When illness plagues…

The thing about being a writer – trying to become a published author – is that when it comes time to compromise on activity the first thing to go is the commitment to write. Not because I don’t want to do it, not because it isn’t important to me or because I have nothing to say, but simply because writing is done purely for me and me alone, so it is the easiest thing to let go when the need arises.

I am not yet published. I do not have scores of expectant readers waiting for my next novel, nor a publisher or agent to send material to. There are no deadlines or promises of payment to get things done, whereas in other aspects of my life there are such. My job, for example, as an educator in a Museum – work colleagues rely on me to do the things I promised and excited school children are reliant on me doing this job well. My home life, where I have a dog who needs to be walked and fed and played with; a partner who needs some time and attention; and let’s pretend we can ignore the household chores (as I do most of the time anyway).

Therefore, when illness plagues me, the first thing to slip is my writing. Perhaps it shouldn’t be, but as it pleases only me for the moment it is the task with the least consequences associated as a result of putting things on hold. However, when said illness begins to interfere on more than this level, when it prevents me from walking my dog or doing my job…well, then everything has to go on hold and I want to turn back to my writing as some form of comfort, to prove there is still something I can do, even if only in a small way.

Today I was declared unfit for work until the 14th April. There is a distinct possibility this should have happened earlier, but work has been so busy and I’ve been so looking forward to Camp NaNoWriMo that I got distracted and thought I was wonder woman again, rather than a regular person who also happens to suffer with M.E. It was a case of too much, all at once and I’ve now fallen from a great height, crashing down with a bruised ego and humble acceptance.

Fortunately, work will go on without me and this should help me work up the energy to walk my poor little dog. My writing…well, this I’m not so sure of. I am suffering with Sinusitus, and for anyone who recognises this affliction they will know that concentration, clear thinking and PC work do not fit well with this type of infection. As you can tell, I am managing some…having missed my blog post earlier this week I couldn’t disappoint again (yet another example of how I hate to let others down). But, it also serves to remind me – by way of reminding those who stop by here – that sometimes we all need our rest, and we should prioritise this the same way we should prioritise our writing when we are well.

So, I’m off to rest. Then walk the dog, of course. πŸ˜‰ Stay well, and hopefully I’ll be back soon to report the same.


20 responses to “When illness plagues…

  1. Let the housework go and write in bed with a pencil and pad of paper. Even if it’s scribbles. Some weird, cool idea might be found later in all the muck. (It’s so easy and fun to give other people advice, isn’t it? Let’s see how I do tomorrow with my writing…) Feel better soon.

    • Good idea…I may very well do this!
      It’s always much easier to give advice than take it. Just like it’s much easier to say you’re going to write a novel compared to actually writing a novel!
      Onward and upward, eh?
      Good luck taking your own advice! Xx

  2. It’s so difficult, getting our lives to fit our dreams, Sometimes when I’m writing I feel time flows through a sieve and just the odd lumps stop it disappearing altogether. And I don’t suffer from a debilitating illness, just trying to find my own space between family, friends and work. Hope you feel your strength improving soon.

    • “It’s so difficult, getting our lives to fit our dreams”
      That’s it exactly, you sum it up so succinctly!
      Thanks for stopping by to comment, and to wish me well πŸ™‚
      Take Care, Cat

    • “It’s so difficult, getting our lives to fit our dreams”
      That’s it exactly, you sum it up so succinctly!
      Thanks for stopping by to comment, and to wish me well πŸ™‚
      Take Care, Cat

  3. Feel better soon Cat. The writing will still be there when you’re fully fit (or as close as you can be). I quit one of my two jobs yesterday to concentrate on writing. Very daunting, but a decision that will bring great rewards – if not financially then certainly emotionally!

    • Thanks doll. You are certainly right about the writing still being there when I’m ready to go back to it!
      Kudos for quitting one of your jobs to follow your dream of full time writing. One step closer and hopefully a lot happier too. Good luck with it. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for stopping by. Take Care, Cat x

    • I’m glad you feel you can relate. Sometimes having a health problem like ME and writing about it makes me feel like I’m complaining about an illness very few have experience with. But, I guess we’ve all been down the crash and burn route at least once. It’s being able to stop and admit that need for rest that’s the important step.
      Thanks for stopping by. All these hopes for me to feel better soon are making me feel better…funny that, eh?
      Take care, Cat

    • Thanks doll! Hopefully I’ll be able to put writing top of the list once I feel better, for a little while at least.

  4. Wow. I can so relate to what you have written. I have had issues with bad health for years (and am having a bit of a relapse this week) and I was just thinking about how the writing I care so much about is the first thing I drop from my agenda. I hate that it’s this way. Although no one pays me yet, I know behaving like a professional is important to becoming a professional. But I am not willing to work myself to death when I really need to be resting and taking care of myself. I hate that I have to take a break from things, but I know it’s the best for me.

    Hope you are feeling better soon (and manage to sneak some writing in!)

    • It’s interesting isn’t it, that we try so hard to be professional and treat writing like a job, but when we get sick we still often push ahead even when we would have called in sick to a ‘regular’ job. It’s because we love it, I’m sure, but we all need a break now and then so, as you say, knowing what is best for you has to be the right thing.
      Thanks for stopping by to share and wish me well. Much appreciated πŸ™‚
      Take care, Cat

  5. I hope you feel well again soon Cat. I encounter the same problems as I work during the day and have to be up at 6.45 every morning and have 2 cats who need a lot of attention so, when I’m tired, the first thing to go is my writing.
    Looks like weekends only at the moment but I’ll get there, as will you because we love it and it’s in our blood; it’s what keeps us going.


    • That’s true Cath – so long as we get some writing done, that’s all we need. Sometimes we do need to prioritise ourselves first though and occasionally that means writing should get to the top of the list.
      Thanks for the well wishes, am sure after some R&R I’ll be back on form again.
      Take care, Cat

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