Friday, July 30, 2010

What To Expect...Revisited!

This post is cheating a little bit. It's a post I wrote about nine months ago when I first started my blog. But...on my defense, I only had about ten readers when I posted it!

I thought I would share it again because I would like your thoughts on the topic...what makes you a writer.

Read it (or reread if you were one of my early followers...thanks!) and then share your "writerly traits" with me!

When my old roommate started law school, the school had a special night to prepare the new students for the three years that lay ahead. My roommate came home with a bunch of pamphlets that reminded me of an abridged version of the book WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING that you give to newly pregnant mothers.

After I started working on my manuscript, I realized that pregnancy and law school weren’t the only places that needed information pamphlets. I decided to create my own list of what to expect when starting a manuscript:

*You will protect your external drive like it’s your first born child. In fact, your hard drive may become even more important than your first born child

*You will find the strangest places to write down story ideas: receipts, napkins, parking passes and maybe even texting lines to yourself from your cell phone

*You will act out parts of your story in the car, laughing at something a character may say, and stop when you turn and see the person in the lane next to you staring at you

*You will also find people asking you if you’re okay when you’re deep inside an emotional part of your story. You’ll have to assure them that nothing is wrong with you, but your characters may be another story.

*You will get to know the first names of all the workers at your local office supply store, as you buy mass quantities of printer ink and paper to perfect one single manuscript.

*You will hear somewhere that showers cause positive ionic charges in your brain, and suddenly feel the most creative in the shower. You will start to take long showers just to try to get ideas out.

*You will find yourself scowling at people who have the same name as an antagonist in your story

*You will develop rituals in order to procrastinate about writing. Your writing may depend on that one special pen, the right table in a coffee shop or song on your ipod.

*You will find yourself with a new obsessive compulsive disorder causing you to hit the save button on your computer hundreds of times while you are writing after you lose a piece of your writing for the first time

*You’ll convince yourself that the piece of work you lost was the piece that was going to win you the Printz, Pulitzer or National Book Award

These are just the start of the examples I’d include in my pamphlet. I’m sure you can add more…what else would you add to the list!

7 comments:

Bronwyn Scott-McCharen said...


*You will hear somewhere that showers cause positive ionic charges in your brain, and suddenly feel the most creative in the shower. You will start to take long showers just to try to get ideas out.

*You will find yourself scowling at people who have the same name as an antagonist in your story


These two are totally me.

Haha, thanks for this post! I don't have any suggestions for additions to his wonderful list right now, but I can't wait to see other's suggestions :)

Matthew Rush said...

You'll find that writing ruins reading, except for when you come across those very special books.

Today's guest blogger is Rose Cooper!

Jen said...

Oh my gosh I loved this post! I'm glad you decided to re-post it!!! If my brain was properly functioning I would add to the mix but unfortunately brain power is low!

Meredith said...

This is such a great list! I've never acted out my story in the car, but I'm going to now! I'd also add that you can expect to go through a baby name list hunting for that one perfect name, a name that might be even more carefully chosen than the one you'll choose for your child :)

Melissa Gill said...

How about:

Your nieces and nephews will run from you whenever you approach them with a manuscript in your hand, knowing it means hours of additional non-school reading.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Funny, funny, funny!! (And true!)

I'd like to add that you will also develop a deep loathing for a book (which you've never read) that is getting a lot of favorable press because the MC's name is the same as the MC in your unpublished manuscript. (As if that name will now be *taken* forever.)

I also like the idea of recycling a blog post from back when my followers were in the single digits. Hmmmm.

Lenny said...

hi miss rachele! im pretty new at writing but now every night when i go to bed im thinking on what im writing and whats gonna happen next. sometime i dream about it. then in the morning i just gotta find a pencil and some paper and write it down.
...smiles from lenny