Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to Tell If You're a 'Real Writer'

These days, everyone’s a writer. Advances in technology have allowed anyone with a keyboard and a traumatic childhood to claim the title of “published writer.” Of course, this has frustrated “real writers” who believe they shouldn’t be clumped in with the high school sophomore who made $11.50 in Amazon Associates income by blogging “gott my period 2day LOL.” But what, exactly, separates the “real writers” from heartsick middle-schoolers, illiterate manifesto writers, and Dean Koontz?

Prominent scienticians have recently isolated some unique characteristics of true wordsmiths. Based on their findings, here’s how to tell – once and for all –if you’re a “real writer.”

1. Your mother keeps mailing you study guides for the Civil Service exam.

2. You’re no longer slave to the arbitrary social constructs that separate pajama pants from real pants.

3. Your friends all know you mean it when you say, “Don’t get me started on Dan Brown.”

4. You’re out of cat litter (nonfiction writers).

5. You’re out of vermouth (literary fiction writers).

6. You’re out of Nicorette (crime fiction writers).

7. You’re never out of Paxil (romance writers).

8. Your creativity informs every aspect of your life, especially your tax returns.

9. You qualify as “extremely liberal” on free speech, deadlines, and food expiration dates.

10. You qualify as “extremely conservative” on speech in the form of Amazon user reviews.

11. You use the phrase “lost sense of community” a lot, but you’re usually talking to your dog.

12. Your pristine copy of The Collected Works of Shakespeare is prominently displayed on your bookshelf.

13. Your decaying, bathtub-splashed Stieg Larsson paperbacks are stashed under your futon.

14. You haven’t read a book since 1998 (screenwriters).

15. You have attempted to calculate J.K. Rowling’s royalty income.

16. Your math skills rendered this task impossible.

17. You’re trying to copyright your recipe for ranch dressing on stale saltines.

18. You have worked the word “factotum” into a conversation (literary writers).

19. You have worked the word “gams” into a conversation (noir writers).

20. You have worked the words “my place” into a conversation (romance writers).

21. You have worked the word “loan” into a conversation (all writers).

22. You laughed when a friend gave you scratch tickets for Christmas, then hastily disappeared into the bathroom with a quarter (a borrowed quarter).

23. You love the Kindle, you fear the Kindle.

24. You consider a shower to be foreplay.

25. You consider a wet washcloth to be a shower.

26. When you say “my doctor,” you mean Dr. Oz.

27. You feel closer to your protagonist than even to the girl across the street with the really sheer drapes.

28. You spend six hours a day tweeting about how you should spend more time blogging.

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LL Blackwell said...

I thought I was a "real writer" because you approve my comments on your blog...

But really, this was awesome! Made my night!

June Casagrande said...

Funny you said that on the day I turned off the "approve comments" function. (I had to run out the door right after I posted this and didn't want to leave anyone hanging.)

: )


LL Blackwell said...

Hey, I was kind of wondering about that! I heard my email go *dink* as soon as I clicked "publish." This explains why I never run out of cat litter, though... (or maybe it's because I don't have a cat).

Jessica said...

This is super funny June c

June Casagrande said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Jessica!

minimalist woman said...

Found this via Twitter--hilarious! Thanks for the laughs :D

Dianne Emley said...

Hilarious, June (as I type this wearing pajamas).

Beverly Diehl said...

Hey, there could be gold in them thar scratchers! Thanks for the morning giggle.

NancyP48 said...

Loved the tongue in cheek humor - most enjoyable.

J. R. Tomlin said...

I was worried at first that I never run out of Vermouth, only Scotch, until I realized that of course I'm not a literary writer. Whew. I hate vermouth. :-D

Anonymous said...

My 16-year old has been quoting your book to me all week. Is he going to be a writer?

June Casagrande said...

PRice. What a nice thing to hear!

Seems there's sood chance he'll become a writer, also a good chance he'll become an editor. Time to start leaving engineering school or medical school brochures around the house!

: )

Anonymous said...

Yeah, he works 15 hours a week in a public library, which is where he picked up your book. He lol'd when I told him your answer.

> Time to start leaving engineering school or medical school brochures around the house!

Funny you should say that. He's taking an anatomy class, and our refrigerator has a half-dozen sutured tangerine skins.

Paul D. Marks said...

Too funny and too true!

Anonymous said...

I read your list and I have resisted the urge to answer each of your examples... but I controlled my urges. I do suggest that you do not fool around with food expiry dates. Death is possible if you are wrong. Russian roulette with food companies that have already stretched the expiry date to the cutting edge of legal.


Unknown said...

Oh my god! I am more of those things than I can believe. You're either amazing or also a writer.


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