The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements 1 Be Impeccable With Your Word Speak with integrity Say only what you mean Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and lovenbsp 2 Don8217t Take Anything Personally Nothing others do is because of you What others say and do is a projection of their own reality their own dream When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others you won8217t be the victim of needless sufferingnbsp 3 Don8217t Make Assumptions Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings sadness and drama With just this one agreement you can completely transform your lifenbsp 4 Always Do Your Best Your best is going to change from moment to moment it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick Under any circumstance simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgement self-abuse and regret by Miguel Ruiz

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. 

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. 

3. Don’t Make Assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. 

4. Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.

by Miguel Ruiz    

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You know you're a real writer when...

You know you're a real writer when . . .

1. You cannot leave home without your Flip Dictionary.
2. You have no idea who Hanna Montana is (True story!).
3. You only notice adverts if there are spelling or grammar errors.
4. You know how many times J K Rowling, John Grisham and Louis L’Amour were rejected.
5. You spend your time at parties inspecting the host's bookshelves.

 by Amanda Patterson

Writers Write Competition: May 2009

Here are our winners and a selection of the entries.

1st Place

1. your password to your computer is the name of an author 
2. you have more in common with characters from your favourite books than you do with ’real’ people 
3. unlike other people you have a bitter-sweet relationship with bad things that happen to you because at least now you have good material to write about 
4. you walk into a bookstore you know that if you want a decent read you stay away from the "bestsellers" section 
5. you land up in a psychiatric hospital and your friends come to visit you they’re surprised to find out that you haven’t been admitted to do research on your next book (true story) 
~ Germaine Moolman

Four runners-up - in no particular order...

1) When your characters take over the dialogue and you feel as if you are taking dictation 
2) When you dream about your characters 
3) When nutrition and exercise take a back seat to writing 
4) When 12 hours of writing go by in the blink of an eye 
5) After completing a piece of work, you feel as if you have given birth 
~ CQ Scafidi

1. You name your first son Parker, your daughter, Fountain, and your dog, Pen. 
2. You start business presentations with the words: “Chapter One: It was a dark and stormy recession . . . “ 
3. Your idea of fun is a double entendre, followed by a four-word alliteration. 
4. Your idea of risqué is a mixed metaphor (which leaves you smirking seductively at the page – an expression only true writers’ faces can achieve) 
5. Your idea of downright evil is a deliberate typo, rounded off with a preposition at the end of the sentence (which you reserve only for letters to publishers who have rejected you, and suspected paedophiles) 
~ Allan Muir

1. in a single weekend you’d forego both Mickey Rourke’s newest movie (paid for by your bff) and a pricey ticketed party at your favorite international-renowned art museum (complete with gourmet goodies and free drinks)--all because you’re on deadline. 
2. that same bff (see #1 above) and members of your own family point at you long arms that end in index fingers, and, with pinwheel eyes, preface secrets, gossip and juicy personal accounts with "You will not write about this!" 
3. conversations are commodities: You are forever saying, "Can I have that?" or "I’m taking that!" in the midst of someone’s great story, phrase, description or thought; your moleskin contains evidence of all these incidents. 
4. your idea of the world’s best vacation includes the Rosetta Stone, old dead authors’ homes and archived texts, and craft discussions with other writers. 
5. you slave over every sound, every rhythm, of every word in everything you write, digging for the truth of the lived experience--from the looseleaf-paper love note on the kitchen table, to the sympathy card sitting open on your dresser, to the tome eating up 33% of your hard-drive, to that email list you just sent to amanda@writerswrite.co.za
~ Stacy Muszynski

