This is more of a life update than a writing update, but it’s still an update!
Because, you see, I haven’t written a single word this week. Because I’ve been sick. Again.
It’s been a few months since I was signed off work with a respiratory infection, and both of the doctors I’ve seen since told me it could take a few months to recover.
It’s just takes a long, long time, and — while my immune systems feels like it’s offline — I keep getting sick in the meantime.
The constant, random vomiting is a bit of a drag. I don’t enjoy the migraines much, either, But — let me tell you — they’re almost worth it for the hallucinations.
I keep seeing spiders crawling all over me.
I feel like I’m rising and falling; bouncing between the floor and the ceiling.
I can hear people screaming at me, but I don’t understand them.
I’ve been vividly, as-clear-as-day, been dreaming entire days in my day-job.
Hell, I can’t even keep track of what day it is.
Please believe me: the trippiness of getting out of my own head vastly outweighs how scary that might all seem!
Writing while sick
I know there are folks out there who would tell me that a “serious” writer would push through and get the words out.
First of all, I’d tell them to fuck off with the idea that artists need to burn out for their art to be valid or have value. Don’t normalise a culture of people working themselves to exhaustion and poor health.
Secondly, I’d say: You know what? I do want to push myself to write. I do want to distract myself from the pain and confusion by dipping into my little fantasy world.
But I don’t, because…
…and I’m only repeating this to make sure the message is super-clear…
…I have a day-job, under a contract. When I’m on personal time, I can do whatever I want. But when I’m taking days off sick, my priority has to be to slow down, rest, and get healthy again as fast as possible. Working myself to exhaustion ain’t gonna help that.
So, I don’t write while I’m sick. My priority is the work that pays my rent. And — good lord — when I finally get this book published, I don’t want there to be even a flicker of an idea in anyone’s mind that I pulled a sick day just to work on those words.
So last week I was mostly sick, with a trip to Nottingham to talk about my day-job in a loft at a technology event.
No words written. Esthree Postbuild vs the Void Rock remains in the first draft at 33,529 words.
I don’t see any weird plans on my calendar for next week, and I really, really need to be back at my day-job tomorrow. I’ll assume that I’ll be working every day.
I want to ease myself back into writing, so let’s say my goal for next week is to… continue the first draft, and end the week at 38,000 words at least.
I feel kinda weaksauce for setting my bar so low, but I’m not convinced that I can achieve much more until I’ve shaken these germs out of my head.