We all love points. We collect them from credit cards, grocery stores, airlines, and other unlikely places. And as a career author, you too should be awarded points that acknowledge and celebrate yourself, your hard work, and your devotion to the craft of writing.

Take a break with this self-test, adding up points to determine your writing-habit score.


  • You deleted 12 adverbs: Add 8 points
  • You broke the news to your family that you are writing a “painfully frank” memoir about your childhood: Add 10 points
  • You removed “gloaming,” “festooned,” “chortle,” and “rollicking” from your manuscript: 2 points for each one
  • You finally rid yourself of the habit of overusing italics: Add 10 points
  • You turned off your phone: Add 5 points
  • You perfected your book’s elevator pitch and slipped it into party chatter, with an 80% positive reception: Add 10 points
  • You replaced telling with showing in three places: Add 5 points
  • Inspired by your own relationship, you added lots of conflict: Add 10 points
  • Your agent doesn’t think you are a pain in the ass: Add 5 points
  • You resist semicolons: Add 10 points
  • You took your darlings off life support: Add 10 points
  • You got stuck, blocked, confused by your own plot, so you took a sensible break and cleaned the bathroom, during which you unclogged the solution to your plot problem. It was there all along: Add 10 points
  • You took time to clean the grout: Subtract 6 points.
  • You finally figured out the Close Third Point of View: Add 10 points
  • You removed a few paragraphs that were overly inspired by Sally Rooney: Add 10 points
  • You overcame self-loathing and the hatred of others, putting on a convincing show of support for your newly successful writer friend: Add 10 points
  • You are genuinely happy for your fellow writer’s success: Add 15 points
    (added points for karma)
  • You wrote a dream sequence just so you could remove it: Add 10 points
  • With one last look through your manuscript, the participles no longer dangled: Add 5 points
  • One character winks once in your novel: Add 2 points
    (Any more than that, subtract 2 points per wink.)
  • You are in love with your fictional character: Add 10 points.
  • You kept right on going after silencing your inner critic: Add 1,000 points

1,044 to 1,045: You’re suspiciously perfect, almost certainly a liar.
1 to 1,043: You’re like the rest of us.


Let us know how you did on Facebook!