1. Your veins are filled with ink 
2. Your ear itches and your brain dances when you truly listen 
3. Your tears grease the cogs that lead to your fingers 
4. You remember the gems that sprout from children’s mouths 
5. You notice the little things in the seemingly ordinary rhythm of nature 
~ Naude’ van der Merwe

 ~~~~~

1. You know you are a writer when silence comes to you naturally 
2. When television just becomes noise 
3. When you drop your child off at school in your pajamas, because you try not to change the scenario 
4. When you have conversation with your character (and they answer back!) 
5. When you get up every morning at 5am and write, even if it is bad 
~ louiza j. calore 

1. When you begin to narrate your life “It was cloudy that Thursday morning as she stepped into work.” 
2. When you can retrace your entire life history through the quick scribbles you have written over the years in moments of inspiration. You will never throw these away just in case they inspire you more later or you become famous and them priceless. 
3. When no one wants to be friends with you anymore because of your persistent spelling and grammar corrections. 
4. Reading a great book becomes a bittersweet experience because the jealousy you feel over the really brilliant lines mixes with your love for it. 
5. When you find yourself constantly giving advice to strangers because your love of a good story always draws you in. 
~ Jaclyn Woods

1. You get irritated when your pen tip breaks through the toilet paper perforation while you bide your time for a number two. 
2. You take out a tissue from your bag and find a cryptic message of “what if the poisoned cheese killed the assassin?” scribbled in eyeliner, on it. 
3. You are waiting in your friend’s car and you can’t resist scribbling “the night was dank, foggy and gravely silent” on the steamed-up window. 
4. Every passenger in your crowded train compartment must have a motive to be in the same space at the same time as you. 
5. The internet is your open university and there is no such thing as “I don’t understand”. 
Barbara Egan

1. you always have a pen and paper in your hand, not bag, but hand. 
2. you have more pens than friends 
3. your spelling is on point always 
4. Danielle Steel is your role model 
5. you prefer to write letters to your girlfriend than typing an sms saying goodnight. 
~ Pops Vila

1. The most important items in your handbag are a notepad/diary and a couple of pens and pencils. 
2. You are overwhelmed with excitement in assisting your Grade 1 daughter with writing up her school speech. 
3. You love describing, even the smallest of events, in the most graphic detail...always aiming for an element of suspense and drama. 
4. You ensure that every word, punctuation mark, apostrophe, pause..... is perfectly positioned, be it written or spoken. 
5. You take 5 minutes to compose and send a ’one line’ e-mail. 
~ Desireé Gounden

1......you’re always saying “I’ve lost the plot” when you forget or misplace something 
2.......you find yourself doing “mental anagrams” on lengthy hikes 
3.......you make up titles using the letters on every number plate you see in front of you 
4......you’re working even if you stare out of the window 
5......you find yourself thinking up exotic names for dishes on the menu 
~ Sue Harwood

1. It is what you do. 
2 It is what you think. 
3 It is what you live. 
4 It is what you dream. 
5 It is almost your religion. 
~ Cecille Kinnear

1) You never leave home without your Hemingway Moleskin Notebook 
2) You never sit in a coffee shop without writing in the above 
3) You are to be found in bookshops, prowling 
4) You talk to total strangers about their lives and write it all down in front of them 
5) You have ’The Writers and Artists Yearbook’ by your bed 
~ Priscilla Holmes

1. You sleep with a pen and notebook next to your bed 
2. You have a PC, but have never played any games on it 
3. You are accused of having an online relationship, or at least one with your laptop 
4. You know all the dictionary / thesaurus website addresses 
5. You have a list of possible names, place names, makes or cars, etc. in the back of your diary 
~ Freya Nell

1. There’s nothing that tantalises or terrifies you more than a blank page 
2. You find that new-book smell of ink, paper and glue almost-indecently pleasurable 
3. You can’t sleep unless you’ve a notebook and pen next to your bed, for just in case 
4. You replay past conversations in your head by visualising them as dialogue on a page – quotation marks and all 
5. Your mind is only truly engaged when you have a pen in your hand or a keyboard at your fingertips. 
~ Amanda Spohr

1. even as tears are falling down your face, you are turning it into prose. 
2. you read something succinct and clever, you think, "If only I had written that!"
3. your daydreams focus on your next book launch. 
4. you ask for new bookshelves for your birthday. 
5.your life philosophy includes: " The worst experiences often make the best stories!" 
~ Gillian McLaren

1. When opening your mail, you open the bills first 
