep sniffing those books and nicking pens off peoples desks!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  9. LOLOLOL OMG so true, so true! Loved it David, this was just what I needed to read this morning :)

  10. Numbers 3, 6, 7, 9 resonate. Though I have been known to write a phrase on my arm with a pen when I don't have paper with me. Oh. Except for that time when I only had crimson lipstick in my bag...

    I hope that, in time, I will think of myself addicted to writing because that's exactly what I'm doing - despite distractions.

  11. At last! Someone who truly understand me! Lol!

    Not only do I read telephone books but, particularly when I'm looking for character names, I read baby name books, old school yearbooks, and even Who's Who. And, if it's science fiction I'm writing, even cereal boxes and food labels will do!

  12. I can't write without a ream of fresh paper and seven new, sharp pencils. I don't write with them: I use a computer like everyone else. But I have to have them. Some people call me obsessive. Others call me a vindictive sociopath. But I know who they are and where they live. Try the useful advice in this post on my blog for deranged writers:

  13. Cereal boxes? Telephone books? Welcome to the Mad Writers Club!

    Although this kind of behavior may seem odd to the outsider (Sniffing books, looking for typos on cereal boxes) It's quite normal and sane, in the context of our profession, to partake in these strange activities. It's our job!

    Thanks for the comments.

  14. Thank you Writertype for those very scary comments. I shall now go fetch the Ax hanging over the mantle and await your arrival.

    Thanks for the link, and thanks for stopping by.

  15. "When people are telling you tales of woe, confiding in you about what a hell their life is, and you’re not really listening; you’re trying to figure out a way to use it in a story without any litigious ramifications."

    It doesn't even have to be a tale of woe...

  16. Are you addicted to writing if your online persona is an old typewriter? Either way, I'm definitely addicted.

  17. I use the term "addicted" loosely, and in a funny context, but there does seem to be a thread of insanity to our writing obsession. Who sniffs books? Crazy scribes, that's who.

  18. I'm guilty of hording pens that I never use. My siggy gets upset when I tell him he can't use them. I recently got over not writing in all the notebooks I've accumulated over the years...

  19. I may be a bit nutty in that department as well: I have a billion pens, but I only use one or two. The rest I like to look at as they collect dust in an old cigar box!

  20. LOL I love this ..I must tell you my new thing. I'm afraid to tell my friends who don't even write my story topics for fear they might steal them lol. As if tomorrow they will wake up and start a blog or write a book out of nowhere filled with my good ideas lol. Sick, I know. Writers are very strange creatures and I love being one of them.

  21. Damn! That's a good one! I do that too .. I shoulda put it in!

    Thanks for the comments ...

  22. Hmm, I buy pens all the time, when Target had the little gel pens for $1, I went a bit crazy.

    I have so many notebooks as well. Every notebook is a different project so to speak.

    Reading this, I kept going, I've done, that, that, and that.

    Great article.

  23. It starts off as humor, but there's a lot of truth to these. I think we do these things because we just love to write, and we immerse ourselves into the whole literary vibe. Even if it means hoarding pens, noticing typos on cereal boxes, and sniffing books.

    Thanks for commenting.

  24. I am ALL about smelling books. It sends shivers of delight down my spine.

    *You stop in the middle of book 2 to work on books 3-through-5.

    *Money has become an intangible concept.

    *You always have "wikipedia" and "" tags open on your browser.

  25. Got a few possible additions:

    Similar to #3 (but worse) ...Concentrating on how, exactly, you feel when going through a traumatic experience yourself, so you can write about it with accuracy.

    ...Stationary is an exciting present.

    ...You're tempted to buy an antique writing desk even if there's no way it would fit in your tiny study

    ...You have to have pen and paper on your person at all times and feel edgy without them.

    It's not looking good for me.

  26. I find myself in all of these, but my worst habit?
    *whispers* I can be awake all day, with nothing to do, but I can't write until 2 o'clock in the morning, when everyone else is dreaming...
    It makes me feel like I'm writing dreams.

    <3 Kelsey Leigh

  27. Oddly enough Kelsey, late nights are my best time to write too; when the world is asleep and my thoughts are the most focused. As you say, it's like writing dreams.

    Thanks for stopping by ...

  28. If you visit someone in jail and say, out loud, "This is so cool! Damn, I should have brought my notebook."


  29. LOL! I feel stalked.

    I have one to add:

    -you have a kickass laptop you use at home but were compelled to buy a netbook because it conveniently fits in your bag easier and allows you to write wherever you are.

    1. I keep a notebook in the car, in my handbag and next to my bed with a noticeboard in the kitchen in case something comes to me then lol

  30. It kills you not to correct friends on Social Networking sites with their misuse of their, there and they're, your, you're etc. and missing the m off damn!

    I've done it once but not on their wall. I was polite enough to do it via message - but can see how anal it came across with hindsight lol.

    I love this Technological Era. It's so much more environmentally friendly and far less laborious than when I had to write everything instead of typing.

    With notebooks spanning 20 years I'm so glad I don't need much more space and as a former secretary I can type almost as fast as I think which is REALLY handy when you're an addict lol ;o)

  31. I forget birthdays, names of my people but I always remember any story I heard or read.....which was extremely useful for my history exam....also, I can't help but keep buying notebooks every time I enter a stationary shop!...People finally started gifting me notebooks for every single occasion...


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