Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mid-Life Write This

In 1965, psychoanalyst and social scientist, Elliot Jaques, coined the popular phrase "mid-life crisis" which describes as," A period of personal emotional turmoil and coping challenges that some people encounter when they reach middle age, accompanied by a desire for change in their lives, brought on by fears and anxieties about growing older."

Well, today, I'd like to introduce a new medical term that is especially relevant to writers who start writing during mid-life. I call this form of mental illness "mid-life write this".

People who suffer from 'mid-life write this' are people who did not go to college to pursue a writing career, but realized during mid-life, that writing was their ultimate calling.These individuals are the worst of the mentally ill, because they have chosen to willfully submit themselves to constant critique, wake up in the middle of the night to jot down story ideas and character descriptions, stop people in the middle of conversations and say things like 'that'd be a good idea for a book' or 'you'd make an interesting character for my latest mansucript', and flat-out drive their spouses crazy because they're always writing.

Be advised.These people should not be approached while they are writing. That would be the equivalent of poking a bear while they are enjoying a beehive full of golden honey.

And if you happen to stumble upon one of these people talking about their latest manuscript,run for your life. Otherwise, they will show you multiple drafts of their latest PB and ask for your feedback, try to rope you into following their blog, and attempt to get you to follow them on twitter.

It's best to walk away from these individuals while you still can. They're already too far gone for your help. And, treatment would be futile. Save yourself.


  1. Love this! I'm a few years shy of mid-life yet, but the rest is sadly all too true.

    I travel with a notebook in my handbag at all times. Yes, half of the pages are filled with my 3 y.o daughter's scribbles, but the rest is for BIG IDEAS. I now see that I'm a lost cause.


  2. Adina,
    I'm so glad that someone else feels the same way:)

    And,I'm not technically mid-life, yet, either(33y).I'm more like a 3rd of the way through life(being generous).But I certainly feel like it some days.I just meant that I decided on a writing career late-in-the-game.

    And, I feel ya on the notebook. I also have a 3 year old that thinks he's a writer. He's always borrowing my notebook and printed stories. I'm hoping that it's an indication of things to come. My five year old has no interest in writing at all. So sad:(