Writing is a rough job. Carrie Bradshaw made it sound pretty glamorous, but “Sex and the City” wasn’t exactly realistic. Carrie wrote one piece for some midrate paper per week and could afford expensive dinners, shoes and her apartment. Yeah, no.
However, when you’re born a writer, you can’t really escape it. It’s part of you forever, and you have to set your fingers to a keyboard or scribble down stories to feel complete. And whether writing is your career, your side hustle or just a hobby you love, there are some experiences that almost every writer has once or twice in their lives.
1. People will buy you fancy journals and notebooks for every birthday and holiday. These are great, but often tough to write in or not very portable, and soon you’re drowning in journals!
2. You’ll have periods of cripplingly bad writer’s block where you’re convinced you’re the worst writer of all time.
3. You’ll get a great idea either in a dream you can’t wake up from or while you’re driving and have no way to write it down.
4. “Oh, are you gonna write about this?” is a commonly asked question.
5. Your Documents folder is full of approximately 25,000 Word docs dating back years and years; you’re too superstitious to delete them.
6. Sending a new pitch email is the most difficult, scary experience of your life.
7. They might as well chisel, “We can’t pay you, but this is great exposure” on your gravestone, because it’s gonna kill you.
8. You delete the same 15 PR emails every single day.
9. No one wants your brilliant piece about (X SUBJECT) and it is killing you inside.
10. Your partner gets pissed because you dropped “private” details in a piece.
11. You basically patrol your mailbox waiting for freelance checks to roll in, as small as they may be.
12. Sometimes, you’ll get the Opposite of Writer’s Block, where your brain is so full of ideas and stories that you can barely keep up.
13. Sometimes you lay in bed totaling up all the checks you’re waiting for.
14. You become BFFs with your tax guy so he can hook you up with all the good write-offs during tax season, aka a freelance writer’s ultimate fear.
15. Your iPhone’s “Notes” section is a mess of random thoughts and ideas, and when you revisit it after a few weeks you can’t make heads or tails of what you were trying to say.
16. You’ve assembled a crew of writer friends to exchange editor emails and sources, to answer questions and to bitch and moan with.
17. You still get excited to see your byline, even after years of doing this professionally.
18. Some of your family members still don’t really understand what a “writer” does. When you tell people you’re a “writer” they get confused, and then they’re like, “Oh, so do you have a book deal?” Yeah, not yet.
19. When you were little, you used to write “books” in kiddie scribbles and staple them together for your family to “read.”
20. Your high school English teacher will always remember you fondly.
21. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to put your writer brain away and just enjoy the moment.
22. You totally tried to write like someone you admire before realizing that no, you need to develop your own style instead of stealing someone else’s.
23. The first time someone asks you for writing advice is a momentous occasion. You basically feel like God.
24. You think to yourself, “How many articles should I post on my Twitter and Facebook? How much is too much? Do I seem obnoxious?”
25. It’s not an easy job, but you wouldn’t change it for anything. Writing has always been a huge part of your life. Sometimes you hate it more than anything, but it’s your driving force and your big passion. You can’t imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t write.