This will serve as my first personal post here, which might be a bit out of context, but I wanted to talk about something that has plagued me my whole life, how sickness can affect your creativity. Unfortunately, this is a post more about the frustration than a solution, but I think it’s something very important to realize about yourself, if you are plagued with this problem.
First thing is I am writing this while on day 5 of the flu, so it probably isn’t the best writing I’ve ever done, so please excuse any grammar problems, because that’s where sickness tends to hit me the most. And it doesn’t matter how many times I read it over, either, when I’m sick, even this close to being better, I miss so much that I generally don’t even try anymore.
Let’s start with a story. A few years ago during midterm week I had come down with the flu. I was lucky that most of my classes had either no mid-term or I had already done them, but my English class had an essay due on that Sunday. I had written the first draft when I was just coming down with the sickness and knew it needed a lot of work, so for two days I edited and edited, but come Sunday afternoon, I read it one last time before emailing my teacher and asking for an extension. It was one of the few times I did this, but I just could not get it done and edited in time.
The teacher was very understanding, as I said it wasn’t like me to ask for such a thing, and he gave me 3 days (and a few points deducted). By Wednesday morning I was feeling much better and my head was clear, so I sat down and read over my essay. It was a disaster, worst thing I had ever written. This is when I realized that I cannot write, or do anything creative, when I’m sick. If I had turned in that essay that Sunday, I would have probably failed the midterm and possibly the class (it was heavily influenced by midterm and final essays with almost no “classwork”). Some of the mistakes I made, and then missed in editing, were so bad that I felt like I was reading an essay written by a Freshman in High School, or even younger. I ended up rewriting the essay from scratch, turning it in on that Wednesday, and getting high marks on the essay (I believe it was just over 90% after the late deduction), and ended up with an A in the class.
Flash forward to this year. My job is working with children ages 5-10 and, I’ll tell you, they are germ magnets. Some of them are sick so often that they’re at home more than they are at school! I do have a low immune system, so I have also been sick a lot, despite washing my hands and using sanitize by the pound, but thanks to my cold-eeze, it hasn’t been too bad, except when I get the flu. Thanks to not getting my flu shot this year (a big mistake) I’ve had the flu 3 times. THREE TIMES! You would think my body would have built up an immunity, but no!
I-ah, you know what now I’m just ranting, let me get to the point.
Last week I realized I was starting to get sick before I had any symptoms because my ability to edit my latest book went out the window. I had to stop completely and gave in to the fact it would be a few days before I could continue. Unfortunately, it ended up being the flu and it’s now been over a week since I’ve felt good and will probably be another 3-5 days before I’m back to normal, that’s a long time to put off writing and editing when my deadline is approaching very quickly.
So what’s the solution? I wish I knew. I guess the answer is to not get sick in the first place! I’m tired of being sick, since this is not only the third flu this school year, but I’ve also had 3 or 4 colds, and need to find a solution to this.
In the end, I know one thing. Being sick sucks for so many reasons. Now back to your regular posts.