Know the Signs
Do you see lines of printed text every time you close your eyes? Are friends and family alarmed at the amount of time you spend huddled in your office, hunched over a keyboard? Freelance writers are often the last to recognize the warning signs of a growing addiction. Take the test below to find out if you’re a content writing junkie. You can still get help, before it’s too late.
Answer the following questions as candidly as possible. While denial is often our knee-jerk reaction to addiction, honest recognition of the problem is always the first step on the road to recovery.
- You just pulled an all-nighter, finishing seven different articles on three separate topics with deadlines just 45 minutes apart. What do you do next?
A) Go to sleep.
B) Congratulate yourself on a job well done, then straighten up your desk.
C) Open your email, thinking, “I wonder if I could snag another order?”
- You would give up a planned vacation if …
A) You got a plum writing assignment from a really great client.
B) A less-than-stellar client cried on the phone.
C) What’s a vacation?
- It’s 1:00 am, and you just thought of a great intro for that tricky little piece you’re working on. You …
A) Roll over and go back sleep. If it’s really that good, you’ll remember.
B) Repeat it over and over, hoping to burn the idea into your brain so it will still be there in the morning.
C) Sneak to your office and jot it down — along with that other idea that just popped into your head — and end up writing until the sun comes up.
- The strangest place you’ve ever worked on a writing assignment was …
A) The doctor’s office.
B) In your car, in the grocery store parking lot.
C) In the restroom of the banquet hall at your niece’s wedding reception.
- You keep writing materials …
A) In your desk.
B) In every room in the house.
C) In your brassiere.
- You think grammar rules are …
A) A necessary evil.
B) Interesting. You read Grammar Girl in your spare time.
C) Fascinating. In grade school, you paid the other kids with Oreos to let you diagram their sentences.
- Have you ever lied to escape a family obligation so you could stay home and write?
B) Once. But it was a great topic, and you really didn’t need to talk to your daughter’s teacher twice in the same school year.
C) Never. They all think you have narcolepsy and can’t safely leave the house.
- You receive some mass-mailed spam. What do you do?
A) Quickly delete it, adding the address to your spam filter.
B) Read it carefully, thinking, “I could have done better.”
C) Rewrite the whole thing, eliminating passive verbiage and adding snappy words like lollipop, sparkle, and visionary.
Give yourself one point for every A you selected, two points for every B, and three points for every C. Do the math.
- If you scored between seven and ten, congratulations! You have a normal, healthy relationship with words.
- If you scored an 11 through 15, there’s cause for concern. Have you considered changing careers? Maybe you could be a dog groomer or a golf pro.
- If your score was 16 or higher, you’re a hopeless case. You’ve got ink in your veins and a thesaurus lodged in your head. Just give in; there’s no way to fight it anyway.
Kate C is a content writer who writes while hiding in the bathroom, caves to crying clients, and sneaks to her office at 1:00 am, much to the chagrin of her husband.