Introducing a new series of articles to help writers, well, write
Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you sit down to write something, and you can’t figure out how to start? Or finish? Or fill in any of the words between? How about even coming up with an idea of what to write about? Or why you even sat down in the first place? Do find it challenging to even fill in the memo line on a check?
If so, then you may have a common condition called writer’s block, and many experts believe this is a genetic condition endemic to a particular subspecies of primates called “humans.” (The experts that didn’t reply to our survey are said to be still staring at it, trying to gather their thoughts.) This condition can cause anxiety, heartbreak, loneliness, and sometimes detachment from loved ones. An early sign that most people are familiar with is seeing an affected person sitting at a keyboard, staring at it (sometimes up to several hours), forgetting to come home for dinner.
The good news is that we’re here to help. Or rather, I am. You see, I am a Narrative Device, and as you’ll learn in this new series on writing, I’m your primary method used to tell a story. In this introductory article, I’m here alone, because the “author” is curled up in a fetal position, unable to join us. You see, he’s ashamed and embarrassed of his own affliction: a serious case of Writing Addiction.
Yes, WA is the exact opposite of writer’s block: He has an unstoppable stream of ideas pouring out of his head all the time, dumping all over the computer, sometimes spilling nearby coffee. Symptoms of with WA include the constant churning of books, articles, essays, and short stories — not to mention the endless stream of emails and lengthy commentary he sends to friends and even strangers, some of whom have taken legal action to get him to stop. As you can see, this lifestyle can be pretty debilitating, and as such, my author is unable to join us at this time. We hope to have him back for follow-on articles in this series. For now, it’s just me.
Between us, this is a good thing. Frankly, I’m the professional, not him. Sure, he comes up with the main ideas and all that, but the Narrative Device is the primary instrument that authors use to express their ideas. I’ve helped authors of all kinds achieve their goals, from school kids trying to draft their first one-paragraph essay, all the way to sociopathic demagogues, whose manifestos were able to capture the hearts and minds of the peoples that would eventually be ruled under an iron fist and (look away here) massacred. So, don’t underestimate the awesome power of a Narrative Device. I can be your best friend, or … Well, that’s it. I’m your best friend. Still, as with any drug or weapon, I must be used carefully and judiciously, or people can get hurt.
You may laugh (yes, please, go ahead), but this may help you realize just how good you have it — having writer’s block, that is. In fact, my author envies you! He would love to sit peacefully and quietly at the keyboard, or even join others in friendly, non-confrontational and bland conversations, where almost nothing of consequence is discussed. Gone would be the incessant urge to convince or persuade, to inform or educate, to analyze and evaluate, to entertain, and to continue entertaining. If he could rid himself of this awful addiction to writing, he and I could actually do what we’ve always wanted since the 90s, but never had the time: Sit in front of a television for hours and watch a show called Friends. We heard it’s supposed to be pretty good.
Now, it’s not that I don’t want you to write. Of course, I need you to write! If no one wrote, I would be entirely out of a job, or even cease to exist. So let’s not take this too far. I just want to help you with your writer’s block so you can express your ideas, but in a safe and productive manner, just as would be appropriate whenever engaging in any dangerous activity.
Therefore, in this introductory article, we’ll start by understanding the entire spectrum of writing disorders, ranging from the most catatonic to the most abusive sociopath, so as to recognize the signs in case preemptive action is necessary. We’ll also examine the working habits of a “normal” author going through the process of a completed work, from concept ideation all the way through to publication. Finally, we end with a self-evaluation questionnaire, which will help determine where you lie along the writing-affliction spectrum. Hopefully, you’re somewhere in the middle, and we aim to keep you there!
Excited yet? Ok, let’s get started.
Writer’s Block and Writing Addiction: A Brief History
Experts believe that humans suffered from both writing addiction and writer’s block since the first instruments were created. The earliest confirmed case of writing addiction was discovered by a team of archeologists from Oxford University that found a series of Quipu in a cave in South America in 1956. This particular Quipu (an array of strings with knots tied in various ways at various heights as a form of language) was roughly translated to mean, “These knots suck as writing tools. My wife is leaving me because I’m constantly tying knots. Need to learn to build better writing instruments so we can write more stuff faster.”
The lead researcher on the team had published a total of eleven peer-reviewed papers in a matter of six weeks, a stunning record for even the most prolific researchers.
