Once upon a time, my life was simple. I was a wee, innocent child who did wee, innocent things — living each day free of worry or stress, flitting from one meaningless pastime to the next with the attention-span of a meerkat high on caffeine.
Then one day, I made the blindingly stupid decision to become a writer.
And my days of peace and simplicity ended.
Authorhood is a seductive evil that ensnares young, clueless creatives in the prime of their life and saps the spirit from their bones. I warn you, folks — this is not a danger we should ignore. With Camp NaNoWriMo fast upon us and for the sake of all the creative younglings who teeter on the brink of destroying their lives, I will now pour forth my abundant wisdom and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt why you should definitely NOT become a writer.
Reason #1 // You will develop strange habits.
This is the basic foundation you must accept if you want to become one of us: Writers do weird things. It’s not uncommon for a sibling or parent to open a door and find us… well…
Yeah. Writers do weird things.
We’re also known to blurt nonsensical words that have no meaning to anyone but us, and willingly hurt ourselves for the sake of “knowing what it feels like.”
(This may or may not entail standing in the snow barefoot, going the whole day without food, touching an electric fence, etc.)
(All of which I definitely HAVE NOT done.)
Face it: If you become a writer, be prepared to sprawl on your bedroom floor while reciting Shakespeare in Palpatine’s voice, or covertly take notes on random strangers you meet at Walmart, or hold abnormally serene conversations with other writers about killing your characters.
…oh, did I not mention that? Yes, we writers have but one motto when it comes to our characters:
Reason #2 // You will start talking to yourself.
This is really just a subcategory of the above, but I think it needs special attention.
The day will come when you find yourself hunched over your keyboard, cackling in Gollum-speak about something morbid — only to reply to yourself because no one else understands what you’re jabbering about.
This day will come, and when it does, your corruption will be complete.
Reason #3 // You will never read books the same way again.
I long for the days before Crazed-Perfectionist-Editor mode was activated. Back when I wasn’t constantly scrutinizing other people’s books for the slightest plot inconsistency or feeble usage of the Show-Don’t-Tell rule. Back when I could read books like Nancy Drew or The Bobbsey Twins and genuinely not recognize how stupid they were.
Reason #4 // Your characters won’t leave you alone.
Say goodbye to blissful solitude. From now on, you have a personal circus of weirdos tailing you literally EVERYWHERE. In the car. In the shower. When you’re trying to sleep. They will come to whisper in your ear, and no matter what time it is or what’s going on around you, you’ll be forced to listen to their petty griping or pitiful plot ideas.
You can’t get rid of them.
It’s a legitimate hazard sometimes. Like when they start whispering in the middle of church.
Reason #5 // Your web history will suffer.
We’re all 97% percent certain the FBI will show up on our doorsteps one day.
In the meantime, I’m still trying to devise a legitimate excuse as to why I was researching “poisonous reindeer.”
Reason #6 // You will be lonely.
To be a writer is to straddle two worlds at once. The world we’re forced to inhabit, and the world we’ve created inside our heads. Unfortunately, no matter how well we put that world into words, we’re ultimately the only ones who can know it for what it is — the only ones who can taste and feel and see a reality beyond what normal humans experience.
It’s amazing. But at the same time, it can be incredibly lonely. Most people don’t understand writers, or what it’s like in our heads. Most people don’t even care. I’ve always been a solitary child, but as I grew older and went deeper into my worlds, I began to realize I wasn’t a loner because I didn’t have opportunities to make friends, but because none of my peers could understand why I thought and acted differently.
And obviously, there’s no such thing as Story Embers or the Young Writers’ Workshop to connect you to other creatives who’re in the same boat.
Those sites OBVIOUSLY don’t exist.
Reason #7 // Your vocabulary will expand.
Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself using words such as “absquatulate” or “umbriferous” with perfect ease, as the rest of your family stares at you in silent horror.
Reason #8 // People won’t take you seriously.
Be prepared for a plethora of condescending remarks from people who assume the only thing teenagers are capable of writing is fanfiction.
Yes. This is a legitimate belief some people have.
Reason #9 // You will learn a new definition for stress.
