Symptoms of losing your marbles as a writer: top five

"Writers are also sort of like vultures, but with fewer ethics." Libba Bray

I think I'm going a little crazy as a writer (I've noticed a lot of times I think I am typing complete sense only to come back days later to read something that is essentially as useful as two monkeys typing a novel on a rusty xylophone) and so, naturally, to combat this I've written this list as a sounding board of all the symptoms I am exhibiting so yes. Tick them off as you go along and at the end we can compare notes/lists/words/amount of time lost/crying techniques.

1. Lists
Symptom: Making lists as a form of procrastination because the internet stopped being distracting 72 hours ago when you found the end through a mystery portal on reddit and you begun to feel the urge to take a good long look at yourself in the mirror except you can't because you've engraved a list of top five best soapy discoveries on it after your list of top five things that are only temporary as writing utensils rubbed off.
Treatment: Lists. More Lists. Who doesn't love a list?
Recovery time: I don't need to recover what are you talking about.

2. Word Confusion
Symptom: Writing almost complete nonsense in the place of real words, forgetting how to spell your own name, typing words that are homonyms, crying, knowing that the exact phrase is out there, just beyond your reach, but being unable to see it from this vantage point. Only just realising that Hannibal Lecter rhymes with Cannibal Lecter and honestly this has nothing much to do with the symptom I just wanted you to know that I am 23 years old and only just noticed that no wonder Hannibal had them all fooled it is a very hard thing to notice.
Treatment: Write all the words you know down on a slip of paper or napkin. Rearrange, and convert into novel.
Recovery Time: Dictionary dependent.

3. Plot Hole Muteness
Symptom: Being unable to explain just how disastrous the plot hole staring you in the face is, or quite how you got there, but knowing it began with some small accident somewhere and now you only have that to cling to. You repeat the inconsequential event that led you here to yourself over and over. You carve it into your shoe. Nobody seems to understand, not even the postman, but that's okay because the walls of your mind are splattered with the importance of what has happened.
Treatment: Writing.
Recovery time: Approximately one book, your book. Finish it.

4. Adventuring
Symptom: The floor is now lava and the lampshades made of chocolate! If this is just an average Friday night for you then you might be displaying classic adventuring symptoms. Other symptoms may include: answering the phone with a cheery "this is sparta!", ordering onion rings in crowded eating places just so you can shout "Frodoo! Nooo! The ring!" when anyone tries to eat them, convincing yourself that any unusual behaviour from friends is not a result of your own unusual behaviour but is instead some kind of high level conspiracy plot consisting mostly of aliens.
Treatment: Just go with it. They call it method-writing in the biz.
Recovery time: There is no recovery, only happy acceptance of the path life has given you.

5. Nothing
Symptom: There is nothing wrong with you. All the best people in the world are crazy anyhow, and honestly if you have any marbles right now you will need to lose them in order to embark upon this quest. You will need to scatter them to the wind, and smile as they plop into the ocean of despair, as you realise that writing a novel is an act of insane optimism but if you don't have the guts to be insane then how will we ever get anything done in this life?
Treatment: There is no cure.
Recovery time: Approximately one party hard dumbledore based gif to compose yourself and realise the world is a brilliant and mysterious place.

Are you currently exhibiting any other symptoms? The answer is obvs no because you are all perfect but that is just my opinion of you so.


My dear dear buddy, Amalia Dillin, has another book out soon! It is called Honor Among Orcs and doesn't it look fabulous all here on my blog? The font especially appeals to me because it is a really nice serif, but the author name itself is in a sans serif telling you this is a new twist on an establish genre. Guess what! I don't just make this stuff up! It actually totes is. It's an epic fantasy with a new adult twist, taking inspiration from the fantasy greats, and adding a wonderful strong and complicated girl main character. Let's take a look at the blurb:

"After nearly a decade as the king’s whipping-girl, Princess Arianna has no intention of going quietly into marriage to some treasonous noble, or serving obediently as the king’s spy until her death is more convenient. When she discovers a handsome orc, chained and trapped inside a magic mirror, Arianna cannot help but see a lasting freedom from her father's abuse.

Left to rot inside a mirror by the king, Bolthorn never imagined his prayers would be answered by a princess. Nor did he ever expect to meet so worthy a woman after knowing her father’s cruelty. He needs her help to escape the mirror before the king marches against the orcs, but all he can offer Arianna is ice and darkness in exchange for her aid.

If Arianna can free the monster behind the glass, perhaps she might free herself, as well. But once they cross the mountain, there will be no return, and the deadly winter is the least of what threatens them on the other side."

Amalia herself has admitted Honor Among Orcs was a surprise to write but can I just say to be sent the words as they formed was actually the most fabulous surprise that has ever happened to me so, um, yes. When she sent it to me she was all like, "lol, this is just some fun I am having no need to publish I love writing wooop" and I was all:

And Amalia was all "that's good?" because nobody had actually asked me that but even still despite that fact inside I was all:

Because I had fallen in love with this story about a Princess who finds out what happens after the big escape and how the world is a very difficult place to live in even if you find love. I had fallen in love with a story never to be published. Naturally, being British, all this emotion sort of swelled up inside of me until finally, one day, just completely out of the blue, I snapped, and was all like "um, Amalia, sorry to bother you? I just wanted to say I love your book. I mean, um, sorry. What am I doing? This is so rude. Forget I exist. I apologise profusely for that, btw" and this to be honest probably resulted in nothing but eventually, eventually, when Amalia announced she was going to make it a thing I was just so happy. I had to hide it, of course, and act natural, but I could not be more thrilled that this book is a thing. 

From inception to this moment right here it has been a joy to get to read! I really hope you love it as much as I do. What do you think of the font? Do you not love the silvery effect of the letters?

Don't forget to add it on Goodreads, and you can learn more about the series (yes! it's  going to be a series!) at It comes out on April 1, 2014. Isn't that fabulous?