Occupational Hazards of Writers

It’s poorly appreciated, but writing is an occupation which has hazards. Most writers, at one time or another, will suffer from at least one of the following diseases, conditions or injuries. Most are treatable and with appropriate therapy writers can look forward to living relatively full and normal lives.Writers need help, sometimes.

Adjectivitis: condition especially pronounced at first draft, where adjectives spawn, multiply and run rampant through one’s writing.

Criticosis: a type of writing paralysis caused by overly active and insistent self-criticism.

Swelled Head Syndrome: condition that comes from reading too many glowing reviews. Rare.

Commadosis: An proliferation of commas so virile that they infect and convert all other punctuation.

Over Capitalisation: particularly common in Fantasy writing, where everything is made strangely Portentous by Splashing Capital Letters around Willy-Nilly.

Adverbia: the helpless need to add adverbs to every verb, relentlessly, inexorably, unstoppably.

The Grumps: envy stemming from the success of other writers. Common.

My Own Myopia: a form of selective blindness where a writer cannot see his or her own poor writing.

Forehead Haematoma: bruising to the brow, resulting from banging one’s head on the desk because of recalcitrant scenes, characters, plot developments etc.

Weighty Word Syndrome: a condition where every single word seems to weigh hundreds of kilos and requires commensurate effort to put in place. See ‘Immense Sentence Disorder’.

Hyperplotting: a deep-seated compulsion to construct narratives that rely on the regular use of the word ‘suddenly’.

Complications Complex: a form of writer delusion where ‘Complicatedness’ is mistaken for ‘Complexity’.

Startled Narrative Disorder: a propensity to organise a story via liberal use of the word ‘suddenly’.

Hyper-elastic Temporal Insensibility: An acquired condition where the time between ‘now’ and ‘that deadline’ subjectively stretches so that weeks feel like years, decades or periods of time usually devoted to delineating geologic eras.

Deadline Whiplash: An acute neck injury caused when a writer realises that that far-off deadline is actually, really, unmovably next Tuesday.

Naturally, this list is not exhaustive. Writers are more than capable of inventing new conditions at the drop of a hat. It is only through regular donations to writing-related medical research that we can hope to ameliorate the effects of Writing Diseases.

Give so that they may write.