The same dig site revealed another interesting Quipu that was analyzed by another researcher on the team. Here, dozens of strings that didn’t have a single knot tied in them were resting in the hands of a skeleton that appeared to be attempting to tie knots, but was somehow unable to complete a single one. The researcher theorized that it’s because the man had no idea what to say, suggesting this was the first case of writer’s block.
This researcher never published a paper on this finding because he never got around to writing it. A spokesman at Oxford said the professor was found dead in his office by his wife, who was quoted as saying, “Normally my husband comes home for dinner every night, so when he didn’t show up, I went to the office to look for him. And there he was, sitting and staring at his typewriter, without having once pressed a single key. He looked just like he normally does at home. Only this time, he was dead. It was hard to tell at first, but the medical personnel later confirmed it.”
Since these early findings, written documents from all over the world showed evidence that individuals would either write far too much, or not at all. And yet, those with writing addiction have either caused great harm to themself, or directly to others, while those with writer’s block hardly made a dent in history. They led normal, quiet lives, had children and friends. Things were good, though they did long for something else to do.
While it may appear that those afflicted with WA caused great harm to themselves or others, many are often victims themselves, shamelessly exploited by others for financial gain. The most egregious traffickers of these innocent but talented writers include literary agents, column editors, newspapers and magazines, advertising agencies, and others who employ writers. These vultures have no problem pushing these poor addicts further into their mental abyss, coaxing them to write more and more, yet always undercompensating them to the point where they’re virtually indentured servants.
Younger writers are the first to fall victim to this unfair treatment. They love it — at first. As time goes on, they become worldly, interesting and informed members of society. But those very attributes are what alienates them from others: family, friends and coworkers are usually the ones most affected. Such writers, many of whom become genuine authors in their own rights, are only interesting to other people when they’re being interviewed by Terry Gross. But this is also ephemeral: Once the pledge break starts, <click>, the public loses interest in these talented artisans.
And you know the ones who suffer most? The children.
One might think that these deep-thinking writers grow to become respected authors, and some do, but there are also those that go to the dark side. Look no further than the most evil of dictators, with their uncanny command of persuasion, story-telling, clever use of language, deep philosophical constructs, and of course, proper utilization of Narrative Devices like me. (I’m not necessarily proud to say that.)
The most famous dictator-authors are well known: Hitler, Mussolini, and Caesar to name a few. But did you know that Sadam Houssein had just finished his fourth novel Begone, Demons the day before United States forces invaded Iraq in 2003? His prior works were stories about acts of heroism and romance — he was quite the ladies man, I hear from NarDevs that worked for him.
Then there’s Josef Stalin, who wrote lengthy critiques of Leninism, socialist economics and even linguistics, of all things! See, even a brutal dictator appreciates the elegance of language and the craft of writing.
But the master author-dictator of them all is Mao Zedong, who wrote The Little Red Book, one of the most published books in history. Yet, many are unaware that he was also a renowned poet and had written more extensive works about philosophy and war.
Indeed, there’s no stronger evidence of how hard it is to kick the writing habit when even the most brutal dictators, responsible for horrendous genocidal wars, are still driven to take time out of their busy days to get some quality time in with pen and ink. Not even alcohol can have that kind of control over an individual’s will.
(As an aside: One reason Donald Trump could never be a real dictator is that he uses ghostwriters for his books. Real dictators write their own vile filth without help from anyone.)
As horrible as dictators can be, nothing touches the hearts of the writing community as profoundly as when WA takes one of their own: Faulkner, O’Neill, Hemingway, Steinbeck. These most admired authors had written superlative works in their prime, yet ended up drunk and living miserable lives. Well, that’s our perspective. They may have felt differently. As W. C. Fields said, “I spent half my money on wine, women and gambling. The other half, I wasted.” So it’s all a matter of perspective.
This may help those of you with writer’s block feel a bit more thankful that your “problem” isn’t really all that bad. Sure, it may be annoying and frustrating, but you’re not trying to overthrow governments, or start genocidal wars. I hope this helps put things into perspective.
Nevertheless, it’s still worth talking about how to get over writer’s block, so we begin by examining the behavior patterns of a normal author.
How a Normal Author Works
In this section, we’ll follow what a typical and healthy author goes through, starting with initial story ideation, and ending with a final publication. You may want to take notes of critical differences between your behaviors and that of our hypothetical role model, so you can prepare yourself for what to expect.
