Category Archives: Blog

Blog Post: Writing While Sick

My plan was to do an introductory blog post before regular blogging, but some things got in the way. I’ll come back to that in the next few days. 

Today’s cool thing: Dear Mr Darcy

Book I’m Currently Reading: Thus Spoke Zarathustra, by Friedrich Nietzsche 

I felt it coming last night when I was watching Darkest Hour. Like a cat, it snuck up on me. A faint tickle in the back of my throat, a burning sensation behind my eyes, my nose dripping like a faucet. When I got home I hurried to devour all the usual home remedies. But there was no stopping it. This morning I woke up and resigned myself to the dreaded fact — I am sick.

Is there a more frustrating feeling? Not deathbed sick or hospitalisation sick, but the sick where your bones ache and your head too. Where every breath is like a razor blade in your throat. Like Christmas with extended family that you can’t stand, you forget how bad it is every time until it happens again. Yet when it comes, there’s little you can do but call in sick to work, plonk down on the couch with a box of tissues and your Netflix subscription and wait it out. Problem solved.

But what if you’re a writer who works from home? You don’t have any scaffolds to climb or iPhones to sell. All you have to do is sit in front of the computer and type. It’s across the room. You can drink tea at your desk. You have no excuse. If you don’t write you’re  procrastinating, and you’ll never finish your book and you know what, you’re probably just delusional in thinking you can be a successful writer anyway. And you’re fat.

That’s roughly the route along which my brain took me this morning. It’s so easy when you’re a kid — if you are sick your mum tells you to stay home, and if you’re not and want a day off, you rub your head along the carpet for a few seconds. Either way, the decision is made for you. With the decision entirely in my hands, I felt like Chidi in The Good Place. I couldn’t make a choice. So I grabbed my computer from my desk, jumped back into bed, and opened up my ‘Book Second Draft’ file.

It didn’t go well. Trying to think, to find ideas, was like trying to drag an Elephant from a tar pit with my bare hands. Impossible. I quickly realised that I couldn’t possibly work on anything new that would do anything but add more work for me later. So I edited the work that I had done yesterday. It was only a few word changes and some cuts, but it was something.

I wrote this blog post as a low-pressure way to keep the creative juices flowing. This and my small editing session were enough to stave off that neurotic beast that lives in every writer’s stomach for a day. Hopefully, I feel better tomorrow. For now, Netflix is calling my name.