With self-doubt constantly whittling away at your fortitude, a Titanic-size list of goals that will never be accomplished, things to be researched, platforms to be built — not to mention a plot that doesn’t make sense and characters who hate your guts and WON’T DO WHAT THEY’RE TOLD, for pity sake…
…yeah, I’ll leave it at that.
Reason #10 // God might actually teach you something.
Pffft, who wants that, right?
No, seriously. Writing is hard work, and if you think that God won’t absolutely take advantage of that fact and shove some hard-hitting lessons about life and responsibility down your throat, THINK AGAIN. It will be difficult, grueling, and even tortuous at times. If you’re not prepared for that, well, you’d better save yourself the trouble and stop now.
On the flip-side, what He teaches you through the experience will go on to make you a wiser, more well-balanced individual with a whole lot of faith and confidence, so…
Well, I hope I’ve succeeded in talking you out of becoming a writer. It’s a dangerous profession, and not for the faint of heart.
You’ve been warned.
*as she shoves her tongue in cheek*
On a different note, I have a small but significant announcement: Folks… I’m leaving. No, no, not forever (that trick doesn’t work anymore…), but the fact of the matter is, Camp Nano starts in three days and my brain is already shot. For the sake of not draining myself before I’ve even started, I’m going on a blogging hiatus for the month of April.
*cue the horrified gasps*
Yep, you will be deprived of my scintillating presence for an entire month! How will you possibly survive…
In the meantime, hopefully no one forgets me or dies from Camp Nano. Long live the Writing Empire, and I’LL SEE YOU GUYS IN MAY!!
31 thoughts on “10 Reasons You Definitely Should NOT Become an Author // and an important announcement”
Goodness. This was way to relatable. xD
Guess it’s too late for me to turn back from that horrible choice I made years ago. 😉
I legit have gone through every single step you listed 🤔
Well. *coughs* Dunno what that says about me…
I suppose a good side effect of being a writer is if I do something crazy and people look at me weird and are like, “Um…what in the world are you doing?” I can officially tell them now, “Dude, I’m a WRITER,” as if that says it all.
Great post Sarah, and good luck with NaNoWriMo! 😁
“….as the rest of your family stares at you in silent horror.”
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Mrs. Baran, I just gotta say how I admire yourself and the fact you wear with pride the title of MOP. Have I said that before? I’m not sure. XD
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. . . Okay yeah, that’s why I’ve “stopped being a writer” and became an artist instead. . . apparently. XD
I’ll miss you!! Have a great time at camp.
*silently checks off each item*
*blinks in horror*
What… what have I become???
And why on earth are you revealing to us the DEPTHS to which we’ve sunken and then ABANDONING us???
*gasps dramatically* Our fates are irremediable, desolate, positively parlous!
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My life is complete.
Thank you summing up my insanity. I shall wear it like a badge now.
This…was sadly way too relatable. XD Every single reason. Except…I already spoke to myself before I started writing…so yeah. XP Oh yes; I have had many conversations with writers about killing charries. Such a lovely pastime. (The F.B.I. is going to show up at your doorstep too??? It’s not just me??? XD)
I totally get you taking a break for Nano; I’m actually thinking about it myself. XD Have a lovely time trying not to die. XP Good luck with your Nano!!!
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It won’t be quite so lonely once you publish your book and have a few readers to keep you company and become horrified when you kill their favorite characters. And your book WILL be published someday, Sarah. At least it had better be, or you’ll be in big trouble with me. 😉
SARAH. We can’t possibly be in the same cabin! How on EARTH did you know all we do at mine is talk about MURDER? *gasp* And honestly, I think I need a counselor, I fit everyone of these points. You have no idea how hard I was shaking as I typed the words, “how to hide a murder” late at night. I swear it was for research. AH.
Awww, I’ll miss your posties. But for the better, it turns out. Maybe I should talk a break. Hm. *thinks*
Finally!! Someone admits that Story Embers doesn’t exist! Somehow I got subscribed to a newsletter claiming that there’s all these helpful “articles” and amazing “poems” on some fictional website called Story Embers. In my opinion, they’re carrying things a bit too far. The nerve of some people. 😒
I’m sad you’re going on hiatus, but I understand. I would think it would be pretty hard doing both Camp NaNoWriMo and writing blog posts at the same time.