2. When you furtively rifle through your new acquaintance’s handbag/briefcase 
3. When your little black book contains not a single phone number 
4. When you suddenly realise that you forgot to fetch the kids/the mother-in-law/the dry-cleaning 
5. When someone asks you for your number, you give them your ISBN 
~ Althea Purnell 

1. You plot the next chapter while washing dishes. 
2. You’ve created a character who’s threatening to take over the storyline 
3. Your children and your dog have no food to eat. 
4. Your husband becomes a strange and unwanted intrusion in your life 
5. You look demented and unwashed 
~ Kogi Singh 

1. You watch people’s faces and interactions to get ideas 
2. Your mind weaves up stories from your interactions with other people 
3. You add mystery or romance to people’s lives as they are speaking to you 
4. In conversations you ask people questions about their love life and experiences
5. You constantly jot down ideas from every interaction that seems interesting 
~ Candace Thomas

1. Your books have their own room in the house.
2. The only noises coming from the bedroom are the tip, tap, tap of the keyboard typing.
3. You rate you blind date on a rating scale based on the current book s/he is reading.
4. When people say that you’re looking earnest, you think Hemingway.
5. Idle chit chat always starts with, “In the book I am currently reading....” 
~ Monika Widmer 

-people tell you they might have read your articles before 
-you find refuge in your words 
-you are proud of what you write 
-your journal is upside down 
-people can relate their lives to your articles 
~ Linah Mpofu

1. You resent your best friend coming to visit as it interrupts your train of thought 
2. You use the early hours to reinvent your heroine 
3. You try and put your lovemaking into words in your head! 
4. You rearrange your favourite local authors’ books in the bookstore, so they are near the front 
5. You interrupt someone so you can quickly jot down a good phrase. 
~ Pixie Emslie

1. you tense-check your lover’s whispered declarations. 
2. newspaper headlines evolve into plots on the corner of Jan Smuts and Loch. 
3. you mind-edit your mother-in-law’s tale of woe at Sunday lunch 
4. you refuse to use text-speak on your Blackberry 
5. you weigh up the merits of each new acquaintance as a possible character 
~  Kim Mazabow

1. Everyone I meet is a character in a book which I write in my head all day about them. 
2. I draw cartoons of everyone in my mind, I imagine what they are thinking, I make up stories for them in my mind, I imagine what they do when they go home (and normally it is not the same as what they do). 
3. Most photographs are a story all on their own…… and I cant help myself from plotting stories around every photo I see. 
4. I have hundreds of one-liners in my head and on pieces of paper as beginnings of books 
5. I have anywhere between 5 and 10 writing books, notelets and journals on the go all the time. 
~ Beth McAlpine

1. You find yourself in writer's position during yoga class 
2. Harlequin gets more love notes than your partner does 
3. You mention your pseudonym more times a day, than you do your own name 
4. You plan short breaks to be able to write reviews on trip advisor.com 
5. Your blind date guesses you are a writer because you forgot to remove your pencil from behind your ear 
~ Ingrid Verhagen

1. you realize you’re addicted to the smell of stationery shops 
2. you analyze the character’s motivation - in the middle of a bust-up with your boyfriend 
3. you interrupt a heart to heart with a friend to jot down the very striking simile you used for her ex 
4. you cannot go on a two day break without your laptop, digital note pad , 2 A4 pads and 7 pens. 
5. you surreptitiously take pictures of strangers - ’... but they would make such striking characters, officer!’ 
~ Marita Botha

1) Writing interferes with your pub crawling 
2) Time with your wife interferes with your writing 
3) You watch the characters of your next novel with fascination, with a mysterious life of their own, and like cats, they wont stay put and do what you tell ’em to do 
4) Your have created a life whereby you have to work very little and can spend your time writing, reading, going for long walks etc. in a foreign country (I have) 
5) You cannot tell if your popular blogs interfere with your "real" writing or if your "real" writing interferes with your blogs 
Rod MacKenzie 

1. is a leopard who watches unseen 
2. creates, not devours, her prey 
3. blooms without being watered or picked 
4. shuts her book when caught writing and 
5. listens 
~ Silke Heiss 

1. You develop a glazed look in your eyes and switch off when conversations touch on subjects not included in your book. 
2. You avidly scour bookshelves at Exclusive Books and wonder how such drivel got onto the shelves while your masterpiece is gathering dust in your agent’s office. 
3. You develop a pathological hatred for a once-favourite author because she/he is famous and you aren’t ... yet! 
4. You have alienated your friends and family because you insist on whipping out wads of manuscript at every opportunity and read (yes, read) them updates. 
