Sick Days

September 18, 2010

I am sick. The hacking cough I’ve had the past few weeks, and brushed off with “But I don’t feel sick!” has strengthened, invited its virus friends to a party in my lungs, and judging by the thermometer, they’ve started a bonfire. They’re probably dancing around it now. Stupid viruses.

So why am I blogging? Well, I just woke up from sleeping most of the day, and I am bored. I also feel unproductive. I know, I know, I can’t really expect to be working on a day like today. Anything I did accomplish would likely need to be pitched later. Nevertheless, some vestiges of guilt remain. Therefore, I have compiled a list of ways to make those sniffly hours pass more quickly.

5. Read

Not all readers are writers, but all writers are readers. So attack the “To Be Read” pile beside your bed. Let someone else handle the words for a day. It’s fun, low-stress, and you may learn something about the craft.

4. Listen

That being said, reading isn’t always an option. This morning my eyes were sliding all over the page. If you don’t have a bad headache, try grabbing your headphones. I adore podcast novels (I think I’ll talk more about them another day), and regular ol’ music can be great for inspiration.

3. Watch

Movies and TV also contain stories. You can check them out for plotting, characterization, etc. Or if you’re not up to thinking that hard, it’s always amusing to imagine which actors would  play your characters if your book ever became a movie. 

2. Feel

Your head aches. Your chest feels like it’s splitting apart with every cough. Over-the-counter cold medicine has stuffed your head with cotton. Sucks, doesn’t it? As much as you’d like to ignore your symptoms, pay attention, just for a little. How does it really feel? You never know: one day you may need to write a scene about someone who’s sick. If you do, that memory of delightfully greeny-yellow mucus may serve you well.

1. Sleep

Let’s face it: this is what your body really wants to do. Sitting up, and thinking, and complaining about being sick all divert valuable energy that could be better spent fighting the miniature invaders within (don’t worry though… they probably won’t pop out of your chest). So sleep. Your body will thank you, your brain will clear, and you may even get some of those weird fever dreams… goodness knows, those can provide some interesting plot and characters.

‘Til next time,




  1. Hope you’re feeling better soon. Looks like you’ve written yourself a fine prescription!

  2. Sleep good, even for healthy people. Sorry you’re feeling gross!

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