Emoji You Should Be Prepared to (Over)Use When You Become a Writer

Because Sometimes Words Are Hard

Emoji You Should Be Prepared to (Over)Use When You Become a Writer
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Sometimes, when you use words all day, carefully crafting them into art, there’s nothing left to express your feelings in text. Sometimes, you just need emoji. And luckily, there are quite a few that are pertinent to the writer’s life.

I wrote this list in 2016, and there have been a lot of new emoji created since then, but I think this list stands -- the classics are some of the most valuable and relevant to the writer's life. Which would you add to this list?


There’s nothing like the elation of having written, especially when you read back over it and it’s half-way decent. My friends tell me they feel this kind of high after running, but I think I’ll keep the one that involves sitting down with coffee. Speaking of which…


I have a t-shirt that gives the definition of a writer as a mysterious organism that is able to turn caffeine into books.


But in order for the ☕️➡️📚 process to occur, you probably need to turn your phone off or at least put it far away from you. I know, I know. 😲

What are you doing tonight, your friends will ask, hopeful that you might be dragged out to actually be sociable. But alas. If you want to get this thing done, you have to do it.


Since you won’t be going out much during certain stages of the book. you might need to add this emoji to your calendar to remind yourself to shower and get dressed.


Remember to back up your work or there will be 😭.


Why does no-one want to publish my book? What should happen next? How am I going to get my characters out of this predicament? There’s a lot to think hard and wonder about when you’re a writer. A lot of confusion and bewilderment.


The eye roll or the 👀, for that pretentious guy in your writing workshop or the people who say things like “it’s so nice that you dabble in writing”.


AKA I wrote this! It’s mine! #HumbleBrag


It’s wonderful when people genuinely get and love your work and are proud of you for having written it.


You deserve to celebrate when you have finished your first draft, or your rewrite, or your round of agent submissions, or whatever.


And when you are on submission, you might find yourself praying a lot. And making everyone you know who prays pray too.


There’s a lot of waiting, though. Publishing is notoriously slow, even if everything is going smoothly.

You will have probably have spreadsheets of agents pitched and essays submitted. Use colour coding and keep it up to date for maximum efficiency. All those rejections start to blur together after a while.


Which, I’m not gonna lie, stinks. Rejection stinks even when you say “they passed on my work” rather than “they rejected me”. It stinks when you’re rejected with silence. And it stinks when you’re rejected with words. It stinks when you made it nowhere near publication, and it stinks when you only just missed it by a hair. BUT…

If you don’t give up, and if all sorts of other intangibles come together, one day you will get to use this emoji in your spreadsheet. (Though at that point you’ll be 🍸and not sitting in front of spreadsheets, hopefully.) Whether it’s the first agent requesting a full manuscript or the first lit mag accepting an essay, give yourself a huge 👏. You’ve earned it.


Celebrate every win. And do it in style. 🎈🎊🍷

Claire Amy Handscombe
Claire Amy Handscombe
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Claire Amy Handscombe

Host of the Brit Lit Podcast.


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