Do you ever wonder if you’ll ever make it as a writer? Do you dream of jacking in the day-job and scribbling your opus on a beach somewhere? Or if are you afraid that dream will never come true, and your book will never make it out off the hard drive? Well, take my handy quiz and find out the answer to the question:
Are you a writer?
- When you were little did you:
Enjoy team sports and play well with others? (1)
Force friends and family to appear in plays and sketches of your own devising? (2)
You didn’t play much – just read books in a corner on your own? (3)
- How long can you sit in a room on your own?
You struggle to be alone for more than a few hours, and couldn’t imagine working from home. You’d miss the buzz of a workplace. (1)
You’d enjoy working from home so long as you got out regularly. (2)
Now that you think of it, you haven’t opened your front door in four days. (3)
- How quickly do you reply to emails?
You have a careful system of triage, answering them in order of importance and filing others. (1)
Usually within the day. (2)
You’re writing the answer practically before you’ve read it. (3)
- You tidy your desk:
Once a week, to stop things building up. You have an organised filing system and you keep spreadsheets of accounts. (1)
When you get round to it – once a month or so. (2)
Never, unless you have a deadline, and then absolutely must arrange your Post-its by colour and size, put your year’s receipts in chronological order, and make the world’s longest paper-clip chain.(3)
- What is the highest number of words you can imagine writing in one day?
You used to struggle writing essays of 2,000 words – probably no more than 500. (1)
Maybe about 2,000, on a good day,. (2)
When you’re really going, 10,000. 15,000. Easy. You won’t sleep or eat but WHO CARES! (3)
- You are arrested. Is your first thought:
This is terrible. My life is ruined. (1)
This is an outrage. Call my lawyer! (2)
This is brilliant. I wonder if I can interview the guards and take notes on the prison-cell toilet paper. (3)
- What is your chosen attire for a day at home?
You like to be smart in case someone calls round – neat clean clothes, maybe a touch of makeup, washed and styled hair (1)
Casual – jeans, clean top, and you’ll always brush your hair (2)
Inkstained pyjamas/tracksuit, pens stuck in your hair, dog hairs, Post-its clinging to your body (3)
- You get crushes on:
Real-life, suitable human beings only. (1)
Celebrities, people on Facebook, and the man in the corner shop. (2)
All of the above, plus fictional characters and people you’ve invented in your own head. (3)
- You get ideas for stories
Never. You’re not sure how people do this. (1)
You’ve had two or three, but if you’re honest some of them are actually things that happened to you or your family, thinly veiled. (2)
In bed at 4am. In the shower. On the bus. At the gym. While listening to friends tell you tragic things that happened to them. Watching TV. Reading the paper. While tragic things are happening to you yourself. At the garden centre. (3)
10. Your favourite occupation on public transport is:
Put on your iPod and try to shut out all the annoying passengers. (1)
Read your book and immerse yourself in stories (2).
Eavesdrop on what people say and surreptitiously scribble it down on the back of your ticket. Miss your stop because you want to find out whether Brenda did leave Tim for the gardener in the end. (3).
0-15 It’s unlikely you’ll be a writer. In fact, do you really want to be? Do you want to put in the hours of slog and go round muttering to yourself like a mad person? Didn’t think so. If all you want is mild fame/ your name on a book, there are easier ways. Try going on Big Brother or sleeping with a footballer, then someone else will write your book for you and you’ll be quids in. Result! Otherwise, have you considered training as an accountant?
15-25 You could possibly make it as a writer, if you’re prepared to adapt to an existence of long days of toil, sitting on your own in front of a computer, occasionally whimpering and banging your head off the keyboard. Make things easier on yourself and try to lose all social skills/stop combing your hair/become borderline agoraphobic.
25 or more: You are already a writer. Your book will definitely be published soon, because you are mental enough to stop at nothing until it happens. Congratulations! Either that or you’re already published. Stop wasting time here and get back to your book. I’m watching you.