Things Writers Do

Writers do things differently than other people. Sure, we may look normal, but we often aren't. Some of us don't even try to be normal. What's the fun in that?

For many writers, this is a crazy week. PitMad is Thursday. What is PitMad? It's a Twitter party where writers pitch their stories to agents and publishers in 280 characters or less. Sound crazy? Maybe, but it has worked for many writers. I'm getting ready, as are many other writers, and what we do to prepare might seem odd to non-writers. Since I'm caught up in the frenzy of the writer's version of March Madness, I thought it might be fun to share some of our regular habits and idiosyncrasies.


  • Spend a lot of time with invisible friends (who aren't really invisible to them)
  • Create worlds that may or may not look like the world you live in
  • Hang out in coffee shops on our computers
  • Kill people off and have fun doing it
  • Listen to voices in their heads
  • Play make-believe while working
  • Chat in public with other writers about killing someone or making a person experience awful hardships
  • Look up facts on the internet (poisons, bombs, guns, etc.) that probably puts them on government watch lists
  • Eavesdrop on the conversations of strangers around them
  • Use overheard conversations to create believable dialogue
  • Create and embrace conflict (in their stories)
  • Name bad characters after people they don't like and sometimes kill them off
  • Carry on full-blown conversations about people who don't exist
  • Use acronyms like POV, BIC, WIP and know what they mean
  • Get excited over synonyms
  • Rewrite something many, many times
  • Avoid passive verbs like the plague
  • Avoid cliches except to make a strong point in a list (see bullet above)
  • Talk about show and tell
  • Get a distant look on their faces while in the company of others
  • Get excited over new writing tools (pens, pencils, keyboards, applications, etc.)
  • Evaluate everything they read through the unwritten rules of writing

And the list goes on and on.

Come on writers, help me out. What other things do writers do?


Bob Strother said…
Sit in boring meetings and creatively describe the other participants.
Barbara Evers said…
Yes! Bob thanks for the chuckle, and it's so true.
Arisia said…
I had to Google BIC, which proved to be tedious. There are 117 things it's an acronym for. At least I recognized it when I saw it. Whew! For a minute there, I thought I was just a writer wanna-be.

I'm discovering a side effect of trying to write well. I save up all those exclamation marks, passive verbs, and ending of sentences with prepositions for comments!!
Unknown said…
Find a 'yeah, but, what if?' in just about every situation.
Barbara Evers said…
Arisia, too funny! Yes, it's Butt in chair for those who don't know.

AND "Yeah, but what if?" is an awesome story generator.

Thanks for playing!
Susan K. said…
Thanks for the BIC explanation. I didn't know that one. I suppose I am more of a "writer in progress". Used to have a blog page. Have a book in my head - always. I need to put it in writing, and will. So many of the things on your list I do. It was amazing to see that! I also can create entire stories in my head while driving which "might" explain why I miss so many turns. ;) I also find myself rewriting TV shows and movies in my head when I feel the story line is too weak or incomplete.

Popular posts from this blog

Skin Tone: Describing Your Characters

Character Development: Using the Johari Window

Should Christians Watch The Hunger Games?