Monday, September 9, 2013

Five Diseases All Writers Should Be Aware Of

Writing is generally considered a low risk profession. But there are several serious--and even terminal--diseases to be on the lookout for. Here are a few that affect me.

1. Obsessive Compulsive Editing Disorder (OCED). I edit everything from the back of cereal boxes to notes from my kids to whatever novel I'm reading. I wish I could turn it off, but there doesn't seem to be a switch. It's almost impossible for me to read a book without a pencil in hand to add a comma here or delete a word there. I hate it. I just want to enjoy the story.

2. Unintentional Analytical Plot Predicting Syndrome. (Also known as Beat Beating.)  I can't watch a movie or TV show without analyzing the plot and trying to predict the ending. My husband asks me why I even bother watching any more because I always know what's going to happen.

3. Author Attention Distraction Disorder (AADD, also frequently referred to as "crazy"). I'm constantly distracted. Not by shiny toys and squirrels, but by everything inside my head. "Mom, this is really important. I have to have one hundred..." One hundred. Yes! That's it! What if my main character lives a hundred miles away? That would put enough strain on the relationship to make the scene work better and lead right into the climax. But then the villain... "Mom? Did you hear me?" "What? Is someone talking to me?"

4. Blood Shot Twitchy Eye Syndrome. Some call it insomnia, when you wake up in the middle of the night because you just had this great idea and you can't go back to sleep because scenes and dialogue keep playing out over and over in your mind. Please just make it stop!

5. Acute Hyper-Friendlessness Complex (AKA: Loner's Disease). I've always been an introvert, but since I started writing, it's blossomed into an epidemic. A single person epidemic. How can I have time for friends when I have scenes to write, edits to make, and research to do. I've already got hoards of voices in my mind, why do I need more? Come on people! What's more important here? Real life or the fictional world I've created in my head?

What diseases do you suffer for the sake of your art?

11 comments:

  1. LOL. I think I may suffer from all of these depending on what stage of my writing I'm working on.

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    1. Writing is tough life. And insurance just doesn't cover these problems.

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  2. Oh, my heck. Except for the last one, you've hit the nail on the head--and only missed by a little on that one. Sharing!

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  3. I fit every one of those except the first one. You may have noticed from my blog that the stories are there but, the proper grammar is lacking! It is something I am working on though. A disease that I suffer from is Constant Changing Plot Disorder or CCPD. Whenever I am writing a short story it starts out in one direction and before I know it, the voices in my head have come up with a new, more exciting plot twist. By the time I am done it is like I have mashed two stories together and I have to spend more time untwisting the knots! By the way, I ordered A Blind Eye but my wife has stolen it and insists that she reads it first since she touched the book first. Childish but an affective argument.

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    1. Lol T.J. Plots can be slippery things. Thanks for buying my book. And you wife sounds totally awesome!

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  4. Love it! OCED sounds really rough :)

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  5. This post is awesome! I love the names for your diseases :)

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  6. Fantastic post! My own downfall is insomnia - not all the time, just when crunch time is near and adrenaline is flowing.

    Julie, I hope you might consider joining my bloggers' book club. Details are here: http://armchairsquid.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-cephalopod-coffeehouse-september.html

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