by Ane Mulligan
Someone recently asked me how I knew I was a writer. I gave her the usual answers about a story taking over my mind … forget that … taking over my life until it’s told. I also had to admit all my really good friends are imaginary, at least the ones who still talk to me.
I talk fast, I eat fast, I walk fast. I even work fast. But when I slow down to think on the page, I engage in discovery. And that’s why I know I’m a writer-because I’m addicted to the discovery.
I queried some other writers and these are their answers:
You might be a writer if …
… chocolate and coffee are two of the four major food groups in your diet.
… when you tell the hubs you’re excited because your character told you a secret that pulled your whole story together, he looks at you with some doubt and says, “You do realize these people are imaginary, right?”
… you can’t resist pointing out grammatical errors on news stations’ scrolling bar.
… you collect pens with the professional eye of a museum curator.
… you’re perfectly happy alone in a room with only your characters for conversation.
… when you’re in a department store, you know exactly the pair of shoes your character would choose but have no clue what your spouse (or eldest child for that matter) would prefer.
… your spouse says she/he will strangle you if one more time during a movie you whisper, “That was in the end of the first act.”
… in a house fire, you’d save first your computer, your copy of the Flip Dictionary and the Writer’s Market Guide, before your grandmother’s jewelry.
… during church sermons, you find yourself thinking, “This could be tighter.”
… you can’t balance a checkbook, but your submissions log is cross referenced and goes back to 2003.
… you decide by the end of the first page of a novel that the author didn’t have an editor.
… when your husband suggests a world cruise, before you agree you first ask, “Is there Internet access?”
… when you travel, you take one small suitcase for clothes and one large one for books and/or muse ticklers you find during your stay.
… in case of electrical outage, you have a stash of pencils, notepads, four flashlights, and extra batteries.
… your answering machine says, “Hi, I’m not here right now. Please leave a query and the synopsis of your proposed message. I’ll let you know whether to call back.”
… when you nail a sentence, you’re pretty sure you know how Moses felt when he parted the Red Sea.
Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She’s a novelist, playwright, and humor columnist. Her debut book, Chapel Springs Revival, comes out in 2014. She lives in Suwanee, GA, with her husband and two very large dogs.