Thursday, 14 February 2008

It's a sickness

I hope you've been over to Tess Gerritsen's blog and taken a look. How many blogs do you regularly read? I'm finding I have to ration myself to catching up with the main ones I read just once or twice a week - otherwise hours and hours can go by. It's one of the many forms of Writer's Self-Deception Syndrome, an insidious, and all-pervasive sickness to which creative artists are particularly vulnerable, also known as Displacementophilia, closely related to Procrastinitis. Social networking, blogs, websites and so on add to the many ways of distracting ourselves that we writers resort to: the particular danger of these ailments is that not only are they addictive, sap energy and stimulate unhealthy levels of bile, envy and contempt, but that we sufferers actually convince ourselves we're 'working' and that being sucked into these things is a form of 'research', 'knowing the market', 'being creative'.


Then again, electronic communication is also an immense boon, an immense comfort. There are people out there who know things, useful things. There are people out there who feel as you do - and it's a consolation to know that successful writers such as Tess share the doubts, frustrations, fears and hopes all writers experience. Here's a quote from her blog post of December 23rd: 'I'm beginning to think that being a writer is a mental illness that deserves its own DSM classification, perhaps a sub-category under Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: "Symptoms include anxiety dreams, inability to relax, intermittent feelings of inadequacy alternating with delusions of grandeur, hypersensitivity to criticism, and an abnormal preoccupation with people who don't even exist."'

Oh yes. Oh yes.

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