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3 Quirks Writers Would Do Well to Change

Yes, I write for a living and I’m happy to admit that I’m one of the lucky few who have been able to convert a passion to a profession. I love my job and think it’s the best in the world, even though there are days when the words refuse to flow and I’m left tearing my hair out in frustration. But it was only when I spent an extended period of time with a couple of other writers that I realized that we all shared the same quirks – eccentricities that certainly did not endear us to those who lived in the non-writers’ realm. Perhaps my friends are too sweet to say this to my face, but in all honestly, these are the quirks peculiar to most professional writers that I would love to change in myself:

  • Looking at any writing in the “editor mode”: Since I write for a living, I’m often asked by friends and family members to look over an article, essay or story that they’ve written. While I’m happy to do so, there is this irrepressible urge inside me to automatically correct the style and grammar in my mind. I’m unable to separate my feelings as a writer and my judgment as a reviewer of other people’s work, and because of this, I end up feeling that I have to correct and edit whatever has been written even though the authors are not asking me to do the same. So it is with great self control that I have learned to tone down my judgmental mode and instead just nod and tell people that what they’ve written is good – after all, that is what they really want to hear, not criticisms and suggestions for improvement.
  • Assuming that other people cannot write as well as you: I’ve found that it’s something that is innate to any creative profession – you cannot accept that other people in the same line of work are better than you. It’s totally irrational of course, but that’s part of the eccentricity of being a creative artist; your heart wants to believe that you’re the best even though your brain tells you that the competition out there is fierce. When you let your heart take precedence over your brain, you find that you do not open up your mind to new experiences, and this leaves you stagnant while the rest of the world moves on.
  • Taking offense when people don’t believe that what you do is a “real job”: Yes, I’ve actually had people tell me that what I do is not a “real job”. They think that just about anyone can do what I do – in their opinion, how hard could it be to throw together a few words to come up with an article? Besides, according to their lopsided reasoning, you get to spend all day at home doing whatever you want with no one to supervise you. I’ve only just begun to take these in my stride and ignore people with such opinions instead of taking offense and justifying myself to them.

So there you have it – the three quirks most writers surely possess and would do well to shake off!