Diagnosis: Writer's Fear

Most new writers are told to write about what they know or are curious about. My latest assigment is on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome for a major women’s magazine and as I’m doing the research tonight, I am freaking out.

PCOS is a hormonal disease that approximately 10% of women deal with. Symptoms like excessive hair loss, unwanted facial hair, acne, obesity, infertility and risk for heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure and cholestrol are all a part of PCOS. I got diagnosed last year by my dermatologist (I went to her because of my hair loss and facial hair–both which are very severe) and I was devastated. But, when I lost my job, I lost my healthcare and I haven’t been able to follow up with the diagnosis. 

As I’m watching videos, reading articles, message boards and posts on severe cases of PCOS, I’m afraid of what I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life, since PCOS really has no cure. It’s still a relatively newly found disease. Some women have beards and moustaches like men (I already deal with an annoying amount of facial hair), others are obese and unable to lose weight, many can’t have children! Of course, all of these things might not happen to me, because PCOS varies from woman to woman; but I don’t know the extent of my situation because I don’t have healthcare.

How much should a writer be affected by her subject? And how do you keep your emotions from creeping into your writing; especially when it’s on an informative topic? When your subject matter starts to make you nervous, should you quit the assignment or should you leave it for another day?

How do you deal with an especially disturbing assignment?


2 thoughts on “Diagnosis: Writer's Fear

  1. Hi girl.. I am just curious about the research method you are using. Lately I have been commissioned to write on topics that require in depth research.

    I am just looking on effective ways for research.. because honestly, it stashes away a substantial amount of time.


  2. Honestly, I think being affected by the research might make it that much stronger of a piece. While informative, it’s helpful to have a voice throughout the piece. Your readers, especially those who are going through it, will relate to it that much more. But if it’s making you feel that uncomfortable, put it down for awhile and pick it back up later. Good luck!

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