A lot of people say they’re writers. People like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, and even some people on this here site, what’s it called again? Imping Ideas or something? It doesn’t matter. The fact is that they’re not. And I’ll prove it to you.

In my opinion, you can pretty much only call yourself a writer once you’ve written a book that’s in a popular genre – for example YA Paranormal Romance. Real writers like Stephenie Meyer, P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast, and Becca Fitzpatrick come to mind. Besides, who even likes books that aren’t YA Paranormal Romance? I don’t want to read about wizard people and elves and whatever. Where’s the hot guys? I mean, really, guys, who wants to read a book that doesn’t have any hot guys?

But you know what, it doesn’t really matter. There are eight things that make you a writer. And in this article series, I am going to cover them all. If you meet these eight characteristics, congratulations: you’re a writer! If you don’t, then you seriously need to think about getting a new profession.

Social Withdrawal

As a writer, you probably don’t have many friends. Unless you count characters as friends. You spend most of your day hunched over a keyboard/piece of paper/typewriter/scraps of cloth you found because you couldn’t afford paper. When you’re not working on your next masterpiece, you’re too busy thinking about working on it to be able to talk to anyone anyways. If you had friends before you became a writer, they’re probably to busy fangirling over the next fanfiction-made-book-made-movie phenomena to talk to you, which doesn’t matter, anyway because you’re too busy pounding away at that keyboard/scribbling notes/tattooing the rest of your story behind your ear.

Since becoming a writer, you probably have recessed into your Writing Spot, which is customized to your exact liking. For most writers, it’s a public place, like Starbucks, where all the interesting people go, and also where you’re most likely to get asked ‘can you please move?’ so you can reply ‘I’m a writer,’ with that air of confidence writing gives you. If you’re boring and don’t have your driver’s license, your Writing Spot is probably somewhere quirky like the tree house you built (sort of) or the northernmost corner of your basement. If you’re one of those really boring people who don’t like lugging their thirty pound bag of writing accoutrements out to a cardboard box in the front bushes, your Writing Spot is most likely in your room, and if you have no imagination at all, it might even be a desk.

When you’re in your Writing Spot, you should make sure to hang one of those ‘Do Not Disturb’ hangers that you stole from the hotel and appropriately decorate it with a tasteful assortment of glitter glue, stickers, and decorative plastic gems. Place it on the door handle/on the twig next to your box/on your face. If someone does disturb you while you have this sign hung up, they must be lectured on how you are writing a Masterpiece, and that disturbing you disturbs your Muse, which in turn upsets the natural flow of your words that come hand-picked from deep within the bowels of the universe. If said disturber does not agree, you do have the legal right to slam the door in their face/slap them with a branch/throw moldy socks at them, or any combination of the above.

You must go to great lengths to get to your Writing Spot, or to even write. On vacation? You’re writing in the car, at mealtimes, in the hotel room, at the pool, in the bathroom. It’s a good idea to fake diarrhea while on vacation so you can stay cooped up in the bathroom and write while your family wants to go to places that wouldn’t allow you to write – a water park, for instance. What fun is that anyway?

When your peers ask you to do things with them, you should refuse, preferably by saying “I’m writing today. It’s a very important chapter,” or something to that merit. Even if it’s something important, you must refuse the temptation. You didn’t even know Jessica that well. Plus, going to her funeral will probably just put you in a bad mood. And that’s not good for your writing, especially the part where you have to talk to people. And that’s what being a writer is all about, refusing to interact with any human beings – especially when they ask to see your work. This can only lead to disaster. If anyone looks at what you’re doing, or asks to see what you’re doing, you should kick them, preferably somewhere that will leave an everlasting scar.

Your family and friends [?] and that cousin from Australia might have noticed your social withdrawal. They may talk about it at teatime, or communal bath time. Maybe or when you’re absent from dinner because you’re writing the kiss scene in your poem, you may hear fragments of their conversation as they eat. “What the hell is she doing in there?” your mother will ask. “I’m worried,” your father will comment. “Pass the bread,” Aunt Liza will say, frowning. Your little sister will start sighing and rolling her eyes and then your father will start telling that joke he told last week and you’ll be back to writing The Crimson Blood Red Moon Howl, which is more important than food anyway. I mean, it’s pretty much Destined to win all of those prizes that you can win for being amazing at poetry. There’s one, like, the Pull-tizer. Right?

At school the teachers probably scold you for being absent minded, which you should just shrug off. Little do they know you’re working on angsty poetry about a forbidden love between a werewolf and his human lover, which got an A when you gave it to your teacher. And even littler do they know that the Crazy Eight Ball you keep by your bed told you that you would ‘most definitely’ write a book that would sell millions.

If you don’t go to school, because that’s not ‘in’ anymore, the police/the Starbucks employees are always telling you to get out of Starbucks because it’s closing now, thank you very much, and shouldn’t you be in school?

Alternately, if you are working, your boss will have started criticizing you for slacking off and for finding multiple pages of Yahoo!Answers on how to write in your browser history. You should promise to pick up the pace. You can’t lose this job, because if you do, you won’t be able to buy the coffees that allow you to sit at Starbucks until they close, continually tapping people on the shoulder to tell them that ‘you’re a writer’, because no one else will ask you what you’re doing if you don’t.

Even though you probably don’t have friends, you do make an effort to have a love life, which consists of the sexy bad boys novel and that grungy middle school boy in your math class/your on-again-off-again-one-night-stand-turned-kinda-boyfriend/your husband, sort-of. You’re not happy with this state of affairs. Your husband/kind of boyfriend/school crush may make a mean omelet/buy you flowers/help you with homework, but he sure as hell can’t sparkle, nor can he shape-shift into a fairy. If you’re not happy (you’re not) with how your non-platonic relationships are going, just remember: wishing hard enough creates a chemical reaction in the brain which can fire certain firing things in the fibers of your mind, which can in turn make your love interest come true and fall in love with you in real life. That, or you can take LSD and see how it all turns out. (You may need to work overtime to keep up with the addiction though, so it’s not recommended).

Does this sound like you? Yes? Good. You can proudly say that you have passed phase one of being a writer. If this doesn’t sound like you, then you obviously need to do something to change that. Or maybe you can become a pastry chef. (You should always have a Plan B, you know). My suggestions to those that want to be writers? Read this until your eyeballs bleed (i.e. do what I say without question).

Comment

  1. Brendan Rizzo on 9 October 2013, 14:38 said:

    It’s a real shame that this is satire, because now I have little to say other than applauding you for parodying the arrogant self-published folk who pass for writers these days. That’s the problem with comedy that results in applause rather than laughter.

    It’s too bad that I can’t ignore you now after you said this:

    My suggestions to those that want to be writers? Read this until your eyeballs bleed (i.e. do what I say without question).

    Because that’s just too much.

  2. Tim on 9 October 2013, 15:53 said:

    i see what u tried to do thar

  3. Epke on 9 October 2013, 20:44 said:

    What, no chart? Gloria Tesch would be disappointed.

  4. Potatoman on 9 October 2013, 22:15 said:

    Haha this is brilliant! Well done! :D