Writer’s laryngitis



Writer’s laryngitis and its related condition, bloggingitis, is a painful loss of a writer’s voice, which if left untreated can lead to chronic guilt, shame, and increasingly lame excuses.



The ailment results in an uncontrollable urge to erase words on paper or hit the delete button on a computer; a stuffed up wastebasket, oozing over with crumpled papers; and complete avoidance of blogging sites, Most cases develop into a full-blown allergy to all forms of written expression.

Courtesy Pink Sherbet Photography: D Sharon Pruitt

Courtesy Pink Sherbet Photography: D Sharon Pruitt


Most of the time, writer’s laryngitis is caused by unhealthy amounts of latent procrastination in the writer’s blood. Other times an underlying cause is narrowing of the imagination, which reduces the flow of ideas, until they are completely obstructed. Some experts, such as Dr. Frye of the Americans Who Do Research Group, and his rival Dr. Frye of the French Who Do Too Group, are currently researching the causes. The American Frye contends there is a  a link to tube tuber tubby syndrome, what is commonly known as couch potato disorder. However, the French Frye considers this a half-baked idea.


Risk factors and complications

In mild cases, patients have an idea but cannot find the right word and so give up. Eventually they cannot find the left word, either, or even the ones in the middle. In severe cases the patient can do little more than stare at blank screens or blank notebooks. In some cases, sufferers find they cannot string more than two or three words together on a thread of thought.

Prolonged loss of voice can lead to linguistic atrophy, flaccid brain syndrome, and over-consumption of dark chocolate. If flaccid brain syndrome is not treated, the patient may become inert, find it impossible to get up off the couch, or even change the channel.


Treatment and drugs

There is currently no known medically approved treatment, but of course, there are drugs.

Spontaneous return of voice happens in some cases when the writer gets a new spirit, such as red wine. Other times, the cure comes by way of a talisman. Some writers swear by their lucky underwear, but may suffer a recurrence of the condition when the underwear is in the wash. Failure to wash the underwear can lead to social isolation, a leading cause of inviting too many cats into the home. Others have reported success by spitting into the wind three times on a Tuesday or writing blindfolded. No one treatment has proved efficacious for all cases.

Danger of Contagion

Writer’s laryngitis is not contagious, but it is highly annoying for people around the sufferer who are subjected to excessive sighing, whining, complaining, excuse-making, to say nothing of the need to do all of the channel changing.

39 thoughts on “Writer’s laryngitis

  1. So sorry to hear of your complaint, my dear yearstricken. I understand that Hemingway used to carry a good luck charm in one of his pockets (a rabbit’s foot), and if it helped him get the Nobel, I suppose it would be worth trying. As for myself, I can only recommend reading. When reading bad writing, one eventually feels forced to write something better. And if luck is with us… there’s inspiration. In any case, I am encouraged to read that you’re still breathing. As long as there’s breath, one can hope. Sending you my best wishes. And even though the post brought bad news, the way you delivered it was very well done, as always.

    • I’ve considered a rabbit’s foot, but then I think, the original owner wasn’t all that lucky (poor rabbit), and so I find myself considering either a clothing item or some other talisman.

      Thank you for the encouraging words.

  2. Ha! Well said.

    I tend to suffer from incontinent brain syndrome, not to be confused with impotent brain syndrome. An incontinent brain means one must deliberately write in order to prevent random brain leakage at inopportune times, which just causes people to look at you funny and sometimes, to back away slowly. It turns out that words uttered randomly and out of context, tend to disturb people. Apparently there are rules here in this world about keeping your thoughts somewhat ordered and predictable.

  3. Margie

    I appreciated your description of this ailment – I’ve had it on several occasions! The over-consumption of dark chocolate – I didn’t realize that was a complication, but know that I know that, I’ll look forward to new bouts of bloggingitis!

  4. … and on occasion the use of said drugs (medications) can, in and of itself, be the cause of the aforementioned affliction. Other side-effects include, but are not limited to; weight gain and/or in some instances, loss (though most noteworthy, that of memory receptors) and have been found to be directly related to said, “prescribed” substance(s). All of the above findings have been well-chronicled in numerous published releases of clinical and not so clinical, studies involving laboratory mice and pot smokers.*

    * See the Old English Journal of Medicine and the latest copy of “High Times” magazine.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me a large plate of munchies awaits, if I can remember where I put it..