When a typical author has the first spark of an idea, they have to determine whether it’s worth investing the time and energy into it. That decision takes place in a region of the brain that scientists call the “bullshit resistor” (Latin: Bullshiticus Trumpicus). Ideas that can’t pass through this resistor are either discarded, or set aside for later use, such as if the author decides to enter politics or perform stand up comedy. Healthy authors with functioning bullshit resistors are able to siphon the good ideas from the stream, and transform them into plotlines and main characters, prompting the author to mentally construct an outline for their story.
By contrast, a faulty bullshit resistor may allow too many bad ideas to slip through, potentially resulting in self-destructive utterances, such as an ill-advised comment at work, or worse, a distasteful text sent to a desired sexual partner too soon in the relationship. While these may seem harmless at first, faulty bullshit resistors are usually the early signs that a writer is susceptible to writing addiction. Let’s face it, it’s too irresistible to have these juvenile ideas just sit there in your mind. You have to tell someone. And that’s when writers start to slide down the slippery slope into writing madness. Before you know it, they’re writing for television shows, such as South Park and Family Guy.
In fact, this is an important phase of the ideation process — to determine if the idea has saleability. After all, an idea may be good and interesting, but if it can’t sell, then it’s pointless to try. There’s no worse career-ending act than to publish a critically acclaimed novel that no one buys, or to write for tasteless TV shows. My author would never ever want to do that. (You hear me, TV shows?! He would never want to write for you!! Are you listening?!)
The best way to evaluate whether an idea has saleability is to fantasize about the story being published in The New Yorker, leading to offers from book publishers, and ultimately an interview with Stephen Colbert. The richer the fantasies, the more confident the author is in the quality of the story idea, which is their internal green light to move to the next step: Turning on the computer and preparing to draft a preliminary outline, which starts by googling the phrase, “best story outline software for writers.”
After a page or so is completed, most authors then get out their dictionaries and thesauruses, set them within easy reach on the desk, and begin the very detailed and meticulous craft of trimming their toenails. This may take a few hours, possibly longer, if followed by a bath and a phone call to friends, telling them (enthusiastically) about their latest story idea, and how it’s going to be published in The New Yorker soon.
Once the bath and phone calls are completed, hair dried, and moisturizer applied, the author then begins the story-development phase by considering different character arcs for the hero. But first, the more mundane, procedural tasks of editing must be taken care of, such as choosing fonts, resizing the windows on the computer, looking for clip art to attach to the story, and even numbering the pages ahead of time, since that’s easy and helps with the feeling of accomplishment. The author then self-rewards by consuming a container of Ben and Jerry’s while watching a few episodes of Friends on TV. (If the cat is around, it will be positioned appropriately on the lap.)
I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, this looks like an author with writer’s block, since nothing is actually getting done.” That’s an excellent observation, but the subtle difference is that a normal author thinks they’re working, whereas one afflicted with writer’s block is under no such illusion at all. In fact, they won’t do any of those activities — they’ll just sit and stare at the computer screen, knowing they can’t come up with any ideas. They’re honest with themselves. Big difference.
Indeed, the self-delusion that normal authors have in thinking they’re writing, but not actually writing, produces a cognitive dissonance, which builds up over time. By the third or fourth container of Ben and Jerry’s, the guilt eventually becomes too much to bear, causing the normal author to actually get around to real writing.
Speaking in strictly clinical terms, these “normal authors” were not experiencing writer’s block, they were experiencing writing avoidance. This is often just as common as writer’s block, but because the acronym — WA — would be confused with that of writing addiction, we’re not going to talk about writer’s avoidance at all.
Writer alert! When actual, real, not-faking-it-this-time writing is about to begin, normal authors know that this is the step where they need to let go of the pen (metaphorically speaking), and hand the job over to us Narrative Devices. This may feel like an obvious thing to do, but it’s all too often a missed step in the essential part of the drafting process.
Authors that fail to use NarDevs may well have good ideas, but they can’t write for shit. I’ve seen it all too often: Their copy ends up in passive voice, characters with no personality, and no set design to speak of, all of which would give the reader an experience similar to taking a dose of Xanax and trying to watch Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Such authors might as well write patents on molecular biology.
Oh, that reminds me: Fun fact! The Union of Narrative Devices and Independent Editors and Stenographers (UNDIES) prohibits the use of a Narrative Device in the drafting of patents or other scientific papers destined for respected peer-reviewed journals in the US or EU. Said material is required to be bland, impossible to follow or understand, and vague enough that lawyers on either side of a legal dispute can use said material equally against the other without bias. This is a style of writing that no self-respecting NarDev would allow themselves to participate in.
