How to Spot a Writer

Funny creatures, writers. You never quite know where they are. Your friend may be sitting with you in your favorite coffee shop, sipping an overpriced espresso and commiserating with you about your inept coworkers. Or she may be skulking around some stately old mansion, looking for clues as to who murdered Lady Wentworth -- you know, for that mystery novel she's been writing in her head for the past five years. Poor thing, she's probably trying to be in both places at once. Maybe you could cut her some slack? If you do encounter a writer, it's best to know early on what you're dealing with. They -- OK, we -- can be scatterbrained. Fortunately, there are a few foolproof ways to identify a writer:

1. When you say something funny or interesting, they ask "Can I use that?"

2. They frequently have a distant look in their eyes, as though they're seeing something no one else does. (Best to treat this as a form of sleepwalking -- try not to startle them.)

3. This look is usually followed by several minutes of intense scribbling in a tiny notebook they always, always, always carry.

4. They rarely complain about their personal problems -- that's because they've already turned them into essays, novels, poems, blog posts, all of the above...

5. In fact, they rarely talk about themselves at all, but boy, they sure do ask you lots of questions!

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