Writer PMS

Lately, there has not been enough chocolate in the world to satisfy me.

Also, the Washington Post’s review of the last Harry Potter movie made me cry – and I’ve only read a few of the books and seen two of the movies, it’s not like I’m invested.

Finally, I’m a bit …. how should I put it … snarly.

So it hit me today, PMS has snuck up on me again. Yeah, I’m real quick that way.

What does my TMI have to do with writing? Well, just as scientists have declared that men get PMS too, so do writers. Ours is a special strain and by using the following self-diagnosis chart you can determine if you are suffering from Writer PMS.

1. Is Everything You Write Crap?

Now, that’s not what other people say about it. That’s what that cranky-pants who lives in the back of your head whispers to you while you’re staring at your computer screen.

2. Are You Unable to Spell?

Most of us have words that baffle us (one of mine is bananas – yes, I had to use spell check to write that), but when a writer is struck with Writer PMS even the word the becomes difficult.

3. Does No One Understand Your Brilliance?

This is the ying to No. 1’s yang. So what if twelve critique parters, three potential agents, four editors and even your dog has said you plot is implausible and your hero a slime ball? You won’t even consider taking a critical eye to your perfect prose.

4. Have You Decided to Scrap Everything?

Similar to No. 1, but with the added twist of a delete button, this symptom of Writer PMS is one of the most serious. Just as one shouldn’t shop for tight dresses while PMSing, nor should you make book altering decisions when you’re in such a state of mind.

5. Is Every Word Out of Your Mouth to Your Writer Friends is a Complaint?

We all have bad days, but when one is suffering from Writer PMS there is nothing redeeming to be found in the writing life. The royalties suck. The editors are idiots. Other writers just want to steal our ideas. Agents are evil trolls. And book reviewers/bloggers – they’re stuck up wenches. I know, I know. It’s shocking to see it written, but when you’re in the throes of Writer PMS it all seems logical and totally rational.

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above symptoms, you may be suffering from a case of Writers PMS.

If you’ve answered yes as many as four questions, you have a raging case of Writers PMS.

If you’ve answered yes to all five questions, I’m staying the hell out of your way because you’re on the verge of going postal.

The good news about Writer PMS is that while we all suffer occasionally, it’s effects are temporary. Give it a few days and you’ll pull out of the funk and return to your normally brilliant self. The best cure is amazing friends (may I suggest the Waterworld Mermaids?), walking away from the computer for at least a day and warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven.