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Symptoms of Being a Writer

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We’re all writers. We’re all manipulating letters and words to do what? Tell a story? Inform the reader of an event? Sway the audience towards Clinton over Trump in the election? We’re all writers here. Some of us might enjoy old-school Who-done-it? murder mysteries while some might create eloquent song lyrics that touch the heart. But no matter what we write or why we write it, we are all writers here. And, quite frankly, we all have one point or another gone through these slight issues.


Time. Creativity cannot be rushed. It’s almost like flipping a pancake too early or putting a semi-dry painting into a folder to bring back to school. Yup, rushed creativity usually leads to a messy disaster. But no one other than writers truly understands this issue. When a writer is on a roll, especially if they write off the top of their head, they cannot be disturbed. The dog had a walk yesterday or I can figure out twenty problems of parabolas on the bus tomorrow morning, are of such justifications that a writer will use. And, at times, this will also annoy the people close around a writer. For example, the parents. Especially when it’s dinner time and the smells float up to the writer’s nose making their stomach lurch for the sight of it. But, when on a roll, a writer cannot be disturbed, even for dinner.

Arthritis & Carpal Tunnel. More on the scientifically side this time, but still true. Writers are always using their hands for something. Whether this be actually writing with a pencil or having their hands hover over a keyboard, the hands are always in use. Over time, the common usage of muscles and nerves will deteriorate leading to the issues of arthritis and/or carpal tunnel.


Eye Strain. Again, this is more scientifical. Writers are constantly reading, scanning, observing, even in poorly lit areas (especially if it is three in the morning). By doing so over long periods of time, the muscles in the eyes become strained leaving to problems such as headaches or imperfect vision.


Observationally Advanced. Writers always have the wheels turning. After all, life is the place where all great stories are inspired from. A writer not only notices the presence of objects in the room, but also the slightest of actions. This could range from the lip bite of the teacher while presenting to a slight hobble of a stray cat to the forced smile of the politician on the new commercial. Writers observe, analyze, and eventually write about what they see in life, even though there might be a twist here and there.

Outbursts of Inspiration. At times, writers will hit a bump in the road. And that bump can usually only be solved at what seems like the worst moment in history. For example, when a teacher, a friend, a family member, or even a complete stranger, says a simple phrase, a writer can instantly come up with the plot line they are looking for. The only issue with these outbursts of inspiration are that sometimes a writer cannot scribble down what exactly they were thinking of and need to jog back their memories to the best of their abilities. Of course, this could also lead to insomnia, which, in a sense, is no more than a writer working overtime.


Self Doubt. Writers spill their heart and soul out for writing, though not necessarily telling secrets. Writing, despite what people may say, is hard work that requires time and effort. And there is nothing more satisfying to a writer than finally finishing a piece. The writer might think it’s the best thing they’ve ever written, well until they read someone else’s piece, to which they declare is better. Additionally, there is nothing more disappointing (yet exciting) to know that your work is, in someway, being compared to that of Shakespeare, Dickens, Bronte, Hemingway, Kipling, etc. But, let’s be honest, there is not right or wrong way to write for each story is uniquely its own.


Writer’s Block. The number one problem writers will ever face. It’s almost as though all creative juice has just stopped flowing, like when a beaver dams a river. The flow just stops entirely. And this block could last anywhere from ten minutes to ten months. It gets very, very rough for writers during this time. But, eventually, a writer pushes aside that mountain (or wall) and continues the flow of thoughts. Of course until another block begins.


Note: None of these symptoms were ever noted by a doctor- they are merely through observation and experience.

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