Writing saved my life.
And it's not a dramatic or a grandiose statement. You see, when I was at the darkest point in my life -- when I was 15-years-old and in the midst of two years of intense bullying at high school -- writing was my respite. I don't know what my life would have become if I hadn't used writing as an outlet for my pain.
Today, my writing is thankfully much more uplifting than those sombre scribbles 15 years ago. But as I've reached the point where writing has been with me for half of my life, I have realized I simply can't be without it. When I don't write, I feel lost, restricted and confined. And yet something magical happens when I allow my thoughts to spill out onto the page -- I feel free, liberated. More than anything, writing allows me to be myself. My true self.
But writers, well, we're a unique breed. Here are 11 problems only writers know to be true.
You secretly long for a rainy day.
As your friends complain about the upcoming wet weekend, you internally rejoice. The thought of staying inside all weekend and writing as you hear the rain tapping against your windowpane sets your heart on fire. It's just not the same on sunny days.
You're not daydreaming, you're thinking about your next piece.
"Hey, are you with us? Wake up!" your friends ask as they snap you out of your mind and back into the room. To the outside world it looks like you're in a faraway land, but you know that's the best place to explore your new book concept. And if your friends don't object, you would like to go back to that dreamy place, thank you very much.
You have more books than you have shelving.
It's getting messy. The book case is full, there's a pile of books on top of your end table, but you cannot bring yourself to part with any of these fine works. Someone mentions a Kindle. You swiftly shoot them a side-eye.
Waking up at 3 a.m. with an idea becomes the norm.
Or more specifically, you can't sleep. And you don't want to. When you're on fire like this, you want to capitalize on every second of it. Typing away feverishly until midnight? All in a day's work, my friend. Put simply, when you're at your most creative, sleep is put on the shelf (with all of those fine books).
When an idea comes to you, you will stop what you're doing. Anytime, anywhere.
It doesn't matter if you're in line at the grocery store or at the coffee shop or in the middle of cooking dinner -- when at idea strikes, you stop what you're doing and grab the closest piece of paper and start scribbling down your ideas with all the gusto and hustle of a dateless cheerleader on prom night. In a pinch, you've been known to open your notes app on your iPhone and tap away furiously as your ideas come through. You will then find the notes at random intervals in the future.
You type at the speed of light.
You remain convinced you can out-type your thoughts. A concept you still haven't been able to prove, but it doesn't stop you from trying.
You become a hermit when you're on a roll with your writing.
"The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, did they? I had no idea, I was writing for all of June." You become so immersed in your work and so excited about what you're creating that you don't even realize you haven't seen a headline this side of Canada Day. You also haven't seen daylight but that's another story.
Stillness speaks to you.
Sitting on a beach? Alone in the park? On a walk through the wilderness? Get ready, inspiration is about to hit! And no laptop in sight, damn it.
You've cancelled plans because you're writing. And you would do it again.
When you're on a roll, nothing will tear you away from your manuscript. Barbecue at the beach? Nah. Free tickets to that band you love? Nope. Second coming of Christ? Sorry -- got a book to write!
You swear your writing is coming from something outside yourself.
It's not uncommon for you to feel torn when you receive a compliment on your writing. You find yourself thinking: "Did I really write this?" Because when you write, something takes over. You know it was you sitting at your laptop and typing but as the words spilled over onto the page it seemed like they were coming from somewhere else. Freaky, huh?
When you don't write, you feel incomplete.
"A day without you is like a year without rain." Oh really? Are you sure you're not talking about me when I don't write...?
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