Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Writing Ailments

Self Diagnosis

Is your writing under the weather these days? Has your get-up-and-go got up and went? Do you feel dizzy and weak each time you sit down in front of your computer? If so, you might be suffering from one or more common writing ailments. A little self diagnosis might just be the thing you need in order to remedy your situation.

This ailment is a inflammation that can cause your butt to not stay in your chair long enough to complete a piece of writing. Symptoms include stacks of unfinished manuscripts, blank electronic documents, scribbled lists of ideas, and stories that end with ADD MORE HERE.

This illness will drain the blood (and the life) right out of you and your writing. Overwork-it-emia is a frequent condition of perfectionists, pleasers, people who belong to multiple critique groups, and those who just won’t let it go. Symptoms include thirty or more drafts of a manuscript, more notes than actual word count, and multiple colors of revisions on a single document.

This condition involves trusting others more than yourself. What-do-you-think?-pathy is also a frequent condition of perfectionists, pleasers, and people who belong to multiple critique groups.

This painful condition results from a lack of ideas, or the perception of a lack of ideas. A good brainstorming session often can ease the pain.

This disease results from an overflow of blog post input. The illness is found in those who read multiple writing, editing, and agent-related blogs daily; blog about the blogs; email friends about blog posts they’ve read; and repost blog posts on social media sites. The overflow of input can cause a manic cycle that prevents the writer from actually writing.

This hardening of the writing life can result from a single bad critique, lack of self-confidence, the interference of other life priorities, etc.

These opposite sides of the same coin can cause writer paralysis. Some patients are so afraid they might fail that they simply don’t try. Others, fearing that they might actually succeed, also succumb to the paralysis.

Most common writing conditions can be treated with one or more of the following remedies.

Identify the one reason, cause, or excuse that is the root cause of your affliction. Then cut that thing out of your writing life.

This non-surgical approach requires the repeated placement of a butt in a chair and the application of fingers to a keyboard.

Critique-group Therapy
While many writers take a regular dose of Critique Group, the actual practice of discussion, revision, and editing of writing following the recommended dose is required for the therapy to have its full effect

If you can diagnosis the ailment that is chronically keeping you from realizing your writing dreams, then you can begin to take steps to cure your affliction. An accurate diagnosis can lead to positive results. All writing ailments are treatable and a patient who continually treats a recurring ailment can expect a full recovery.


Julie Falatko said...

This totally cracked me up.

Unknown said...

Love this! Will be sharing.

Darshana said...

This is hilarious! Thank you.
Let's see I am pretty sure I suffer from the following: Overwork-it-emia, What-do-you-think?-pathy, and Blog-rrhea.

Joanna said...


Lauri Meyers said...

I have overworkitemia. I once edited a story so much it was down to 6 words: "Suddenly, it happened. Then it stopped."
Great post!

Anonymous said...

Just what the doctor ordered for me today! Thanks!