It’s okay. Don’t be shy. I know it’s hard to talk about. Go ahead, sit down on the couch. Are you warm enough? Here’s a glass of water. I want you to take a nice deep breath for me. Innnn through your nose, ouuuut through your mouth. Now one more. Good. That’s very good.
Now, I have something to tell you. I don’t want you to freak out, but there’s a chance–
Well, there’s a chance you might be an author.
Shhhhh, it’s okay. I know what it sounds like. But it’s really not so bad once you get used to it. Lots of people with this disorder live long, healthy, normal lives.
Well, relatively normal.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re not even totally sure that’s what’s wrong with you yet. It could be something else entirely. I just need you to answer a few questions for me, and we can have you diagnosed in no time. Try to be honest. Okay?
Tell me. Do you find yourself exhibiting any of the following behaviors on a regular basis?
1) You are NEVER more than an arm’s length from something to write on and something to write with. You’ve heard that story about how J. K. Rowling didn’t have a pen in her purse the day she thought up Harry Potter while stuck on a delayed train. Finding yourself in a similar situation is your greatest fear.
2) To this same end, you have a white board in your shower.
3) Some of your best days of work consist solely of hitting the DELETE key.
4) You totally unironically say things like, “I wanted this to be a love scene, but then my main character decided to kill someone instead. There was nothing I could do about it.”
5) When your writing isn’t going well, you procrastinate by tweeting about how hard writing is.
6) You know significantly more about publishing news than you do about national news. What’s the date of the Iowa Caucus? You have no idea. What’s the release date of John Green’s next novel? January 10th. DUH.
7) Every time you look at the clock, you automatically calculate what time it is in your agent’s time zone so you can predict whether it’s possible you’ll still get news today.
8) You’ve contacted a financial adviser to ask if there’s any way to write off your excessive book purchases on your taxes.
9) You’ve practiced saying “my editor” and “my publicist” without giggling so you can look cool and professional with the time comes.
10) You’ve dragged at least one friend into a bookstore for the sole purpose of pointing out where your book will eventually sit on the shelf.
Really? All ten? Oh honey. It’s worse than I thought.
No, I’m so sorry, but there’s no cure. We can only control the symptoms.
For now, eat two of these chocolate bars and call me in the morning.