liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

Psychosomatic Illness is Psychosomatic!

Right. Note to self as if I'd have to be reminded of this for the billionth time:

One of the hazards of being a medical writer is psychosomatic illness. Write about an illness, become convinced that you are OMIGAWD DIEING!

[My favorite psychosomatic illness was when I was convinced I had benign prostatic hyperplasia, which, ummmm, no. Is kind of impossible for me to get since, y'know, wrong equipment and all. Of course, that didn't stop me from being convinced that I had ALL THE SYMPTOMS, OMIGAWD IMA FREAK!]

Still, the cluster of diseases I'm currently working on is interesting, but I keep having to convince myself: NO! YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY FORM OF CHRONIC PAIN! SO STOP BEING CONVINCED YOU "CAUGHT" FIBROMYALGIA FROM THE WATER SUPPLY!

[Look, I know that fibromyalgia is a serious illness for some you out there on LJ-land and I know that joking about getting fibromyalgia from the water supply is not funny. But you have to admit, being crazy-flakes as you wander into yet another all-expenses-paid, round-trip vacation into psychosomatic land borne on the wings of illogic and aided by the updrafts of an overactive imagination is actually kind of hilarious.]

I think my brain hates me. Seriously. I loves me this job, but my brain keeps trying to kill me whenever I actually y'know, do it.

On a totally unrelated tangent that is somewhat vaguely related to the fact that I'm going into full-fledged psychosomatic illness-land:

I know I'm not going to writercon this year, but I kind of had a crazy idea for an activity/seminar and was vaguely working on a proposal for it when financial necessity smacked me low: How to land a writing job.

Seriously. Last writercon there were seminars on how to become a novelist, which is awesome and all, but, most people in the U.S. (and I would bet most of the rest of the world besides) who make a living at writing are not novelists. Or script writers. Or playwrights. Or poets.

Most of us work 9-to-5 for The Man. (This was actually going to be my title for my proposed seminar: "The 9-to-5 Writer: Workin' It for The Man.") I mean, basically, I conned convinced a whole lot of someones to pay me for my hobby. And I've done this through various industries ranging from newspapering to the medical field for a long, long time.

I've always been fascinated by the split of opinion from other writers about whether or not people like me are "writers." Some people hear what I do and think, "That's not real writing. Real writers write novels (or screenplays, or plays, or poetry)." Some people hear what I do and ask, "Cool! How do I get a gig like that?"

So, seriously. Someone needs to do something at writercon showing that there are "other writers" and "other writing jobs" out there. Ones that don't require starving and are actually quite cool.

I mean, c'mon, someone is paying me to write the equivalent of two term papers a month, complete with researching and learning cool new information. What's not to love here?

Okay, maybe not the psychosomatic illnesses, but still.

I know there are people on the writercon ConCom who work as professional writers in the 9-to-5 world (tries very hard not to look in nwhepcat's direction, and fails miserably), so I'm thinking this would be an entirely doable thing, yes?

[Yes, I note the irony here. I am not going to writercon, but I'm putting in a programming proposal anyway. I think this is spelled E-N-T-I-T-L-E-M-E-N-T.]

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