20 Symptoms of Writeritis

image from pinterest.com

image from pinterest

This 2-yr-old post was one of my most popular, and for those who missed it, I once again share the symptoms of this incurable condition.


As some of you know, a pervasive syndrome has troubled a segment of society for centuries. After years of research, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders finally classified these symptoms under the diagnosis: Writeritis. 

Writeritis is defined as a persistent, maladaptive pattern of writing that leads to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by six (or more) of the following within a single month:

  1. A marked craving for increased amounts of writing, and longer periods of time to write.

  2. An unquenchable thirst for coffee.

  3. Repeated efforts to cut down or control word count are unsuccessful.

  4. Withdrawal occurs when writing is discontinued or suddenly reduced. Symptoms include shakiness, moodiness, and/or irritability.

  5. A tendency to rapidly relapse into extreme patterns of excessive rewriting – even after periods of abstinence or control.

  6. After writing, a compulsive urge to return and edit.

  7. An inability to initiate household chores until a plot hole is resolved.

  8. A clinically significant preoccupation with the motivations of imaginary people.

  9. Obsessive attempts to manipulate and control the lives of main characters.

  10. A tendency to forget the time, fail to make dinner, and/or eat in general.

  11. Overt rumination about murder, fear, revenge, evil, and/or world-conquest leading to extensive research and placement on the TSA watch list.

  12. Unusual or intense need for colorful verbs accompanied by an aversion to the word “was.”

  13. Periods of anxiety regarding commas.

  14. Unrepentant willingness to jeopardize a significant relationship, job, or educational/career opportunity due to a need to finish a chapter.

  15. Thrives on creating conflict and will often escalate disputes to the point of violence.

  16. Uses fictional fantasy words in Scrabble and argues that they should count as real words.

  17. Writing is continued despite a persistent physical or psychological problem that is exacerbated by staring at a laptop.

  18. Frequent disruptions during sleep to jot down a section of dialog.

  19. Tends toward exhibitionism and “showing” it all.

  20. A compulsive need to write about something, including not being able to write.

Do you have Writeritis?

272 thoughts on “20 Symptoms of Writeritis

  1. This is brilliant, Diana. I think I may have all these symptoms. Horror!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aha! I knew it! Another of the afflicted fesses up. Yes, Robbie, we all have this incurable condition and there’s little hope for us except to give in and ride it out. I’ve heard you passed it on to one of your kids! 😀 Thanks for the visit and keep feeding the addiction.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hopped over from Debby’s blog to read this and I feel so much better now. I thought I was alone and now that you’ve outlined all these symptoms so well, I realize I have a bonafide diagnosis. Thank you so much, Diana, for sharing. I know it’s not curable but at least there is a support group for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] via 20 Symptoms of Writeritis — Myths of the Mirror […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. reocochran says:

    I have some of these symptoms but it may be lack of sleep, lack of fun or needing a boyfriend. . . #8 is my make-believe guy. #2 is where I hang out, deciding coffee addicts are better than ones who drink too much. #19 is my way of attracting men. . . hahaha 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Helen Jones says:

    Well, I’m definitely a sufferer, according to this list! 😀 I can see why this post was so popular. Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s an urgent plot point I need to sort out…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha, ha. I can see why this was a favorite post, Diana. 😀 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cloud Walker says:

    Your sense of humor must have it too!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. bpsenapati says:

    Great post! Writeritis! Sound funny but it’s truth. Everyone who is an author suffering by this! Love it Diana!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I so enjoyed this post and your latest one, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. michnavs says:

    You made me smile reading this…☺

    Liked by 2 people

  11. olganm says:

    I am afraid so. And teaching English Composition has not helped my anxiety about comas…

    Liked by 2 people

    • This syndrome appears all over the world, Olga, and in every language. Yes, those commas are so tricky – so many rules and then exceptions on top of them!! Thanks for the visit and Happy Writing 😀


  12. I`m glad I stopped by to have a read, you`ve left this writer smiling!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Here’s an amusing, but disturbingly accurate post on the subject of ‘writeritis’ from the Myths of the Mirror blog that I just began following.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Oh no, Diana. Now I find I have an additional condition to add to my existing ones [wink]. Such a humorous post – I have been know to blog while brushing my teeth and removing make-up.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. paulandruss says:

    Delightful post Diana.. wise and wickedly humourous… or should that be humourous and wickedly wise. I think either would do!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Tina Frisco says:

