Sick Writer Makes Writing Harder

Since I had to call off work because I have the flu (or some variation), I finally had the time to write a blog post. I’m at work most of the time, and once I get home I have the option of running around with my head cut off like a chicken or sleeping. It’s exhausting.

So, you’d think I would love a day to lay in bed, and just write. Well, it’s not so easy. While my stomach has subsided, my brain isn’t on yet. I have four pages of a paper to write by the end of the day, and writer’s block is the least of my worries. It’s the sickness. The constant distraction of sniffles, coughs, and an empty tummy are not conducive to beautifully-written sentences for a critical essay on Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout.

I feel defeated. It’s not often that I fall prey to these tiny bugs, especially enough to not work. However, being off and having the time to finish my paper properly should make me happy. Right now I feel like this:

No energy, no creativity, just resentment for the little bugs in body.

This lack of energy makes me wonder how other people cope with sickness when a deadline is looming. Do you push yourself beyond your body’s limits to finish the job? Or do you wait and let the creative juices flow naturally when the time is right?

At the moment, I am much more inclined to pick the latter, and veg out in front of the TV for the rest of the night, trying to drink soup and tea. Luckily, I  think my brain is slowly coming back on and trying to get up to speed, so I can finish my paper on time.  It would be easy to give up, ask for an extension, and put it off until I feel better. I think it is a testament to the desire of writers to push through every obstacle, even something simple like the flu, to achieve their dream.

Writers have been fighting disease (mental ones are a much longer list) as any other person does, but somehow we manage to immerse ourselves in our work and create pieces of literature from the pain of illness. Here is a short list of famous authors who were in constant pain of disease, but still made an impression on the world with their writing:

John Updike-Psoriasis

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Anne/Emily Bronte, Stephen Crane, Anton Chekhov, Dashiell Hammett, John Keats, Eugene O’Neill, George Orwell, Alexander Pope, Henry David Thoreau –Tuberculosis

Charles Dickens-Addison’s disease

Flannery O’Connor-Lupus

Stephen King(my hero)- Macular degeneration

These are just a few of the amazing writers who push through worse than the flu, and accomplish more than I will in my entire life. *Lifts mug of tea* Let us raise our glasses to those who have come before, and still fighting today. Even at Death’s doorsteps, writers will fight to  place their ideas on paper for everyone to read.

Happy reading, writing!


Filed under Idea of the Day

4 responses to “Sick Writer Makes Writing Harder

  1. Sounds like you need to look after yourself! Hope you’re feeling better soon.
    I understand that Lewis Carroll also suffered from migraines, which may have inspired some of the stranger parts of Alice in Wonderland.

    • I didn’t know that! Very interesting! And yes, I need to take some time for myself to relax and take it easy…after this paper 😛 As much as I should take a complete break, there is always something to do with a full-time job, school work every day, and an apartment to clean. I hope it will pass in a few hours. Lucky for me, writing doesn’t use my whole body, just my hands haha

  2. And don’t forget the brain and the eyes! I didn’t realize Stephen King has macular degeneration. My godfather has it and I can’t think of a worse thing for a writer to have. Hope you’re feeling better soon. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s