  5. My dear Yearstricken! So good to find you have found your voice (to try to decide whether it is permanently or temporarily is to pick nits to no point…)! I too have just managed to type a blog after a long hiatus, and I am tempted to consider that we may both be suffering from the same ailment: Oughta-Immune Syndrome. The healthy blogger thinks “I oughta write something today,” feels the inner nudge, and responds with a post of some kind. The hypermotivated blogger doesn’t feel the Oughta, but need not, being rocked by the far stronger Wanna or even sometimes its vehement mutation the Gotta. But the Ought-Immune blogger has become numb to nudges of any kind, may think the words but fails to feel the nudge, and wanders through the day in the miasma perhaps of a vague sense of guilt, a sad swell of confusion, or a monotonous throb of tristesse. This ailment can be brief, but it can also go on for days, weeks, months…. The only respite I have found—a respite that usually lasts only a week or two—comes by finding a bullet, biting it, and posting SOMEthing. With luck, that gritting of the teeth opens the sensory organs to the Oughta nudge. It works for me, but is never, alas, a permanent cure. You seem to have found an alternative treatment: writing about the inertia that prevents one from writing. You have rallied eloquently, and more power to you! But if things get desperate again, try the bullet (bite—don’t swallow or fire!). And never forget you can join the Oughta-Immune Syndrome Sufferers’ support group, of which I am already a member.

  6. Oh Yearstruck — How refreshing to see you back in the quill (as it were). With complete empathy, I’m going to repost your glory as my humble way of saying I feel your pain. I’ve been wrestling with the essay concept of ‘dilly dally’ and three drafts later, still nothing. The irony is overwhelming. So like I said, I feel your pain.
    And three cheers to RAB for making new inroads into Oughta-Immune Syndrome research. The O-I S Committee is already conducting focus groups on launching a telethon.
    I do not here whine, complain or moan. But that being said, there is some Brandy in the house. It may be time for me to do some research. I’ll keep you posted.
    Until then,

  7. I sincerely wish there was something clever I could add to the discussion, but unfortunately, my brain and my fingers are rarely speaking to one another these days. If half of what floated across my brain made it to the page, well, then, I suppose at least there would be a few less blank pages. Of course, about half the time, what I see on the page is an exact reflection of what is happening in my brain … nothing, nothing, and more of the same. I would expand on that, but as is usually the case, I’m drawing a blank. Which is a little like filling up a blank page with lots of letters that don’t mean much of anything, much like this comment.

    I do hope your affliction is a temporary condition, as your voice is one of my favorite indulgences in the blog world. Wishing you a speedy recovery, or at the very least, an unending supply of chocolat noir.

  8. Never was there a better piece of writing about not being able to write.

    The chocolate must be working.

    I, too, am dazzled by RAB’s revelation of Oughta Immune Syndrome, which I now realize is the obvious source of any number of my symptoms, including but not at all limited to failure to write! I would suggest a support group, but I think that “homo sapiens” is probably the only qualification needed, and that could make finding a venue for holding meetings sort of complicated. I’ll just take your medical advice and stick to choc therapy.

    Good to hear from you!

  9. I just got over a bout of writer’s laryngitis, so I can say that there is a way back from it. I had it for over four months, but if I can make it back, you can too. Have faith that the words will return….and I’ve heard leftover Halloween candy can help too.

  10. Thanks for this medical update. I am realizing that I have been suffering from this when I thought I was just being quiet and lazy. I am going to try some wine to help. I trust that the usual admonishment for taking antibiotics should be followed here as well: Keep taking until the bottle is empty. Then start a new bottle. I will research if wine and dark chocolate together on a regular basis can help. They’ve gotta help something!

    • I’d much rather have writer’s laryngitis or Oughta-Immune Syndrome that mere laziness After exhausting research and relaxing experimentation, I’ve discovered that red wine and chocolate increase the effectiveness of each other. Enjoy your research.

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