You know you're a writer when the voices in your head keep whispering words that truly surprise you. It's only then that you realise they've been plotting behind your back all along. And you start to wonder whether you made them up, or if it works the other way around. Unless, that's just what they want you to think.
You know you're a writer when sit in a room on your own and try on emotions for size, pulling faces to try and get the body language right. And you feel absurdly pleased when you've imagined someones' look of sheer misery, and described it correctly.
You know you're a writer when the letters start to rub off your keyboard, and your fingers tingle despite your ergonomic mouse and your gel wrist rest.
You know you're a writer when you develop selective amnesia, forgetting to pay bills, cook the dinner, put the laundry on, call your mom on the phone. And all this happens despite your comprehensive system of post-it notes and todo list apps.
You know you're a writer when you creep downstairs in the early hours of the morning, even at the weekends, and you relish every moment between now and the time that everyone else gets up. And in the evenings, when you miss your favourite TV show, because you just have to finish that sentence, that paragraph, that three part epic novel.
You know you're a writer when you spend hours craving a hot drink, only to leave it ignored and let it go cold on the edge of your desk. You'll see it there, sometime later, and drink it, stone-cold, without even noticing.
You know you're a writer when the things that keep you awake at night are punctuation and grammar. You've had nightmares in which past participles struggled with indefinite articles, in a battle to the death. You have fought a man over the use of the Oxford comma.
You know you're a writer when every trip on public transport is a research opportunity. You give names and backstories to people you pass in the street. Glorious plots unfurl before your eyes as you wait in queues. Every trip to the bank is a heist, every darkened alleyway holds a demon.
You know you're a writer when self-doubt is so much a matter of routine, that it's almost comforting. Almost.
You know you're a writer when you understand that sanity is relative, and reality is just a preparation for your next story.
You know you're a writer, when you see people who have never existed, and greet them as old friends.
You know you're a writer when you experience all these things and more.
Or is it just me?
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With my readers' group, The Awkward Squad