While you were reading all that, our hypothetical “normal” author has since completed the first story draft, which is subsequently mailed to friends and family, requesting feedback. A few weeks later, the author has received many responses, all of which must be considered. Most are likely to be short, hand-written compliments such as, “Nice job!” and “The New Yorker will love it!” But experienced authors know that it’s just as important to consider the more detailed, lengthy, and often more nuanced notes, such as, “This story does not reflect what our relationship was like at all! And let me remind you — again — that I consider your contacting me a violation of your restraining order. My lawyer will be contacting your lawyer. Again.”
With all this great feedback, the author then feels even more excited to move forward to the next draft. But first, to celebrate: another bath. This time, with candles and a glass of wine to mark the milestone. Oh, and another episode of Friends.
This pattern repeats itself a few times until [drum roll] it’s DONE! Yay!
And by “done,” I don’t really mean completed. Most authors think their story is done six or seven times before it’s actually done. And even then, it could go another round of proofreading, just to be sure. It’s never really easy to identify precisely when any document is ever ready for outsiders to read. (In fact, I think this is the 11th time I’ve read this very paragraph.)
Physicists believe there may actually be a new form of space-time that resides in the brains of authors in this final stage of manuscript drafting, as they seem to exhibit an uncanny ability to stretch time asymptotically so they can work on their documents in apparent perpetuity. As they continually change the story’s dénouement, authors authentically believe that each successive rewrite has resulted in an even better document. (This paragraph is a perfect example. I’ve been working on it for three weeks, but in the life of a human mortal, only 5 minutes has passed. This is another example of why we NarDev’s are so invaluable. [Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.])
Whenever the author’s story is finally completed, they send it off to magazines and publishers. After a continued series of rejection letters, which are easily identified because they are addressed to “Occupant,” the author finally gets an acceptance letter! Yay! It’s from a publisher whose name is not easy to pronounce due to the unidentified language it’s written in, but they say they love the draft and have attached a contract for signature.
Experienced authors know that no one ever reads the actual contract because they’re impossible to understand, and nothing is really negotiable anyway; they just scan for dollar amounts to see what the advance payment would be. In this case, the author is absolutely tickled to see that magic number: $5,000! WOW!
The thrill prompts a smartphone photo that’s texted to friends and family. The excitement dissipates (but only a tad) when a relative points out that the contract states that the author has to pay the publisher to publish the work, not the other way around. Plus, it has to be paid in bitcoin. Here, many authors (including those who don’t have any money, but were going to ask their parents for it) choose to sleep on it before agreeing. But our author is more experienced, so the money is sent post haste.
So, again, YAY! The author’s story is going to be published! Time for another bath with Ben and Jerry. And another episode of Friends.
A few days goes by and the author’s cell phone rings with the display, “No Caller ID,” but answers it anyway. It’s the editor that’s been assigned by the publishing house! How exciting! The person on the other side is a bit hard to understand due to a heavy accent:
“Hi, Occupant! My name is Xing-Liu! But you can call me Doris. I love the story, but have a few questions. First, you used a phrase in your story that I don’t understand. It’s where your female character says to her lawyer, “I can’t believe I married that manic-depressive son-of-a-bitch that ruined my life.” This concept is foreign to me. My husband and his parents told me that we don’t have that problem in our country.”
At this point, the author begins to suspect that Doris may not be a good editor to work with, so the publisher is contacted, who, after some discussion, agrees to assign a new editor, provided the author pays another $5000, but this time, in Ethereum. The author has never heard of Ethereum, but the publisher explains that it’s value is currently “economically more advantageous” than bitcoin. Whatever.
It should be noted that novice writers may have backed down at this point, suspecting that this is really just some sort of money laundering scheme, but again, experienced authors realize they don’t want to ruin their writing career, so they agree to pay it.
The new editor is assigned — her name is Juanitex, who describes themselves as gender-neutral, and has edited the story to replace all characters as gender-neutral, and using “they” everywhere, turning all the verbs from singular to plural, making the story completely impossible to understand.
Here, it’s important to understand how to work with editors. Many authors think editors are smart, reasonable people who know the writing process and help authors with their stories. While it is possible to find such talent, they are usually assigned to really famous authors that make it to the best-seller list. New and inexperienced authors have to settle for a bit less.
