Janet Sumner Johnson
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Water Is Dangerous

Sep 15, 2011 Uncategorized 26 comments

When news of Hurricane Irena came, I happened to be vacationing in Virginia Beach with my husband’s family. The morning before we were scheduled to evacuate, the Port Authority came by and posted this flag next to our waterfront beach house:

Now, I won’t go into all the implications for the real-life scenario of this posted warning (rip-tides, being pulled under, etc.).

Rather, I am sending out a warning to all those contemplating entering the waters of writing.

WARNING: Water Is Dangerous

Top 5 Dangers:
  1. Book Brain. All spare brain power (and brain power that isn’t so spare) is sucked into the void that is called plotting. Side effects include burned dinners, failure to pick up loved ones at scheduled times, taking wrong exits on the interstate, etc.
  2. Carpal Tunnel. Numbness of hands and mind. All that typing and writing can only lead to one thing. I mean besides a book.
  3. Schizophrenia. Voices whisper in your mind. Worse, they don’t listen to you.
  4. E-mail Addiction. Neurotic need to constantly refresh your inbox. Because surely that agent whose had your ms for a day will finally respond NOW (as opposed to twenty seconds ago).
  5. Shattered Ego Syndrome. Certainty that your written work is crap. This includes Works-in-Progress, comments on blogs, and even grocery lists (because seriously, did you misspell Brocolli Broccoli again?)

Now let the records show. You have been warned!

So, what warnings would you add?


26 Responses to β€œWater Is Dangerous”

  1. #6(?)–Eyestrain. From all those revisions and edits!

    This is a fun post πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  2. Joanne says:

    Swim (write) a lap every day and you'll soon be swimming in a manuscript πŸ™‚

  3. Lynn says:

    Getting lost while driving to the corner grocery store.
    Good thing our new Driver Distraction Law does not include mind-wandering!

  4. I have suffered so badly from numbers 1 and 3 that I have sought professional help – writers' workshops.

  5. I'm pretty sure the people who hoisted that flag weren't thinking of any of these things.

  6. Cynthia says:

    I agree, eye strain and flat butt- Must get up and move. πŸ™‚

  7. LTM says:

    omg, yes. GREAT warnings, and too true. I would add chronic neglect. Things like leg-shaving, exercise, hair styling, and … gasp! … house cleaning!!!! eep! πŸ˜€

  8. What sucks about #4 is some times you are right and then they reject you, or worse yet, request more and make you suffer before rejecting you again.

  9. I'd have to add total increase of personal invariant mass. In a specific location known as derriere in some languages. πŸ™‚

  10. I laughed out loud! I'd have to agree with ALL of those. Nicely done, Janet! πŸ™‚


  11. Love it! So true! Have we ever had dinner in my house that is not burned? πŸ™‚

  12. Abby says:

    This is an awesome post! LOVE the list. AND – can I just say I always love your picture with Oscar! Rock on!

  13. Having people ask you "Are you listening?" because of 3. Or 1.

  14. Bethany C. says:

    I'm assuming that running red lights falls into #1, yes?

    Love this!

  15. Absolutely! Writers beware. ;o)

  16. Candy Fite says:

    I love this! In the same campaign group with you (group 1). Great to meet you and your list of 5 dangers of writing is hiliarious! #2 & #3 are my fav.

  17. I can relate to every one of these! Particularly the email addiction, sigh!

  18. Jackee says:

    Too true! But most of us can't help but swim anyway. :o)

  19. WritingNut says:

    Ahh..these are great warnings!

  20. GUILTY!!!!!!!

    These dangers are have my name written all over them. E-mail Addiction is my worst one. *sigh* I can't help myself. Gotta go, need to check my email. πŸ˜‰

  21. I'm suffering from 2, 3, 4, and 5. Great post!

  22. This list is oh so true! And uck on the carpal tunnel. That is one painful bugger. Best not to overwork your hands.

  23. Sooooooo true!!! This was great! Thanks for sharing.

  24. Fellow campaigner here… great list. I would add to beware of time warps, too. You know how you start writing in Normal Time and then you plunge into Book Time and have to pull yourself back to Normal Time? Sometimes that warp is tough to breach. πŸ™‚ Great List!

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