Health Warning

WRITER’S SYNDROME is a dangerous and addicting condition that, if unchecked, can take over your life. It has led many once-healthy people into a land of dreams, imaginary people, and very few real people. The symptoms include:

  • Vomiting – specifically, word vomiting; usually on paper or a computer screen; also occurs verbally whenever one is asked about their latest work-in-progress
  • Obsessing – an inability to think about anything other than the work-in-progress, scenes, characters, plot twists, etc.
  • Anti-Social Behavior – when given the choice between writing alone or interacting with other people, one consistently chooses the former; after time, one becomes more familiar and comfortable with their characters (also known as imaginary friends) then with actual friends, family, spouse, etc.
  • Insomnia – inability to sleep due to obsessive thoughts or act of writing (see also Caffeine Dependence)
  • Racing thoughts – a sudden barrage of thoughts; described by those afflicted as “inspiration”
  • Hypochondria – belief that one is suffering from an illness known as “Writer’s Block”
  • Emotional Instability – sudden mood swings; from highs (one receives positive feedback, has a “good day” of writing, etc.) to lows (one cannot find the “right words”, receives negative feedback, gives harsh criticism to themselves)
  • Weight Gain or Loss – varies from person to person; when absorbed in the action of writing, some patients neglect to eat any food at all; others munch without cessation
  • Caffeine Dependence – initially to combat an attack of insomnia the night before; after time, compounds so one cannot function without their cup of coffee, soda, or tea
  • Uncontrollable rage – typically triggered by a harsh critique
  • Irritability – manifested in sharp words, angry glares, and bared teeth; usually triggered when one’s writing is interrupted by an outside factor (see also Anti-Social Behavior)
If you believe you or someone you love suffers from this condition, please seek help immediately.

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I write speculative fiction inspired by mythos from around the world, complex family dynamics, and my own experiences living with mental illness. After earning my BA in Linguistics from Brigham Young University in 2008, I received my MFA in Creative Writing from Converse College in 2012. I live in Denver, where my husband and I spend countless hours chasing our three young sons (and sometimes catching them!). I collect tarot decks, dye my hair mermaid colors, and procrastinate by decorating my home. My debut novel, Feathers Sharp as Knives, releases on May 2, 2023.

6 thoughts on “Health Warning

  1. I get uncontrollably angry at night when, after my penultimate Diet Coke of the day, my thoughts race into the bathroom where I obsess about vomiting, alone. I’m fine with it, most of the time, but Socky and Choky get offended and leave. Do I qualify?

    1. I tried to think of what kind of help would cure this awful disease, but couldn’t come up with anything. It’s probably incurable.
      And thanks! It was fun to write. :)

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