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Writer’s Disease

Writers. Here we are, one minute loving our work with an absolute passion and prepared to live or die for it, and the next minute ready to fling ourselves and our laptops out the window. One day – typing furiously under inspiration – we wonder how many days we can go without showering before someone starts to notice, and the next we stare for hours at a merciless, unyielding screen wishing bitterly for one word, one single perfect word, to unblock our brain.

Someone once said, “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”

Well said. Surely there’s something more akin to a disease than to a legitimate occupation in the writer’s life. In fact, if “Writer’s Disease” were listed as an entry in the Merck Manual of Medical Information, I’m quite sure there would be a diagram of the writer’s brain with a statement that it figures as one of life’s hopelessly inexplicable mysteries.

There might even be numbers indicating, phrenology-style, the typical thoughts in a writer’s brain at any given time. (I will neither confirm nor deny that these thoughts have been uttered at some point by myself or writers of my acquaintance.)

Right Side of Writer’s Brain

“I need to organize every file in my house.”

“I’m craving pepperoni pizza.”

“Maybe I should take up a real job like telemarketing.”

“This room is too quiet.”

“This room is too noisy.”

“I’m tired. I’ve never been so tired in my life.”

“And I call myself a writer …”

Left Side of Writer’s Brain

I am such a genius. Just wait until the world reads this piece I’m working on.”

“Why is my stomach growling? When did I eat last? Was that really 20 hours ago? Wow, I’m a machine!”

“Haven’t slept in days and the brain’s still going strong. I am such a genius.”

“Oh, that I were not a mere mortal subject to everyone else’s whim and timing!”

“Who says, ‘No man is an island’? Where’s my island?! I want my island!”

“I am such a genius.”

“How did this place get so messy? Oh well, I’ll worry about that later.”

Ah, the writer’s life!!


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2 Comments to “Writer’s Disease”

  1. Yes, yes to all of this. I am amazed how long I can struggle to find the words, feel like a complete and utter failure, yet take a deep breath, and then the words flawlessly fall on the page. It’s a gift. It’s a curse. It’s awesome. And I thank God often that this is the skill He’s blessed me with. (or rather the skill with which He’s blessed me… because you can’t end a sentence in a preposition).

  2. You said it so well! I love it and hate it that I’m afflicted with this wonderful terrible disease. 🙂

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