Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, August 07, 2009

How You Know You're a Writer (or Senile, or Me) -- Guest Blog by Julia Polakoff

posted by Kerry Blair

You can find great stuff on Facebook -- assuming you "friend" the right people. A couple of weeks ago I marveled (and laughed out loud) at a charming post by fellow ANWA-ite, Julia Polakoff. I first met Julia at an ANWA conference where she was the first of a roomful of people to volunteer to help with my presentation. She was thirteen at the time and so bright, vivacious, and fun that I didn't even mind when she stole the show. I've been a big J. Polakoff fan ever since.

Julia is now fourteen, a sophomore at Gilbert High School in Arizona, and one of the most personable and talented young writers you'd ever hope to meet. Her current goal is to be published by the time she's sixteen, and I won't be a bit surprised when she makes it! Chronicling the journey toward her dream, she wrote "How You Know You're a Writer . . ." as a post on Facebook. After a little begging, she agreed to let me use it here as a guest blog. Julia would love to receive any additional symptoms of writeritis you've observed in yourself or loved ones!

How You Know You're a Writer (or Senile, Or Me) by Julia Polakoff
1) You hear voices in your head and they tell you about their lives at ALL times of day or night. IE, during prayer, before bed, in your sleep, at work, when you’re cleaning, etc.

2) You hear the characters yell at you for not writing their story down and the computer or pen/pencil and paper call out to you regularly

3) When someone asks "How was your day?" you respond with "Oh, I just killed somebody and am trying to figure out if there is a better way." Or something just as out there.

4) Whenever you read something you always, or almost always, find the writer's mistakes and obsess about changing them or you think "Wow, the editors musta been typing too fast"

5) You start describing everything you see with a writer's voice in your head

6) You find your diet is ruined every time time you sit down to write. (Diet? What diet? A writer's gotta have a good supply of food to write!)

7) You take note of others' qualities and think "I wonder if I can use that somehow"

8) Your house could use cleaning, your laundry is piling, your family is starving (or you are starving since you ran out of food a few hours back), and the shopping needs done, and you still refuse to give it up until you're "done". Whatever that means.

9) You start analyzing movie and book plots and wonder "what if . . ."

10) You use the names of characters when you're talking to or about your friends and family.

11) You know you're a writer if you have created "character labels" for all your friends and family and YOURSELF.

12) You characters actually argue with each other about whose story is being written next.

13) Your characters (from the SAME story) argue with each other about points in the story (such as who likes who or who did what and when) and who gets to get the spotlight next (if you switch views in your story).

14) Your characters take over your story, even after you've carefully plotted it out

15) When you stop in the middle of something "important", seized with that urge, and you run to your writing, leaving whatever it was in the same spot for hours

16) You laugh, nod, or smile sadly when you read this because some, if not all, is true. =)


At 8/07/2009 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog Julia!
I'll be looking for your work really soon, I have no doubt.

# 3, definitely # 3. :-)


At 8/07/2009 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it!

At 8/08/2009 12:02 AM, Blogger Cheri J. Crane said...

Hilarious, and so very true. Great post, Julia. And I'm so glad you shared it, Kerry.

At 8/08/2009 7:13 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

Julie, you are a writer. I can't wait until you're in print. =]

At 8/09/2009 11:52 AM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

And you ask for toner and printer paper for every birthday, Christmas, 4th of July, and every other Tuesday whether you need it or not.

At 8/09/2009 7:51 PM, Blogger Julia said...

Thank you very much for your comments!

~Julia Polakoff

At 8/09/2009 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I just got home from a too long trip, drove for six days for a one day visit, and reading your post gave me the lift I needed to make it through the evening without screaming into my pillow.

Let's see, uh, um, ok, I now know that I'm a writer. I have almost all of the "symptoms" on your list, minus one or two things. My characters must be unusually polite as they don’t argue with each other over who gets top billing.

How wonderful it is to know at such an early age what you want to do with your life—to be a writer. I think you are among a small handful of lucky people. Good luck with your short and long range goals.


P.S. Kerry,

You have such interesting friends. Thanks for finding this gem and bringing her light to shine on the Frog Blog. She's definitely worth encouraging.

At 8/09/2009 11:33 PM, Blogger Danyelle Ferguson said...

LOVE #7 & 8. Oh yeah. That's me for sure!!! :) Thank you for letting Kerry share this!

At 8/15/2009 10:12 PM, Blogger Mary Jo said...

What a fun post - thanks for sharing!

Another to add:
You salivate over office/writing supplies like other women salivate over shoes.


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