Writing Through Illness.

Summer's_boredomThe writing profession has never been easy and these days it’s very much a case of treating it like a business. In order to be successful, you need to produce more and being a small business owner you can’t afford to get sick. Personal issues can also get in the way, especially if you have children to take care of.

Lately, I have been reading a lot of blogs from fellow writers (thanks in part to the ISWG), which have left me not only inspired from what others have done, but have made me feel quite slack in what I need to do in order to get where I want to be. I am in awe of other writers who can accomplish so much, even when they are unwell.

Here in Australia, we are in our last weeks of winter and with kids in the house, it was only a matter of time before illness was to strike our household. Being sick doesn’t help you progress where writing is concerned. I’ve always been of the belief that if you are sick, you need to listen to your body and take it easy; if you push yourself too far, you may only make matters worse. I don’t think society has really helped, as people have become more demanding; always wanting more and more, so that we may become too hard upon ourselves if we don’t meet other’s ideas of success.

Whenever I’m not well, I have a tendency to do a fair amount of one of these activities and an an awful lot of the other:

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I’ve read recently that no-one will care that your stories go unwritten; that if you get sick no-one will be doing the writing for you. No-one is making us write – this is entirely our own decision. This is why it is in our own best interests to be our own motivators. Even on days where we are limited, we can still find something that keeps us moving towards our goals.

This is not meant to be a whiny post, as there are many people out there who are worse off than ourselves; it’s just that sometimes we need to slow down and find ways to keep the spirit healthy while the body recovers (being prepared for those days when the unexpected happens can also be a Godsend). If we continue to do the work, no matter how small, we are still progressing towards our goals.

Do you continue writing when you are sick or do you prefer to take it easy? What small tasks do you do when you are unwell that helps with your writing? Do you think society has made too many demands upon our time?

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Image courtesy Kristaps B. at Wikimedia Commons.

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3 thoughts on “Writing Through Illness.

  1. I generally push on, Debbie, but then, more fool me. This is the only job in the world where I can slope off at any time to rest, revitalise, and recoop (read: down tools at the drop of the hat without guilt because no one will know or care). It is the only job I’ve had where I don’t. Go figure.

    1. Hi Dimity. Good on you – it shows how much you enjoy it! I try getting some writing done, but I’ve learnt from experience it’s best to down tools. That time spent away from a project gives me more ideas, thus motivating me to get better and back to work. 😉

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