A Writer’s Mentality

You always know a writer when you meet one. Irrespective of whether they have published anything, people with a writer’s mentality share one extremely annoying characteristic: they can only talk about their writing. No matter what topic you try to broach with them, it always comes back to their writing.

“The weather is really beautiful today,” you mention to a writer.

“Yes,” she responds. “This makes me think of a description of springtime from a short story I wrote in 1992. Let me read it to you.”

“My boss is not happy with my performance,” you share with a writer. “This is very stressful to me. What if I get fired?”

“Hardship is an inescapable part of life,” he says. “My most recent novel has been rejected by 17 publishing houses. Let me read you a letter I received from one of them and you’ll tell me what you think.”

“My husband and I had a huge fight,” you complain. “I’m thinking we might need couples’ therapy.”

“I offered some interesting insights into challenges people encounter in their romantic life in my 2010 trilogy. Have you read it? Can I ask you to review it on Amazon?”

I almost turned into this person (“Yes, as I said last week on my blog. . .”) but I stopped myself in time. I don’t want people I know to have nervous breakdowns when they hear the word “blog.”

18 thoughts on “A Writer’s Mentality”

  1. Ha this made me laugh! I think we are all tempted to do this but only buttheads really actually do it repeatedly. I think its also a measure of insecurity. I have some friends who are huge in their academic and/or literary field, I mean at the top “stars” if you will and those who have been there the longest never seem to commit the offenses you discuss. Its those of us who are rising, struggling, and fighting our way through the world still. I think its an excellent point that you make and an obnoxious habit I will try to avoid! I think we are all sort of tempted, in this world of blogging especially, to find similar conversations and want to draw attention to our posts. In grad school there was a fellow teaching assistant who quoted himself in his FIRST article. He wrote “as I have stated elsewhere” but there was nowhere else. He meant in his unpublished writings, ramblings, and lectures. Very funny, and a bit amateur. People become walking self promotions.

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    1. ” In grad school there was a fellow teaching assistant who quoted himself in his FIRST article. He wrote “as I have stated elsewhere” but there was nowhere else.”

      – This is the best. 🙂 My ideas must be true because I already had them before. 🙂 This is so hilarious.

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  2. Writers must be difficult persons to get along with then. Yet scientists are the ones who get labelled as misanthropic geeks. 😦 And you must be one hell of a weird creature if you are both. 😛

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  3. Wait a minute, does this mean I count as a writer if I keep a blog? This means I will be blog-dropping all the time.

    “Did you hear the latest album from The S—–?”
    “Yes, but I think it’s best for everyone involved if you just read the review I posted on my blog”

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    1. Or better yet, “What do you mean, have I heard the album? Are you saying that you haven’t read my post about it? That’s weird. The post has been up for over a day. How come you didn’t read it?”

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  4. I confess to having the opposite attitude to some degree. It’s definitely a kind of madness I have and my only one. I tend to think I haven’t said things that I’ve actually said, so I am regularly surprised to see how much I’ve said and even that I’ve actually said things.

    This state of mind comes from my unfortunate relationship with my father, who never could remember anything that had previously passed between us, but treated it like so much water under the bridge. I would have the feeling: “Surely I’ve asked him not to invade my personal space before?” Although I would have made it absolutely clear, he would have forgotten about it, and I’d be left wondering if I’d actually said anything at all.

    This is quite frankly very, very weird, in the way it has led me to doubt that I’ve communicated effectively.

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    1. Oh, I totally know what you are talking about. This is a very effective manipulation strategy where you get people to feel like they have no voice at all. Then they will be reluctant to say anything at all.

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  5. I’m a writer and I do have a bit of a tendency to talk about my writing a lot, I can’t help it 😀 I do discuss my writing with two friends who are also writers, so I guess we got that in common, most everyone else wouldn’t be interested. That’s why sites like Mibba were invented, for us writers to geek out together 🙂

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  6. I know I do this on my blog (although I’m trying to get better, haha) but in real life I do not do this. Maybe it’s the personal-ness of it, but I’m still somewhat insecure about saying “Why yes, I am a writter.”

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  7. I just realized something. In the 3 years I’ve been blogging I don’t think I have EVER brought it up in real world conversation. However one thing I admit to is when I’m reading someone else’s post/article there will be frequent times where I’m thinking in the manner you speak of here.

    Like I’ll be reading something at Good Men Project about male sexuality is demonized and then I’ll think about a post a past post I did on the subject. Weird.

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    1. ” In the 3 years I’ve been blogging I don’t think I have EVER brought it up in real world conversation.”

      – Really? That’s some self-control. I have to say, I struggle. 🙂

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