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The OCD Writer

Cheryl's Musings: The OCD Writer

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


The OCD Writer

Writing is a very intense avocation, one that seems to be pursued by a particular stereotype of person. You know--smart, spectacled, introverted, possibly agoraphobic, known to dress in plaid bathrobes....At least, that's where the writer can end up if she isn't careful. So be wary of any signs of obsessive mailbox watching, so you can nip such behavior in the cliched bud!

Signs that you may be drifting into obsessive-compulsive behavior:

  1. You click the "Check Email" button ten times in a row in the hope that you'll receive a response to your latest query.

  2. Worse, during one of those bouts of compulsive clicking, you do receive a response to your latest query. Now you find yourself unable to leave the computer.

  3. You raise the mailbox flag just so you'll know when the day's mail has arrived...and you still run out to check twenty times, just in case.

  4. You also check for mail on Sundays and postal holidays, because occasionally mail personnel may be confused.

  5. You've memorized your query letter.

  6. You've planned your book tour and don't yet have a contract. Or a nibble.

  7. Your actual writing time is diminishing due to a growing addiction to Scrabble/Scramble/Word Challenge/Pet Society/[insert favorite addictive computer game here].

  8. You think you aren't addicted to said games, but have high scores on all of them. (If so, I'm afraid I'll have to hate you). Sorry.

  9. You produce piles of chocolate wrappers faster than you produce words on the page.

  10. You've moved your coffee pot onto your desk for easier access. You may be considering a drip feed.

If you note any of these symptoms in your writing life, never fear! The solution

About that. Consider this: at least you're in good company. And stay away from the plaid slippers at all costs.

:) Cheryl

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At December 7, 2008 at 9:01 PM , Blogger Heather Zundel said...

Cheryl, you are fantastic. I love these lists posts like you wouldn't believe. And I'm afraid to admit I have actually done a few too many of these. But I can't check off the whole list yet *phew*

At December 14, 2008 at 6:39 PM , Blogger Yat-Yee said...

I thought I destroyed all the evidence, I mean the chocolate wrappers: were you spying on me?

At December 15, 2008 at 12:13 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...



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