5. Washing your hair and actually getting out of your tracksuit is of minor importance when faced with the issues of character development and plots unravelling... 
~ Fiona Ingram 

1. You get your greatest inspiration at 4am 
2. Without exception, “the book” is always better than “the movie”. 
3. You are your own worst critic 
4. You love debating what the author was really thinking with a fellow writer 
5. You try to see the potential novel in every major event in your life 
~ Andrea Badenhorst 

1. You think of life events in terms of how they’ll fit into your first novel. 
2. You re-read your emails to check for grammatical errors before you send them.
3. Every time you finish reading a book you think, “I could’ve written that.” 
4. You pay attention to the screenwriters’ names when you watch the movie credits roll. 
5. Writing a 250 word article is a chance to display your verbal prowess. 
~ Gillian Bloch 

1. Tidying cupboards is preferable to sitting down at one’s desk and working; 
2. You’ve flipped through every page of the Writers and Artists Yearbook before you’ve written your own first word; 
3. You hate reading about those published authors who held down six jobs and still got up at 3am every day to write; 
4. Every email just has to be answered NOW; 
5. You wonder if that new laptop just out would make all the difference to your work ..... 
~ Jane Strachan

1 Your Facebook status updates are impeccably captivating. 
2 The blinking cursor on Word docs and your calendar both succumb to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity… The closer you are to deadline, the more it refuses to budge. 
3 You can create the starting point for a major story from the shake of a magic eight ball. 
4 You get hives when you can’t update your personal blog daily. 
5 You can’t believe people actually pay you for writing… it’s so easy… but you love it and will take their money! 
~ Amanda Killick

1. You know what the word ’somnambulist’ means. 
2. You’ve just been burgled and while at the police station, all you can think of when you look at the man ahead of you in the queue is ’How would I describe the caked blood on his foot?’ 
3. Shower? Dress? These social norms are relative. 
4. While waiting in a queue, you find as many synonyms as possible for the word ’walk’ to pass the time. 
5. You have moments when wish you could crumple up your laptop like it was a sheet of paper plucked from a typewriter, and throw it in the bin. 
~ Donna Radley

1. You Can’t spell 
2. Have a need and desire for fine red wine 
3. Always Have a bit on the side 
4. Write what other people feel 
5. YOU GET PUBLISHED... 
~ Ryan James 
 
1. You have a journal in every room in the house and in the car for just in case 
2. You have the large thesaurus to look up what the dictionary does not tell you and you have the large size dictionary to look up what the Thesaursus does not tell you. 
3. You write your new big idea on the last tissue in your bag, while your dripping nose runs onto your knee 
4. You ten minutes of meditation reveal the plot of your next novel. 
5. You write potential book titles with alphabet soup. 
~ Iza Goldwasser 

1. You see every event as a possible story to be told 
2. you spend most of your quality time alone reading 
3. despite phones and laptops, you still write "important stuff" and "ideas" with a pen in your journal regularly 
4. you don’t have a "favourite" book as the dictionary holds that position 
5. you feel guilty and sad when you don’t write as often as you wish to. 
~ Refilwe Thobega 

1. You don’t want to be referred to as a poet/novelist, just a writer 
2. Your have irregular sleeping patterns 
3. You enjoy a glass of wine when you read, even if it’s magazines 
4. You fear one day you won’t have anything to write 
5. You experience loneliness every now and then 
~ Uhuru Mahlodi

1. You read the backs of shampoo bottles when sitting on the toilet seat. 
2. You know that the guards destroyed 9 copies of Gregory Robert’s SHANTARAM before it was published 
3. Your break out into a dance of joy in the office in full view of your colleagues when you receive a response from Khaled Hosseini, author of THE KITE RUNNER 
4. You read your novel while caught in a traffic jam 
5. You get told by the office hunk that you resemble a librarian with your ironed hair and spectacles 
~ Zaibun Chaudhry

1. Fyodor Dostoevsky is your fantasy dinner party guest;
2. You can clearly articulate the difference between free will, nihilism, existentialism and determinism;
3. You collect the Times 100 and Booker Prize winners dating back to the first prize;
4. You constantly debate the best book ever, that you will hand over to your offspring;
5. Your idea of perfect retirement is a house by the sea, filled with good books and a large wine cellar. 
~ Saku Veersamy
 
1. It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and you’re still in your PJ’s at the computer. 
2. Chocolates & coffee sound good for your family’s dinner tonight. 
3. You take photos of strange men as they could be inspiration for your next romance hero. 