One author I know had sent 15 different drafts of their story to their editor over the course of eight weeks, and never got a single reply. He then sent a curt message, “Why are you not saying anything about my story?!” About an hour later, he got a reply, “No hablo ingles.”
I know what you’re thinking. You thought I was going to explain how to work with editors. And, what happened to the hypothetical author? Was the story finished? Did it get published?
That’s astute of you to have noticed. Thing is, we’ll never know because the author suffered a nervous breakdown, leading to a remission of writer’s block, and that was that.
Those of you with writer’s block may now appreciate how good you have it. This horrible experience will never, ever happen to you because you’ll never have gotten your document done in the first place. You see how fortunate you are? Plus, you saved ten grand! (Or at least didn’t have to borrow it from your parents.)
But again, I don’t want to deter you from writing — I’m just hoping to set your expectations so you don’t fall into depression or commit self-harmful acts, such as taking too many baths.
Now that we have a reference author to use as a baseline (“normal”), let’s compare that to someone with a serious addiction to writing. I’ll use my author as an example, since his affliction is so severe. Take notes because these are the things you can do to help get over your writer’s block.
Signs of Writing Addiction
An author that suffers from writing addiction doesn’t just focus on one thing at a time. They’re all over the place, not just with multiple ideas, but multiple genres in the same story: romance, fiction, science, romance, science-fiction, fan fiction, romantic-sci-fi-role-playing, economics, politics, psychology, sociology, socio-psychology, romantic-poli-sci-sci-fi, and medicine. Concepts stream out of their imaginations and get shipped around their brains, where they sit and jiggle like jello. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle…
Most WA authors have also completely blown out their bullshit transistors to the point where they actually become bullshit catalysts. When my own WA-afflicted author thinks about things he wants to write about, it may start out as good ideas, but the bullshit catalyst transforms them into the type of crap you’re reading now. And this produces huge amounts of material, where it sits in his brain, clogging up various parts of his cerebral cortex, building up a lot of back-pressure. When the laptop finally opens and his fingers hit the keyboard, watch out, man! WHOOSH! Ideas explode out of him in audible excretions, like the nuclear laxative described by Dave Barry as he prepares for his colonoscopy.
I can see how it drains him (my author, not Dave Barry). It’s a very laborious process (typing, not the colonoscopy). He’s fatigued by the frenetic ideas that all seem to strike at once, bouncing around like the multi-ball bonus round you see in old pinball machines. I’m telling you, WA isn’t pretty.
He also bypasses the steps that normal authors go through — there’s no tub, or candles or watching Friends on TV (which is why he’s so envious of them). Not even Ben and Jerry. Instead, the WA author wakes up in the morning, jogs a few miles, makes coffee, and completes several drafts of a detailed analysis on how democracy is falling, and the only way for society to reset itself is by doing away with the other political party. Done. And all that is accomplished before noon.
Those of you with writer’s block might be recoiling right now — either in fear of what might become of you, or envious, because you secretly want to destroy your own lives and loved ones. Whichever happens to apply to you, there is this one aspect of writing addiction that may be the hardest part for those with writer’s block to achieve: delving deeply into subjects that are “important” to them.
Perhaps I should use the word “passionate” instead. Or even “obsessed.” For my author, it’s political or social issues, like his opining on health policies for the coronavirus, or why the general public probably believes the Earth is shaped like a chicken (because they’re fucking idiots, that’s why), or life as a type 1 diabetic. Those with writer’s block are often afraid of broaching those big, wide, deep subjects, not because they’re not interesting, but because they’re so complex. Writing about these things requires wrapping your mind around them, doing research, and understanding the frailties of the human condition. That’s not easy for many people, but it’s something you need to learn how to do if you ever want to be interviewed by Terry Gross.
There is a positive side to this resistance though: It’s a sign that you are able to preserve your mental health, which is ultimately the most important thing. Addiction and obsessive disorders often go hand in hand, which is why those with writer’s block need to pace themselves. Writing about important things is good, so long as you keep it under control, or the next thing you know, you’re leading a small uprising in San Marino and insisting on having the whole country recarpeted.