    Wow, did I need this after a month of editing and formatting! #s 8. & 12. haunt me the most ~ esp. #12. But sometimes there’s just no replacement for ‘was’ ~ unless you’re willing to make a sentence 3x longer than it needs to be. Having just exited this house of horrors, I could go on about each one of these. I’d best stop here, though, before I write a novel in your comments, Diana 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I love this funny list, Diana! I can’t be bothered with punctuation, who needs commas, ha ha. I had an English Professor once who told me I just needed to move to England (because of my constant comma violations). Funny thing, now I WANT to move to England, maybe I could get health insurance, lol. You know, it is weird, but I have to tell you, I have to make myself write. Given a chance, I would much rather pick up a book and read. I was going to make myself write this summer, but the only new thing I wrote was the Vampire snippet, everything else I pulled from my notebook of things written long ago. I can’t believe the summer is waning, if I don’t get busy soon, I’ll have nothing to show for it! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  18. 13 jumped out at me because I Wonder ALL THE TIME if I have out the comma in the correct place. Hahaha. This is so funny because it is all true. Writers are a special breed and though I drive myself bananas, I wouldn’t want to be anything other than a writer. And when I saw this quote several months back, I understood myself in a way I hadn’t before. Writing keeps me sane – and whole. Love this!! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  19. J.D. Riso says:

    Hahaha. Yep. I’ve got it bad.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I think it is catching Diana. I fear the blogging community has it bad… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Glad to see this! I, too, suffer from many of these symptoms, although some in reverse…as I slurp my cooling coffee, while commenting on blog posts instead of writing my book!! The dogs need a walk before it gets too hot. Egads!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Great post Diana! We painters have a similar condition 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Well… it feels better to have a name for it I guess. But the dishes are still dirty and the blank screen still taunts me.

    I hear Jack ‘n Coke is the recommended first-line therapy. Please tell me I’m right 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  24. jenanita01 says:

    Not sure I like the term ‘writeritis’ as it sounds like an illness! Not that I mind being afflicted…

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    My last reblog this morning before I head off is from Diana Peach on the subject of Writeritis.. After this last week I am definitely showing symptoms.. time for a couple of days off.. if you suffer these symptoms for longer than 48 hours please consult a qualified practitioner behind a bar.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Jennie says:

    Nods, big smiles, and lots of chuckles. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. cagedunn says:

    It’s like falling in love, the whisper, the allure, the craving … and every new story is a new affair! I can’t give it up, only share it!

    Liked by 3 people

  28. jpennerzook says:

    I love this, Diana! So entertaining while absolutely TRUE!! Also the Kafka quote: priceless! Thanks for re-sharing! I’d missed it on round #1. – Julia ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  29. This is great! I was surprised and maybe a little disappointed to only have a few of the symptoms ( 10, 12, 17, …) which I guess means I’m not writing nearly as much as I should be. Although each time I read the list, I add a few more on (7, 9,…) and laugh more, so that’s a good thing. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  30. This is group support therapy right, Diana? 😉 Lovely read and thanks for sharing again. Have a great weekend! 🌹 😃

    Liked by 3 people

  31. clintnixwood says:

    This was fun, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I’m definitely in this club! Lol. Xx

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Ha! Fabulous post for a Friday (or any day) Diana. Thanks for re-sharing it. I love the quote! 😀 ❤ Huge hugs.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. dgkaye says:

    OMG I loved this! Particularly #10 #18 and #20 LOLLLLLLLLL 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Christy B says:

    Brilliant! Of course I relate to many of these. I’ll also add “the ability to find comfort in watching brainless TV or ice cream” 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  36. […] *Note: When I reblogged Diana’s post, my blog automatically changed the font to my settings (and I can’t revert it). If you’re having trouble reading, please click the link below to read the original post on her blog, or click here.  […]

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Jade M. Wong says:

    Reblogged this on Jade M.Wong and commented:
    Sharing to spread awareness of Writeritis.

    I knew I wasn’t the only one who gets anxious over commas!

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Jade M. Wong says:


    This absolutely cracked me up and I’m glad you decided to share it because I definitely missed this 2 years ago! Also, I think we need to start organizing a support group for all those diagnosed with Writeritis haha.

    Liked by 4 people

  39. Funny how none of those symptoms change even though you wrote this two years ago!

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Almost Iowa says:

    21. It takes you away from Law & Order reruns.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. calmkate says:

    lol love it, well done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  42. lucciagray says:

    Oh dear, I’ve definitely got writeritis 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  43. D. Parker says:

    Yes, and I’ve got it bad, except the coffee part, never learned to like it. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  44. I am fixated on two things, dogs and writing and neither pay well… so that fixes the eating problem. My question is does anyone have the cure?

    Liked by 2 people

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