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?

289 thoughts on “20 Symptoms of Writeritis

  1. Norah says:

    I can definitely identify with many of these – particularly the ones to do with housework. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jjspina says:

    Oh no, I think I have all of them! Yikes! I am really, really sick! Ha! Great post that made me think hard and serious about making dinner one night instead of typing away as my husband slaves in the kitchen! LOL! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve come down with this terrible affliction, Janice. Sadly, it’s incurable, but many of us do go on to live productive lives. It is hard on families, so an occasional abstention is recommended. Glad you got a laugh. Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • jjspina says:

        I feel a need to write some more! Just talking about it makes me long for it. HA! My life has been so hectic lately that I haven’t had much time to work on my latest novel. It haunts me in my sleep and is calling out to me – Finish me please! LOL! I hope to get back to it and work more productively until it is complete. My plans were to finish before the end of this year along with a children’s book which my husband hasn’t had much time to work on either. Sigh! Blessings & hugs xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Are you going to do NaNo? I’m not doing it “officially” but I’m pretending too. For some reason, I’m good at tricking myself. 🙂 If your book is haunting you and pleading, it might be, um, time to write. Ha ha. Great luck to you! And Happy Writing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • jjspina says:

            No I’m not. I worked on it last night and a little today. Going on a 3-wk vacation soon and will put in some time on it then. I hope! Good luck with your writing too. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  3. John Maberry says:

    The truth can be funnier than fiction!

    Liked by 1 person

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