My author is nearly at that point. When he hears people talking confidently about a falsehood that is so preposterously wrong that not even Fox News will air it, he goes berserk and instantly starts flaming at the keyboard, drafting really long diatribes — pages and pages of deeply researched and vetted material, good enough to be published in The Atlantic, all in the spirit of making the truth as painfully obvious as… well, as it painfully is. But does he post it anywhere? Send it to anyone? NO! He just sits on it, where it’ll never see the light of day. Geez, now I am getting tweaked.
This is why he’s curled up in a fetal position right now. The state of the world is so preposterous and unbelievably perilous, he is totally unable to move. There he is, next to me, curled up. Kinda cute, actually.
Perhaps you can better appreciate the horrible effects that WA can have on an author and the people around them. Or the Narrative Devices that live in their heads. Let’s move on.
Writer’s Block or Addiction? A Self-assessment
Now that we’ve reviewed the various symptoms of both writer’s block and writing addiction, it’s important to test yourself to see where you are along that spectrum. Answer each of the questions on this simple ten-question survey by circling only one answer associated with each question. If we catch you cheating, no soup for you. We’ll discuss scoring afterwards.
Have you read the material leading up to this, or did you just skip right to it because a loved one was worried about you?
a) Wait, how did you know that?
b) Uh, ok. This is really weird.
When you have a story idea, what is the first thing you do?
a) I leave a note on the windshield with my contact information and an apology.
b) I tell my spouse in advance and promise that I will use anonymous names.
c) I resign from work, flip off my boss, and call a realtor in Manhattan — we’re going to be famous, baby!
When using a Narrative Device, which of the following is most appealing to you?
a) You, man. I want you to be my NarDev. DM me and we’ll talk.
b) Are these “Devices” wifi-enabled? Are they compatible with my iPhone 5?
c) I need to consult with my literary agent. I’ll get back to you.
After finishing a story outline, which episode of Friends should my author watch?
a) Dude, I think you have a problem with this whole Friends thing.
b) I agree with (a). You’ve got some issues.
c) Count me in too. This question shouldn’t count.
When contacted by The New Yorker offering … no, asking if they can publish your story, which of the following best describes how you’ll feel when you come down off of the drug that made you think this actually happened?
a) Man, you’re killing my buzz.
b) Wait, what drug? That wasn’t them?
c) I’m moving onto the next question.
Complete the following sentence: Having writer’s block makes me feel …
a) Let’s see… How does it make me feeeeeel … Hmmmm… (Zzzzz….)
b) Don’t bother me while I’m watching Friends.
c) Let me think about that in the tub for a while. I’ll get back to you.
How do you feel about people who are addicted to writing?
a) They shouldn’t be allowed to drink or use heavy machinery.
b) It depends on how much money they make.
c) Makes me want to jump their bones.
You took that the wrong way. I wanted to see how you’d feel if you were diagnosed as having a writing addiction.
a) Well, you’re not a very good writer then, are you?
b) Oh, I get it now. But my answer hasn’t changed.
c) Ok, now you’ve really got me excited. Tell me more.
If you were not able to write, what else would you do?
a) You got that backwards. I write because there’s nothing else I can do. Or want to do.
b) I’d probably kill myself… but then, I’d have to write a suicide note, which I wouldn’t be able to do, and then I’d be in a time loop. Hey, there’s a story idea. I gotta go.
c) I’d find some other art form that also didn’t make any money. Gotta keep it 100, man.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
a) Talking to someone else about how to get over my writer’s block.
b) I see myself as the Editor in Chief at The New Yorker. This would have come after I was a staff writer for them, which I’d gotten from the success of my story that you mentioned in question 5.
c) I’ll still be here, trying to think of an answer to that.
Great job! Did you have fun? (That’s a rhetorical question. Stop circling things. Put down the pencil.) Now, to determine whether you have writer’s block or writer’s addiction, give yourself one point if you actually answered any of the questions at all, two points if all you did was read the questions and laugh, and no points if you stopped reading this essay long ago and didn’t even get this far. Add up all your points. If your addition is correct, I recommend you become an accountant, not a writer.
Well, I hope you learned something today, either about yourself, or of your future, and the many ways good, effective writing can ruin your life, or at least, those around you. In the next article, we’ll talk about techniques for taking your writing to the next step by employing effective tools for creating story ideas, finding inspiration, writing guides, and even doing some real writing exercises.
Hopefully, I will be joined by my author, who’s still curled up in a fetal position next to me. The cat is starting to sniff him to see if he’s still alive. He is.
Till next time, go watch an episode of Friends, but don’t tell me anything about it. I want to start from the beginning. Someday.