Modern cities and towns offer many opportunities to observe and analyse human and animal behaviour. Below is an example of one rare but increasing specimen you may encounter – the author.
Activity: Impromptu dancing, playing with imaginary drumsticks.
Where: Usually in the author’s living room. (If occurring elsewhere, be worried).
Probable Cause: The author’s book has received a good review. Even a positive rating on Goodreads can induce this behaviour.
Action: Wait until dance subsides, expect to be informed of good news and react accordingly.
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Activity: Contented smile, clear eyes, dreamy expression
Where: Home, supermarket or public transport.
Probable Cause: Writing is going well and plot problems are solved.
Action: Do nothing, as author may still be “in the zone” and need to return to desk/writing nook suddenly.
Activity: Author sullen, eyes downcast
Where: Chance encounter with author on the street.
Probable Cause: Many. The author may have looked at their sales reports or received a snarky review. Behaviour may occur around the time a real-world bill is due, and author may be reflecting on their income.
Action: Be upbeat, do not mention writing or other stressful topics. The true author will quickly recover as a spark of creativity lifts their spirits.
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Activity: Author’s mouth drops open, eyes widen and swivel to nearest writing implement.
Probable Cause: Inspiration has struck.
Where: Literally anywhere.
Action: If behaviour occurs in a domestic environment, ensure the author has a clear path to a writing desk and small children/pets are distracted. If in a work meeting, slip your writer buddy a piece of paper and field questions from the boss, until the author is finished scribbling down ideas.
Activity: Author’s hair is uncombed, clothes crumpled, cannot recall when they last ate.
Where: Coffee shops, parties.
Probable cause: Writer’s block.
Action: A serious condition, which if untreated, can end friendships. Gently encourage author to join you in an uplifting activity such as walking in the park, along the beach or watching a movie. It may take some time for this condition to lift, but the author will soon be showing behaviours suggestive of inspiration, as described above.
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Have you noticed any author behaviour that needs an expert’s opinion? Let me know in the comments below!
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And finally – If you like to read historical mystery/romances with a hint of the supernatural, “In the Time of the Forest” is free on Amazon for the next few days. Don’t forget to do the Goodreads quiz afterwards 🙂