#YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen Part 2

TITLE IMAGE 2This is the second collection of my best Tweets under the hashtag #YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen. Click here to catch up on the first part. These were inspired by @KMWeiland. Her blog is an excellent resource for writers looking to become authors.

These come at the special request of Jessica West (@Wes1Jess on Twitter). Be sure to thank her if you get some amusement out of these.


  • you can tell when a fellow writer got stuck while you’re reading their work in progress.
  • you warp your memories to suit narrative structure.
  • you realize you don’t have to name every object in the room, just the ones your character will be using.
  • you use the comments feature in your word processor to address the NSA agent who will be scanning your writing
  • you try to smuggle in exposition disguised as commentary to lower your word count


  • the only reason you’re out & about is because you need to observe a space so you can describe it later.
  • you hear about a terrible new teenage craze & think, “There’s a story in this.”
  • knowing there’s a typo on your blog, when you’re not at a computer, is like having a popcorn kernel wedged inside a crack in your brain
  • you can’t watch a movie without imagining your own B plot.
  • you’re always on call in the event that inspiration strikes.

Government Email

  • you encounter something so bizarre in real life, that if you wrote it down, no one would ever believe it.
  • you can make yourself sympathize with a character with personality traits you’d despise in real life.
  • you can describe a room without resorting to using either sight or sound.
  • you name wimpy characters after the bullies who tormented you in high school
  • you intentionally write in sequences that would be too expensive to film


  • you realize your last chapter was written in the voice of the author you’ve been reading
  • you imagine you’re the author of a classic work & get personally offended when someone doesn’t like it
  • you’ve pitched your story to the person who cuts your hair
  • you write your real world distractions into your story. Suddenly your hero hears a booming subwoofer.
  • you know, for certain, that your spellcheck is wrong about something

Death Interesting

  • you believe you know the secret formula for bringing every ailing film franchise back from the brink of death
  • what you have to say can’t always be reduced to a top ten list
  • someone tells you about a terrible experience and you say, “Do you mind if I steal that?”
  • you’ve fixed the Star Wars prequels in your head. Obi Wan-Padme-Anakin love triangle anyone?
  • you hear there’s a typo in your post & you hide in the bathroom at work scanning the text from your phone until you catch it


  • you draw the line at too much research & start making educated guesses.
  • you get so preoccupied with self promotion that you accidentally write a story about it, and it’s great.
  • you eves drop on a first date and think, “I could’ve written that conversation better.”
  • you read someone else’s story and think: my protagonist could outwit this protagonist, probably win in a fight too.
  • you aspire to write a character that will one day be ripped off as often as Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, or Sherlock Dracula


  • you need a thesaurus to find a dumber word for the first one that comes to mind.
  • your cat knows the only way to get to pet is to walk across the kejh;wfghljkfewjhkfgwhjgr;ljhkgwewglk;grlkjhgewl
  • you get antsy when you’re apart from your work in progress, afraid it’s cheating on you with another writer
  • you get the itch to write at the movie theater, at rock concerts, during medical procedures

Long Walks

  • you can curb your anxiety by putting it into a three act structure.
  • you can write through your stress without always having to write about your stress (note the word “always”)
  • you can trick yourself into believing a superstitious element of one of your own stories
  • you’ve developed the coordination to eat an entire meal with one hand and type with the other
  • you’re slightly relieved to learn that the horrible exaggeration you used could actually happen in real life

Star Wars

  • the idea of going analog & writing by candlelight sounds romantic until you realize you type much faster.
  • you can justify talking to yourself at the coffee shop by saying, “It’s cool. I’m just punching up some dialogue”
  • your solution for a plot hole is to have your characters draw attention to it, a mystery to be solved later
  • you say, “Wait, this is just (insert classic fairy tale here) but darker,” halfway through writing your novel.
  • you run out of things to say but you say something anyway, & it’s accidentally profound, somehow wiser than you are


  • you work really hard to create a list of metaphors around a concept, only to realize that lists don’t read well.
  • you meet someone who looks just like one of your characters and you think you broke reality.
  • you stare down a blank page & find yourself asking, “Now how the hell do I do this again?”
  • you want to start an urban legend & never claim responsibility for it, just put it out there & let people believe it
  • you want to wrap up this really cool idea so that you can get cracking on this really cool idea, so that you can…

Typing with the shower on

  • your characters can see you through the fourth wall.
  • you can make an audience feel sympathy for a character whose beliefs are in direct opposition to your own.
  • you replace the line of dialogue you thought your story hinged on with something better.
  • you go until the coffee shop lights dim & you pretend not to hear the closing announcement with your headphones on
  • even your characters daydream about writing.


  • manual labor makes you feel like you’re slacking off.
  • you get a clever line & don’t know whether to shoehorn it into your work in progress or something new.
  • you can pin point the exact moment a film veered off coarse & how you would’ve corrected it.
  • you think “I have no idea where this is going but I need to trick my readers into thinking I knew the entire time”
  • you feel like you’re talking smack about reality behind its back.
  • your breaks from narrative writing consist of different types of writing.
  • you get caught using the wrong tense and rather than admit it say, “That’s because the story is about time travel”

Keyboard Cheek

4 thoughts on “#YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen Part 2”

  1. …you know, for certain, that your spellcheck is wrong about something…


    Thanks, Drew. These posts always make my day. It’s great to have them all in one place.

    1. There’s three more epic lists on the way. I also created a #YouKnowYoureAWriterWhen gallery link on my home page to collect the memes from each of these posts.

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