Scriptormorbus - commonly known as the 'writing disease' - is an affliction that strikes approximately 1 in 4 Americans* every year. It is commonly associated with those of a more imaginative or creative nature, occurring equally among men, women, and children of all ages, and can seem to strike without warning. When not properly treated, Scriptormorbus has been known to disrupt social schedules, relationships, and lives, and, in it's most extreme forms, can cause sufferers to quit their jobs and retire to the basement with only a coffee maker, a laptop, and "The Elements of Style" for company.
Fortunately, the symptoms are easy to spot in all victims (except, perhaps, teenagers, who can exhibit much the same thanks to hormonal changes). To see if you or a loved one is suffering from Scriptomorbus, consult the following list of common symptoms:
- Absent Mindedness
- Long Periods of Withdrawal
- Speaking in Half Sentences
- Becomes frantic when separated from favorite laptop or notebook
- Wild-Eyed Looks
- Will argue for hours about Oxford commas
- Wakes in the middle of the night, crying for a pen and paper
- Emotional Outbreaks (usually prompted by the words, 'plot twist', 'plot hole', 'motivation', 'grammatical error', and 'deadline'.)
- Refusal to Leave House/Favorite Cafe/Basement
- Drinking too much coffee or tea
- Eating too many snacks (especially ice cream)
- Frequent rants about people not appreciating true art
- Carries on intense conversations with invisible people (usually arguments)
- Talks about characters as though they are real people - the following conservation is real, captured by a concerned citizen: "Then Jerry, the pain, decided that he wouldn't go into the dark room! What was I supposed to do? Now I have to re-write the entire ending! Friggin' Jerry!" "But... Isn't Jerry a figment of your imagination?" "...I don't know you anymore."
If you or your loved one exhibits 2 or more of the symptoms, chances are they are suffering from Scriptormorbus. Severity will vary, depending upon the individual and their chosen writing style: for example, poets and dramatists are more likely to withdraw from the world in favor of the comtemplation of nature, while Sci-Fi writers are less likely, so long as there are Comic Cons and new Star Wars movies to see (and argue about).
Although no cure for Scriptormorbus exists, there are many ways to treat this disease. The sufferer should be encouraged to do the following:
- Schedule writing time: regular, regulated hours a week, with breaks for the bathroom and to answer his/her phone/emails and pay bills (if able)
- Join a support group of fellow disgruntled authors, to air grievances, share brilliantly constructed passages, discuss plotting problems, and celebrate hard-earned 5-star reviews (trust me, family and friends: you'll appreciate the break)
- Bathe/shower daily
- Exercise regularly
- Eat like a civilized human being (not merely subsisting on cafe scones and boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios)
- Go outside at least once a month
- Engage in some sort of social activity somewhere, sometime, with someone other than their imaginary friends
Scriptormorbus is a treatable affliction, but it requires considerable patience and understanding from the patient's loved ones and friends. If you are a sufferer of Scriptormorbus, know that you are not alone. If you are a friend or family to a sufferer of Scriptormorbus, please accept our sympathies and gratitude: the road before you is a long one indeed.
*All quoted stats are made up and are not to be trusted.