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Mind

Writing Emotions

Neuroskeptic iconNeuroskepticBy NeuroskepticMay 18, 2011 4:30 PM

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A handy guide to some of the emotional states that you may feel in the process of writing.

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DELation - The relief and sense of freedom that comes from deleting a passage you've been endlessly trying to get right, as you realize that you don't need it there at all.

Obsessive Compul-Save Disorder - A state of chronic dread based on the fear that your computer will crash and all your work will be lost, leading to ritualistic clicking of the Save button at least six times after changing each sentence. Often seen in people who have suffered a catastrophic experience (when it is called Post Traumatic Save Disorder).

Keyophobia - A state in which you will do anything to avoid actually typing some words. e.g. choosing the best font, bolding and unbolding the title to see which looks better, browsing for some illustrations, or tidying up your references.

Character Count Down - The sense of crushing disappointment when you realize that the huge number you're looking at is the character count, not the word count, and you actually have 5,000 words to go.

Paste Haste - The seductive sense of accomplishment that comes from boosting your word-count by copying-and-pasting something you've previously written into your current project "just to get provide a backbone". This often ends up slowing you down in the long run, as you have to adapt and update the old stuff and this can take longer than just rewriting it. More paste, less speed.

Writer's Blaaah-k - Writer's block is when you can't think of anything to write. Writer's blaaah-k is when you're wondering why you should. This all so boring! Why am I doing this, again? This can be a sign that what you're writing really isn't interesting, but it's often just a response to the fact that you've been working on it for so long. Of course it will seem boring to you, but the readers will come to it with fresh eyes. To rekindle your enthusiasm, try re-reading your original pitch or notes.

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