Think you’ve come down with a bad case of Writer’s Syndrome? Check out these five signs that’ll help you diagnose yourself….
1) Do you fantasize about writing?
About what your characters could get up, about their pasts and futures, love interests and enemies? Do you gaze off into the distance with an evil smile on your face as your antagonist does something deliciously cruel in your mind? Do you lose yourself so completely that you literally cannot remember what you were just doing? And, most of all, do you answer people’s questions with “hmmm?” Or “huh?” As you’re dragged out of your reverie?
2) Are you emotionally attached to the imaginary people in your mind?
Do you laugh, cry, feel angry, embarressed or sad when something happens to your characters? Have you decided on a character’s death only to reach that scene and almost/do back out of killing them because you just can’t bear killing off the fake person who you’ve grown to actually love? (And post-death have you sobbed into a pillow the eaten a barrel of chocolate to help yourself cope?) Are you genuinely excited about what’s going to happen in the story you conjured from nothing? And can you honestly say you’ve never wanted to actually be friends with some of your characters? (Like the fictional people in your head you created – those people!)
3) Do hours seem to slip away as if time has somehow sped up?
Do you settle yourself in to writing early in the morning then you look up and it’s lunchtime? Do you forget about mealtimes and are only reminded to eat because of your tummy rumbling so loudly it drags you back to reality? Does it get to midnight and you think “five more minutes” then suddenly it’s 4am and you have to be up in a couple of hours to do actual real life things? Do you feel like there isn’t enough time in the world to get your writing done?
4) Do you ever worry that even if you lived for two hundred years you’d never be ‘done’?
Do you feel that no matter how much you wrote, no matter how many hundreds, thousands or millions of words you got down you’d never reach a maximum? Is writing something you’re compelled to do like it has become as important to you as eating or sleeping?
5) Do you sometimes have to force yourself to be social to make sure you don’t become a hermit that lives in the hills?
When in writing mode do you have to make a conscious effort to put the story away and just be in the real world for a while? Do you plan social events in advance so you can keep that time aside for being away from your writing? But do you also, when being out, think about writing when you get back home later and find yourself being inspired for events that could happen in your book while you’re out?
If you answered yes to any of these questions (especially if it was more than one…) I’m afraid you just got diagnosed with Writer’s Sydrome!