Kayla Enright


Side Effects of Being a Writer

Most every one has a favorite hobby; some people like playing sports or drawing. Of course each hobby has its side effects. Sport players get stronger and faster; artists start to notice different visual details that other people pass over without giving a second thought. The same is true for writing; it too causes some interesting side effects. Some of them include thinking different, developing different habits, and taking a special interest in your writing tools.

When you become a writer you start to think different. One of the first things to happen is your day dreams start to change. You stop thinking so much about that cute boy or girl you have a huge crush on from Spanish class. Instead you start thinking about new plots for a story or how the latest 400 part book series that you're totally obsessed with will end. Then, how your thoughts are phrased will start to change. Everyone thinks in words like "this soup is gross" but when you become a writer you start thinking in third person like "the soup tasted vile in his mouth". After that when you have had some more time to develop some different characters, you start to get in fights with them. You will be in the middle of a decision when one of your characters pops in out of the blue to give you an hour long lecture on what they think you should decide to do; or you may kill off a character and they will come back demanding an explanation for their demise.

You also start developing different habits. You start hanging out with other writers and you talk with them in a code that only the group understands. You have special words that have certain meanings. Sometimes you'll be in the middle of a conversation and some one will mention a favored quote from a book series the group has read and the group will crack up laughing. In the meantime the normal people around you stare at you and your friends totally clueless. Other things change too. You wake up at 2:00 am and have to jot down twelve pages because you just got the most wonderful inspiration. Other times you're sitting in class and the teacher announces you have to write a two page short story. You and the whole class groan; but you're groaning because you can't figure out how you're going to stuff the trilogy you just thought up in the last twenty seconds into two pages.

Last but not least, you start taking a special interest in your writing tools. In other words, it hasn't been a good Christmas unless you get the twelve pounds of note book paper and that package of fresh pens that you specifically asked Santa for. Your pens are always with you and you have named them. You would go on a holy crusade for your favorite brand of pen (and all those Bic using heretics must be burned at the stake).

Every hobby causes some side effects. Writing may cause you to think different, like thinking in third person. You may develop different habits like writing at 2:00 in the morning. Sometimes you become obsessed with a certain brand of tools and start a holy war. But not a very violent holy war, after all the pen is mightier than the sword.