10. The public library becomes a death trap to your dreams! A routine trip with your kids turns into a mind competition. You can’t even check out Captain Underpants or Brown Bear, Brown Bear before you’re eyeing the shelves in your genre thinking, “All these people, rows and rows of them, have written down their words and convinced someone to publish them.” All those people are your competitors. “I will not go quietly into the night.”
9. You battle a self-conscious internal dialogue. It tells you the world already has a bazillion books and questions why anyone would read yours.
8. Instinctively, you vow to negotiate for uber-hip cover art. Dang right, Skippy: we all judge a book by its cover! You will draw readers because they’ll fall in love with the front. Sure, words are important too, but let’s be real.
7. Your “office” time takes place in the middle of the night– after your kids are in bed, likely while the rest of the neighborhood sleeps. Even though you’ve never been a night owl, writing is the adrenaline rush that changes your sleep habits.
6. When in writing season, you revisit chaotic sleeping patterns comparable to your college years. You find it IMPOSSIBLE to fall asleep after writing in the wee hours. Unfortunately, now you have a day job and a family, maybe kids, and have forfeited your sleep for your writing obsession.
5. And writing does become an obsession. So many thoughts! So many ideas and stories to share. They relentlessly beg you to set them free.
4. You feel overprotective of your words and begin to realize it’s not all that different than raising your kids. You handle them with the gentlest of care like you would an infant, praising them for every little milestone along the way. You fuss at them when they won’t cooperate like your teenagers, occasionally giving them the silent treatment when they’ve made you so frustrated you want to scream and throw things. One day your words, like your children, will have to leave the safety of your hands. You’ve done the best you could. All you can hope for is the confidence that the world will treat them right.
3. You are picky with whom you share your writing. When you need encouragement, you invite your mother over for a read. “Oh, darling! I loved every single syllable of it!” (What else would you expect from Mother Dearest?) When you feel ambitious, you seek out someone who hasn’t fallen in love with your words as deeply as you have, someone whose constructive criticism will better your piece.
2. Others think you’re wordy. Brief email replies are non-existent in your world, and you hate Twitter because it’s a game of Revision just to be able to tweet.
1. No matter how many words you’ve written over your lifetime, there will always be more waiting for their turn in your pen.