Thursday, June 2, 2011

Living with AWS #2: The Futile Search for a Cure

If you are a writer, or know one, or have happened upon one in the wild, you may already know about Annoying Writer Syndrome.  Maybe you call it something else, but the symptoms are usually the same no matter the moniker.

Have you ever met someone with AWS?  Do YOU have AWS?  If you are unsure, check out some of the symptoms here.

For those of us who know about AWS, there is often talk of a cure.  Usually the talk comes from those having to live with a person afflicted with AWS as these souls are the most burdened by the ailment.  Unfortunately, there is only bad news.

There is no cure for AWS.  I know it is hard to believe that in this day and age such a common and well-understood disorder could have no remedy.

What about modern medicine?
What about our advanced technology?
What about therapy?  

These treatments, while possibly allieviating some symptoms, are still no match for AWS.

What about in the future?  Could we find a cure?

The simple, and sad, answer  Why is there no cure?

The reason there is no cure is a very simple one:  AWS exists because writers exist.  The only way to remove AWS from this world is to eradicate writers from the world, which honestly, is impossible.  And who would want to rid the world of writers, anyway?  No sane person, surely.

So what is to be done for the poor saps who must listen to the incessant prattle of these AWS-riddled people?

Sadly, they can only help themselves by feeding the disorder.  It is terrible and vicious circle.

So, some advice for those suffering from the presence of an AWS sufferer:
  • Read whatever they give you.  And quickly.  The longer you take, the more desperate the AWS sufferer becomes and the more they annoy those around them.

  • Ask questions, but not too many.  Don't make them think too deeply about things they haven't thought about before or they may spiral into a WIP ripping depression.

  • Never be vague about their work.  Use specific words.  Vagueness only increases the sufferer's need to know and he or she will pepper you with so many questions, you will feel like a pepper shaker got dumped on your head.

  • Be honest.  Don't lie.  But don't be too harsh either.  AWS sufferers are very delicate.

  • Do not ever interrupt an AWS sufferer in the middle of their "process."  You will be pulled into whatever they are working on and required to stand by while they explain every detail of what they are working on and how it fits into what you have already been made to read. 

  • If you do not want to know why an AWS sufferer is "squeeing" then do not ask.  Better to leave the immediate area as you will find out whether you want to know or not.  You only have seconds to act so work on your cardio to prepare for the inevitable.

  • Memorize some inspiring, but not trite, quotes for when a nearby AWS sufferer is bemoaning whatever they are bemoaning about.  It really could be anything, so some variety is necessary.

  • Make sure the AWS sufferer is not within earshot when ever you speak.  Otherwise, you are likely to wind up fueling their creative mojo and then everything that comes from that will be told to you in greater and greater detail, as you were the inspiration.

  • Always be nice, kind, and considerate to AWS sufferers.  You could be their next hero or their next villain.  And books live forever.  You don't want your great-grand kids reading about how mean you were to a best-selling author, do you?

  • Never try to empathize.  If you are not a person afflicted with AWS, telling one who is will only make them angry.  See the point above for why this is bad.

  • Do not ever interrupt an AWS sufferer in the middle of their "process."  This repetition is necessary because instead of telling you all about it they may throw something at you.  Stitches aren't cheap.

  • Do not ever ever ever complain about the amount of time they spend on the computer or over a notebook.  Stitches will be the very least of your worries.

Well, I hope this helps those who know someone living with AWS.  The more you follow these guidelines the better your chances for a peaceful existence, and hopefully, the symptoms will lessen.

If you are living with or know someone with AWS, what are your suggestions to those who must encounter AWS sufferers on a regular basis?  Are there guidelines you would add to the list?  Please let me know, so we can warn the public about this annoying atrocity of an affliction!

Living with AWS (and forcing everyone around me to live with it, too!)


  1. Hi! I noticed you amongst my followers and decided to check your blog out. Nice to meet you :) I see you're an author, have you published something yet? So glad you followed me!
    Take care,


  2. Nice to meet you as well! As of now, no, I am not published, but I'm working on it! Thanks for stopping by! ^_^


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