4. You plan family getaways to places you need to research for your next romance novel (even though you know they’ll hate it). 
5. You’re always making notes in your little black book (and its not hot guys’ phone numbers) 
~ Karen Wilding 

1. you can’t wait to get home to pick up your ‘pen’ 
2. when he says and she says just the right things 
3. when rejection is a mix between roundabouts and swings 
4. when you live language, love life, learn Latin and lore 
5. and when characters, plot, publishers and readers mean more … writing! 
~ Celeste Mulholland

1. You sit at a restaurant table more interested in how people at other tables are being with each other than in what your friend is saying. And you actually don’t care. 
2. You have an idea and curse because you forgot to bring your notebook and you know, given a serious condition of MML (menopausal memory loss), you’ll forget it by the time you get home. 
3. People you meet, take on the face of someone you have created in your mind’s eye and they haven’t got into your book yet (since it’s not yet done). 
4. The tree you have looked upon from your window suddenly becomes the key to a new story of loss and betrayal. 
5. You enter competitions not because you want to win but because you need to write something, because you don’t yet have the courage for something bigger. 
~ Liz Host

1. You pick up your pen to start writing on a monday ... & when you set it down, its friday! 
2. You need an industrial warranty on your laptop 
3. You loudly admit to having 6 ex husbands ... Just like Danielle Steel does 
4. You edit in your sleep 
5. You watch Grey’s for the dialogue & not Mc Dreamy 
~ Naseema

1. You find it second nature to combine your reality with fiction, and not the other way around. 
2. Your friends know you to blurt out the strangest comments and insights at the most inopportune times. 
3. You are constantly scribbling fascinating observations in your handbag diary. 
4. Receipts make for the ideal note-medium when your handbag isn’t with you. 
5. You do crazy things to experience new emotions just so that you can write them down and experiment different ways of communicating them. (Like skydiving, or deep sea diving) 
~ Cindy Rossouw 

1. you use books stores as navigation pointers for directions 
2. the movie never does it for you till you read the book 
3. even when the book is completed, it is not completed until you end it 
4. you have the beginning, middle and end of a book in your head and are satisfied that when you write it, it will be exactly as you remember it. 
5. you can give three or more synonyms for three words in a sentence of ten. 
~ Rachel Cummings 

1. You wake up in the morning and you have written an entire novel in your dreams. 
2. You keep meet your characters in the supermarket, at the gym, in the traffic, at the office. 
3. You can let your imagination run away and save you from the dull mundane humdrum of a traffic jam. 
4. You have a note book, pencil and sharpener in your handbag. 
5. You enjoy reading the dictionary & thesaurus. 
~ Joanne Dexter

1. Your fingers are permanently ink stained 
2. You have an eternally distracted look 
3. You have a love/hate relationship with incoming mail (is it an offer for a manuscript..or ANOTHER rejection slip?) 
4. You spend a lot of time on twitter 
5. You attend so many book events they know you you prefer red to white wine 
~ Dot Brookes

1. You sharpen pencils while waiting for inspiration (even though you haven’t used a pencil in 20 years!) 
2. You keep a pad and pen next to your bed to write down your inspirational 2am dreams and masterpieces (normally gobbledygook in the morning!) 
3. You rely on Leopard’s Leap to inspire you 
4. You start worrying about whether the ideas in your ideas bank are really yours, or those gleaned from reading too much 
5. You’ve got time to enter email competitions! 
~ Barry Meehan

1. You can’t help replying to even the most banal emails 
2. You can casually slip words like ’banal’ into a sentence 
3. When your laptop dies you hold funerary rights 
4 You can slip words like ’funerary’ into a sentence 
5. You looked across to your passenger seat this morning and saw a white rose (for the beloved of the hour) and a copy of ’Dune’ 
~ Frances Ringwood 

1. You criticise the word selection, and grammar faux pas, of marketing slogans (especially those on trucks that pass you in traffic) 
2. You appreciate an extended description of what each meal entails on a menu 
3. You wrinkle your nose at rap music. Not because it’s rude, but because it literally incorrect and it makes your face itch 
4. You replied to this mail FIRST, despite a burgeoning inbox with red exclamation marks scattered about 
5. You see puns and word play in everything. Even in this mail. 
6. You find it hard to limit yourself to five points. It just isn’t enough. 
~ Kate Rau 

1. Shorthand is your Best-Friend 
2. You are an avid collector of various pens and paper pads 
3. Book club is the highlight of your week 
4. You are a listed subsriber on all writer’s blogs – just because . . . 
