The Writing Life

Patricia Bradley here today talking a little about the writing life. 

I actually came to writing rather late in life--at the age of thirty-five. That's when these people moved into my head and wouldn't go away until I wrote their stories. 

And I remember wondering when I could call myself a writer. Now it’s something I speak about at different events and often get asked questions about how I knew I wanted to be a writer. 

Here are a few of my thoughts on the matter. And in case you're wondering, they came from personal experience. 

You might be a writer:

• If you’re sitting in a family restaurant interviewing a police captain on how murderers get away with their crimes while the diners closest to you edge away…

• If you’re walking down the grocery aisle and people are staring at you and you realize you’ve been working out your latest plotline…out loud

• If you pray for jury duty so you can know what it's like to be a juror…

• If you take pottery lessons for the same reason…

• If you keep a notebook by your bed so you can write the brilliant conversations that come to you in the middle of the night…

• If you’ve ever gotten someone to tie your hands behind your back so you can see how long it takes to get loose…

• If you walked around the house blindfolded to see if your other senses really become heightened…

• If you put the time your Aunt Louise tried to shoot her second husband in your book, disguised of course, and convince yourself that none of the family will recognize her...

• If someone comes up to you and a writer friend in a restaurant and says, “I heard you talking and finally figured it out—you two must be writers. All that stuff you were talking about couldn’t happen for real. Not in this town…”

• If you get depressed because you can’t keep your character from making a really dumb mistake…

• If you spend more money on writing aids and retreats and conferences than you’ve received for your stories…

If you answered yes to any of these ifs, then no question about it, you’re a writer.


  1. I'm not sure what the big deal is. That all sounds perfectly normal and logical to me. Especially the last one. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to arguing with the characters in my head. bahahahaha!

  2. So that's why people at the grocery store have been staring! Sometimes I catch myself talking out loud at home but most of the time I don't. Too lost in the story I'm telling myself. Had a similar experience to your police captain talk not long ago with writer friends discussing a fictional affair. Certainly turned heads. 😊 Fun, huh?

  3. Super cute post, Patricia. And true. Love it :)

    1. My family will attest to the truthfulness of it. lol

  4. I, too, started late in life and now I'm hoping that when people catch me doing some of the things you mention they'll chalk it up to me being in my dotage. Love your post.

  5. I cracked up reading this. Loved it!!

  6. Love this! Thank you for making me laugh out loud. So glad you didn't ask us to post our results. When I'm deep in plot mode it does such odd things to my brain. I definitely talk out loud and I'll even answer questions strangely . Like someone will ask me where I'm going and I'll say "pancakes," or something equally as non-nonsensical.

  7. I horrify eavesdroppers all the time! LOL! And I've been known to stare really intensely at people, when my mind is actually running through my plot. :) So glad I'm in good company!

  8. My teenage daughter and I were off to the side of the prescription counter and I whispered to her not to stare as the customers received personal health advice from the pharmacist. Guess who got her arm whacked repeatedly because she couldn't stop staring? My poor daughter was mortified that her mother couldn't practise what she preached.


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