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.

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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?

Only Dialogue Allowed!

image from pixshark.com

image from pixshark.com

This one was hard! Yep, hard.

I continue to stick with my writing challenge – an attempt to complete the weekly writing lessons offered by Hubert O’Hearn’s Writer’s Pro Shop. This one is on writing dialog and here’s the link for more detail on the exercise: Writer’s Pro Shop, Exercise Three.

The gist of Lesson 3:

Write a 4-character scene using only dialogue. You may not identify the characters. Only the actual conversation can be written down. Each of your four characters must speak 4 to 6 lines or sides of dialogue. Your goal is that a reader knowing nothing of the scene should be able to determine what is happening as well as identify the individual speakers.

Here goes:

image from sojo.net

image from sojo.net

“Does my lipstick look okay? I’m running late. Oh, honey, I have a meeting after work, so you’ll have to handle soccer pick-up.”

“I made you breakfast. You said you wanted breakfast.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry. No time. I gotta go.”

“Who’s gonna pick me up at soccer?”

“I can’t. Really, buddie. I’ve got a crazy schedule today. Someone else will have to chauffeur today. Oh, and I need my dry-cleaning dropped off. Can you coordinate the cleaners with picking him up?”

“I’ll have to check my busy laundry and vacuuming schedule.”

“Don’t get testy with me. It isn’t my fault you were laid off. And this role-reversal thing was your idea.”

“Can you two argue about the dork’s soccer ride somewhere else? I’m on the phone.”

“Don’t call people dorks. And we’re not arguing, just discussing the fact that someone doesn’t care that I’m busting my butt at the office all day.”

“And someone else doesn’t seem to have time for her family anymore.”

“So who’s picking me up? The coach gets mad when he has to drive me.”

“Hello, everyone. I’m still on the phone.”

“Go talk somewhere else, princess dork. You’re not the boss of everyone.”

“I can’t, Your Dorkness. I’m watching T.V. while I talk.”

“Alright, I’m leaving. I’m late and I’m done with this conversation. We’ll talk tonight.”

“Fine. Go to your meeting. And you, I’ll pick you up at five on the dot since I’m doing everything else around here.”

“Never mind. I’ll just ask the coach, and he’ll just yell at me.”

“O. M. G. I’ll call you later. I’ll pick him up, okay. I can’t wait ’til the summer’s over.”