You Might Be a Novelist If. . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
I'm sure on Facebook you've seen those posts with a title like, "You Might Be A Child of the 80s if....", followed by photos of all the things children of the 80s identified with from neon clothes to Cabbage Patch Kids. I've seen children's books similar to this, too--there's an entire series with titles, such as If You Lived In Colonial Times or If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon, where kids are told what would happen to them if they were a part of this historical period. These have inspired me to write...

You Might Be a Novelist if. . .

  • You have several half-finished novels on your hard drive that you'll finish one day when you have time (which is never). You may even have a few unfinished novels, full of run-on sentences and description out the wazoo, that stop at exactly 50,000 words because you were trying to "win" NaNo.
  • You have a coffee mug or t-shirt that says something like, "If you make me mad, you could end up murdered in my next novel." By the way, you can't find a coffee cup big enough to hold the amount of coffee you need to write your novel.
  • You have Pinterest boards full of beautiful people who are most definitely starring in your screenplay, when your book becomes a movie. 
  • You have a blog that you haven't written on since 2009.
  • You love office supplies, especially brightly colored post-it notes and neon colored highlighters.
  • You talk to yourself; or even worse, you talk to your characters and ask them questions about what they would like to do; or even worse, when talking to your friends and family, you mention your characters as if they were real people. "The other day, Harry said his scar was really hurting. . ."
  • You have trouble sleeping because of a) the coffee from your huge coffee cup  b) your characters keeping you awake at night, talking to you  c) your fans won't leave you alone (okay, we can dream about c when we finally fall asleep).
  • You have a gym membership that you never use because while everyone else goes to the gym in the morning before work, that is your only uninterrupted time to write your novel. (Can you really be fit and a writer too? No.)
  • Your new year's goals always include something like, "I will write ___ pages a day." Or "I will write ___ words a day." And by February 1, you are down to: "I will write every day." And on Feb. 5, "Okay, okay, I will finish a novel in two years."
  • You hear yourself complaining about having to actually get dressed and talk to people on the weekends.  
  • Your passion is creating amazing characters and interesting plots to thrill your readers and make them beg for more. 
Happy Writing! 

Margo L. Dill is a published author, editor, writing coach, and blogger, living in St. Louis, MO. You can join her Writing a Novel With a Writing Coach here in the WOW! classroom. You can read more about her and her books at

mug photo above by qrevolution on


Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--I'm not a coffee drinker, but I DO eat large amounts of chocolate. Does that count?

This made me chuckle (in a wry way). I'm sure other writers could add more to the list.

Margo Dill said...

I'm glad it made you chuckle, if even in a wry way. I was thinking I might do a short series (I'm into these lately) and next tackle: you might be an editor if. . .:)

The list was only easy for me to write because this is so true for me.

Also that photo's title on Flickr? Writer fuel. LOL

Angela Hood-Ross said...

Everything on here screams "ME!"..well not the gym membership. My husband refused to pay it because he knew I would not I do work a 40-hour job outside my home, so could you imagine what I'll be like when I finally get to retired? LOL...loved your post. It gave me the Wednesday "giggle" I needed to get through the rest of the week.

Renee Roberson said...

Well, you saw my Facebook post so you know I can relate to this! I thought I was the only one who made Pinterest boards for the imaginary screenplays made from my novels :-)

Margo Dill said...

It's best to save your money if you know you won't use the gym membership. I try to just use nature for exercise when I can. There is just not enough time in the day for everything we want to accomplish! :) Best of luck to you.

Renee: You are not alone. There are so many authors who do this with Pinterest! :)

Angela Mackintosh said...

Margo, I LOVE this post! So clever and funny. I fit all of these except trade early morning writing for late night writing, coffee for wine, and huge coffee cup for ginormous wine goblet. ;) I think we should make this into an infographic. :)

Mary Horner said...

Spot on, Margo! Have you been reading my journal? lol! I don't drink much coffee (more tea) but still have trouble sleeping. And I promise myself every Sunday that I will use that time to write instead of browsing social media.

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