I started thinking about Jeff Foxworthy, and the old red neck jokes, and came up with this: You might be a writer, author, aspiring author/writer, if….well, here are ten of my own benchmarks. Let me know if you agree…or can add a new one!
10. Entering a bookstore (full of works by already published authors) leaves you feeling both invigorated and envious.
9. You read novels, short stories, memoirs, poems for both pleasure AND education.
8. Every email, flyer, notification, tweet, blog post, magazine ad, etc. that offers a webinar, class, conference, getaway or service that you cannot attend, drop in, frequent, or take advantage of due to time, money and practically leaves you with that regrettable notion that you’re missing something important.
7. Every fantastic novel you’ve read since you’ve started your own has made you want rip out the pages, pour water on the Kindle, and throw them both in a fire pit; because, daaamn, this author is SO much better than you are!
6. Laundry, food shopping, house cleaning, wedding planning, tooth brushing, eyebrow plucking, nail clipping–just about everything other than writing–feels like a GIGANTIC waste of time.*
5. Everyday you kick yourself for not beginning your project sooner–like when you were 12.
4. What to do first? Research publications? Network? Blog? Tweet? Read? Write? Drink?
3. On a daily basis, you: curse out the world, for moving too fast; yourself, for getting to old; your friends, for using one of your perfectly good, full-of-spare-writing-hours weekends to whisk you away to Atlantic City; your cat, for sticking her butt in your face as you try to write.
2. You’ve realized by now that in this creative pursuit, there are no patterns, no formulas, no quick tickets to success; in fact, the only thing you can really count on is sheer persistence.
And on that note…
1. No matter what stage of the game you’re at, you’re going to keep doing it, because frankly, it’s who you are.
*This does not include new episodes of Mad Men.