5. You are an expert critic when it comes to analysing movie scripts based on the novels which you have, by the way, already read 
~ Candice Wade

1) Your emails to friends are in short-story format, featuring you as the main character
2) When your idea of the perfect first date is a poetry reading, followed by a game of scrabble, and ending with reading shakepeare to each other, and then re-writing the scenes yourselves
3) Your dog is named Edgar, your cat Allen, and your parakeet Poe
4) You respond to every argument between you and your husband with, as Winston Churchill said, “A man is about as big as the things that make him angry”
5) When your Mont Blanc ‘writing instrument’ cost almost as much as your college education 
~ Chelsea Perino 

1. You know your writing style rocks.. even if you are not published yet! You looove, and enjoy it! 
2. You get offered world class coaching, by an international coach, especially after reading 2 pages of your writing. 
3. You catch yourself speaking and behaving like your lead character at work, because you’re so excited, and so into your book! 
4. You don’t care that your husband is lukewarm about your book… he will finally get it at the launch! 
5. You get phenomenal response from everyone you ‘grant the privilege’ to read 2 pages from yr book, including folks from the publishing community. 
~ Thuli Tshabalala

1. You are not and you respond to a competition like this. 
2. You have the need to express in writing every really good and really bad thing that happens to you. 
3. You have a collection of note books half full, half empty and brand new. 
4. You buy books because you love them and may read them or maybe you just love to look at them. 
5. Your handbag contents always include a notebook, a pen and a book to read (evening bags can be a challenge). 
~ Janine Allem

1. You get so excited about a new writing idea, a new poem or story, or just a new line, such that you can’t wait to show (not tell) the nearest person (familiar or stranger). And when they say "How did you think of that?" you’re filled with disappointment (even though praise was what you wanted), because you wish they could tell you what’s wrong with it (as you know no matter how good it is, it can’t be 
perfect.) or what’s so right about it. In essence, when you hate the thought that people might not understand your work the way you had intended. 
2. You want to enter into every writing contest and read every book but don’t have the time. You start writing for a random competition or reading some random book, but never finishing because it does not inspire you to write on or read on. When you get to the one that is just what you were looking for (unknowingly) you wonder if you’ll be able to write 5000 words or read 500 pages, but then you do it, breaking your own previous records, and feel satisfied. 3. Choose a job based on whether it will allow you time to write, your colleagues and the environment make such interesting subjects. And when you’ve taken the job you keep two windows open (one with Rational Application Developer and the other downloading ebooks from Project  Gutenberg) and minimizing when the boss walks by. 
4. You have difficulty discerning between fact and fiction. You look at your life as a movie, laden with what-ifs, and don’t really mind if you break something because you wanted to see if a story/poem could come out of it, or lose something (or someone?) but having written a great deal about it. You’d stay in a bad relationship just because they inspire you to write. 
5. You want everybody you know to be either a writer or a reader. ’Cause to you, life offers only two options: right and wrong, or read and write, only in this case, two rights. Any other option cannot be entertained. 
~ Musa Baloyi

1. Your life sounds like one of your stories. 
2. You guess an ending to a movie or situation and its true. 
3. Wherever you are you must have a book close by. 
4. You laugh at a joke while you are writing it and cringe when somebody relates it in reality. 
5. You cant stop thinking of things to write. 
~ Melsunny

1. Your eye spots an interesting object and you begin toying with a new idea. 
2. Your pets start speaking to you. 
3. You have a wonderful idea, but where to begin. 
4. Grandpa and Granny are more exciting than going to a party with friends. 
5. Anything is possible. 
~ Sandra Petrinovic 

1. Have the experience to write about things that matter 
2. Write about things no one talk about but wants to know 
3. Be the one people talk about 
4. Have the guts to take that chance 
5. Money isnt the reason for doing it 
~ Ilse Malan

1. Finding yourself at a friend’s party somewhere quiet, busy writing while the rest is having drinking and cackling away. 
2. Having a handbag full of scraps of paper with ideas that makes no sense on their own 
3. When you start giving more and more attention to detail, for instance was she wearing a yellow or a green dress? 
4. If you don’t count you’re rejection slips but put you’re acceptance slips on pinup board 
5. You seek the right word until you find it. 
~ Hester Botha