*beneficent grinning and shaking of head*
EMMA. “Beneficent” is one of my all time favorite words!!! I thought I was the only one who ever used it.
Great minds think alike. 😁 😘
*delighted gasp* Good gravy, really? :’D Well yayyyy, that they do. Man, I miss you.
Reading this post took me back into the days where I was actively writing and half-living in my fantasy worlds and then the times when I was alpha read constantly for a dear friend of mine and couldn’t read anymore because I’d start critiquing and editing and not be able to just read. 😀
There’s so many very real just writer’s life things that others don’t get and that it’s sometimes better for young writers to blissfully not be aware of at first.
And, YOU’RE LEAVING! *cues dramatice organ music* I’ll miss your post, Sarah! I’ll be praying for you and your Nano cabin this next month. 😉
(…I love your last name, Karis… O.o)
I relate so much to these 😂 Especially when it comes to talking to myself; I do that all the time…
Good luck with Camp! 😃
This is beautiful XD And so true! I’m constantly doing all that… Weird stuff. But it’s awesome! My characters never ever leave me alone, but it’s like… totally awesome and I still love it because they’re all like children to me. *characters stare at me weirdly cause I just called them children even though they’re all older than me* Also my mom made me download something so people can’t get to my search history cause I look up the weirdest things XD
Anyways, I hope you have a great Camp NaNo/April! May your writing be awesome and I hope you learn stuff and whatnot XP
“I long for the days before Crazed-Perfectionist-Editor mode was activated. Back when I wasn’t constantly scrutinizing other people’s books for the slightest plot inconsistency or feeble usage of the Show-Don’t-Tell rule. Back when I could read books like Nancy Drew or The Bobbsey Twins and genuinely not recognize how stupid they were.”
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*faints in terror as all the writers are stripped of their masks and exposed to the uttermost*
(we writers do have a rather enormous vocabulary XD)
This was a hilarious and scarily accurate post, Sarah! I literally laughed out loud at the line: “Face it: If you become a writer, be prepared to sprawl on your bedroom floor while reciting Shakespeare in Palpatine’s voice” THAT WAS PURE GOLD. 😀 😀
Especially since I just watched Attack of the Clones yesterday. 🙂
Oh my word, yes!! It’s nuts how many ideas I get in church XD. Especially now that my good friend is writing an allegory. The ideas won’t let me worship in peace! 😝
And lying on the floor quoting Shakespeare in palpitine’s voice is the best discription of a writer I’ve ever heard XD
Also, I forgot: you’re not a YDubber (in the YWW), are you? Because I’ve searched for your profile on the community and not found you XD
/Well/, that depends on how you define “weird” and “strange.” *flips hair* But I will grudgingly admit the other reasons true…BUT reason 5 can’t be valid, though. I mean, it’s not weird if you type “how to commit a crime” in your browser, right?
It can’t be coincidence that the day I noticed I talked to myself was roughly around the same time that I started writing.
Writers are weird, y’all.
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Yep same here, never started talking to myself until writing came along lol.
Ahhhhhhhhhh, THIS IS ALL MEEEE!!! Such brilliance! As a lonely, misunderstood writer, it’s so nice to be understood. 😉 It definitely feels like we’re crazy weirdos, when living in a family of non-writers, or even like we’re the only ones. I’m do grateful for my writing friends, who understand things like Reason #4! That one made me laugh the hardest, bwahaha!! So me. 😀
And girl, way to go deep and get serious in the midst of the humor. Yes, those things are wonderful as well – #10 is so true for me – often painfully AND healing-ly so. ❤
Shoo, shoo!! Stay off the blog, keep your sanity, and have an awesome NaNo!!
I was actually laughing out loud when I read this. Now I know what to do next time I’m reading Shakespeare… XD
Ahh, Sarah, you made my day. 🤣 I’m afraid I find this a little too relatable.
This is awesome and SOOOO relatable XD
This is beautiful. XD 100% agreed.