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This situation can really ruffle your writing feathers.
After you make the horrifying discovery that another writer is now living on your street…
1. You will be amazed at the dramatic change in your writing motivation and productivity levels. Overnight you will transform into the busiest writer ever! You can kiss goodbye to writer’s block. Words will start to gush out of you. This is because in your head you are both now in competition.
2. Your curtain twitching levels will increase as you will feel the need to keep a close eye on the other writer’s movements. You will make key observations out loud to uninterested loved ones like:
“OMG she’s sat outside her house with a notepad and pen!”
“Look she’s actually reading a book!”
3. Loved ones will feel the need to compare you to them. Expect unhelpful comments like:
“I bet she (other writer) isn’t lying on the sofa watching ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and stuffing her face with chocolate – I bet she’s now writing”
“I bet she (other writer) doesn’t have your creative breakdowns, I bet she just gets on with it”
4. Your paranoia levels will increase. On the way home from town, whilst clutching your basket of cheese, you will walk past gossiping neighbours and wonder whether they are comparing your latest blog short stories to the other writer’s work.
5. You will assume that, like you, they have a successful writing blog. You will then spend hours lying awake deliberating the important questions such as:
“What WordPress theme are they using?”
“I wonder how big their American blog following is?”
6. You will persuade loved ones to replace standard ‘neighbourly conversation openers’ (“Nice weather we are having?” and “A bit chilly today isn’t it?“) with things like “what genre do you write?” “Are you published / self published?” and “what is your average weekly word count?” All the info will be carefully relayed to you as they return to the house.
7. You will find that when you step outside your front door your voice will get louder and you will suddenly switch to ‘Writer Speak‘. This is in case the new writer is getting into their car at the same time. You will find yourself helping the kids into the car whilst saying in a loud voice “I nailed that second draft last night”. Cue confused looks from your kids.
8. You will find yourself making sure your front garden looks amazing in terms of floral displays. Your garden is basically a reflection of your creativity levels. Cue late night gardening and the sudden arrival of an array of colourful hanging baskets.
9. You will be eager to see some of their work and under the disguise of a ‘neighbourly coffee’ you will get your chance. This will lead to either:
You reassuring yourself that you are the better writer in the street
or (most likely)
You having a creative tantrum, storming back into your house and announcing to uninterested loved ones that you are quitting writing forever because “her across the road” writes better stuff than you.
Have a great day!