1. You give people directions describing the scenery they’re likely to see on the way. 
2. You continue your gossip story by saying: "the next chapter to this saga ....". 
3. You feel compelled to try your editing skills on marketing junk mail. 
4. You memorise foreign phrases in the hope of being able to use them one day. 
5. Your keyboard delete button is smooth, shiny and no longer has the word Delete on it. 
~ Adele Modari

1. You work through the night and overload on coffee 
2. You havent washed in days because you are too busy in front of your pc 
3. Your best friend is a dictionary 
4. You’re eyes are so red and tired from lack of sleep but you keep going 
5. You realise the next morning that your screen is still blank as you havent managed to write anything suitable.
~ Nicole Carstens 

"When a letter from a publisher it ISN’T a rejection slip" 
"When you get your first royalty cheque" 
"When you don’t feel the need to tell everyone you’re a writer" 
"When you forget to eat because the words are coming" 
"When you stop carrying a note book and write things on napkins and the back of cigarette packs..." 
~ Michael Sullivan

1 - there is an art-line fine tip pen (your favourite to write with) stashed in your hand-bag and a notebook as big as the bag protruding out the seams. They have made a permanent home for themselves, day and night. 
2 - your first thought when becoming possessed by an emotion is: ’’ i need to get this down on paper’’ 
3 - you are an observer at heart but a chatterbox when the mood takes you.. 
4 - you have become obsessed with words and synonyms 
5 - people have said they can hear your voice when they read your work.....this is only because you always write from the heart. 
~ Kella Kills

1. you realise nobody you know, has more dictionaries than you (fourteen). 
2. you happen to look in the mirror at midday and realise you haven’t yet combed your hair. 
3. you dig out your pen in the middle of a shopping expedition and starts scribbling like mad on a notepad. 
4. you actually look forward to winter, so that you can snuggle up in front of the computer. 
5. you’d rather read poetry than meet the new James Bond. 
~ Marie Cloete

You open up your 1000th rejection slip! 
You read books for enjoyment, but also can’t help trying to "figure them out." 
You’ve ever scanned the cable networks for "BookTV" and said "Let’s watch that!"
You go to the video store to find obscure ten-to-twenty-year-old videos of interviews with famous poets. (True - and see: Scarecrow Video in Seattle for these actual tapes!) 
When you’re considering relocating, you make sure to scope out the coffee shops and independent bookstores - before schools and real-estate prices. 
~ Jeannine Hall Gailey 
  
1. You’ve never experienced writer’s block. 
2. Your blog receives an average of 1,500 hits on a weekly basis. 
3. You have so many things to write in so little time. 
4. Your short stories "The Elimination" shocked the readers. "Manhattan burning" made them think, "It will happen this Christmas" made them cry. 
5. "Erpetors" has been rejected by dozens of literary agents and publishers. Little do these people know they have missed out on the opportunity to participate in one of the greatest series of fictional stories. 
~ Kon Mosh

1. Someone asks your name and you answer: "On a cold winter’s day, Vivienne was born, crying, into the world." 
2. You stand in a queue and check for spelling and grammar mistakes on the wall posters
3. You talk about your characters as if they were real people in ordinary conversations
4. You associate things happening in real life with things you’ve read in books 
5. You scribble down ideas when you’re travelling in an elevator 
And last but not least: 
You know you’re a real writer when your friends look at you strangely and call you wierd. 
~ Cathy Dannhauser

Source: Writers Write Archives

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Kipling’s Seven Rules for Life in London

On June 9th of 1908, as his youngest daughter, 12-year-old Elsie, prepared for a trip to London, author Rudyard Kipling wrote her a letter in which the following list of “rules for Life in London” was included.

Dear Bird,

I send you a few simple rules for Life in London.
  1. Wash early and often with soap and hot water.
  2. Do not roll on the grass of the parks. It will come off black on your dress.
  3. Never eat penny buns, oysters, periwinkles or peppermints on the top of a bus. It annoys the passengers.
  4. Be kind to policemen. You never know when you may be taken up.
  5. Never stop a motor bus with your foot. It is not a croquet ball.
  6. Do not attempt to take pictures off the wall of the National Gallery or to remove cases of butterflies from the National History Museum. You will be noticed if you do.
  7. Avoid late hours, pickled salmon, public meetings, crowded crossings, gutters, water-carts and over-eating.
Ever your
Daddo

(Source: O Beloved Kids: Rudyard Kipling’s Letters to His Children; Image: Rudyard Kipling, via Wikimedia.)

Learn more about the Rudyard Kipling here

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate