No, this isn’t about sex (maybe some other time).
I’ve been sidelined by illness this past week, a nasty cold with laryngitis that’s kept me to my bed for far longer than I expected. Body aches, cough, more phlegm than Baggles on iCarly (it’s a garbage bag filled with yogurt, and…nevermind). You know when you’re sick but you feel like you can still function, get some work done, muddle through your day like an almost normal person? Yeah, no, not this time. I was hit by the proverbial bus on this round, and it was all I could do to get out of bed in the morning to get my (thankfully healthy) kid to school. Then more Nyquil and back to bed until early afternoon, at least. You get the idea.
At this point in my writing journey, I’ve trained myself to write something everyday, a page, a paragraph, a sentence, anything writing-related. I think there’s a fear that if I don’t, if I miss a day, or several days, I won’t ever go back to it. For a long time, it was difficult to give myself permission to write; now it’s difficult to give myself permission not to write. So when something like this happens, and I simply can’t do it, frustration and panic sets in.
I often wish I was like those who don’t let illness get the better of them. I’m thinking in particular of a well-known blogger that I love and whose energy is admirable and inspiring, when it’s not downright maniacal. This is a woman who wrote a NaNo novel in two weeks with the flu. How is this humanly possible? But of course, I’m feeling like a big baby and a weakling for not accomplishing half as much during my own little cold, believing I don’t have what it takes to make it in this business. Work harder, go the extra mile, sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, is what I’m hearing and reading about all the time.
Well, I love writing and I want it bad, but there are some things I’m not willing to sacrifice: my family, and my health. Illness happens, and when it does, I just have to surrender to the bed. I’m not writing, and that’s okay. There’s a place for healing, too, and dreaming, a refilling of the well that’s vital to any kind of creative pursuit. On that note, I think I’ll retire to the couch (an upgrade!) and read a book.