The Sickly Writer

I’ll admit that the holidays stress me out. For a migraineur like myself, this added stress (as opposed to run-of-the-mill stress) brings on the headaches. Mine are weird–they start in the middle of the night, but when they occur I struggle to write, edit or even read. What can writers do to keep themselves healthy and writing during these dark winter H1n1 days?
Writing Tip For Today:

  • The first thing everyone recommends is don’t get sick in the first place. Writers are dedicated, but we need not stoke the stereotype of the hard drinking, cigarette-puffing isolationist (as if–I’m more of the Diet Dr. Pepper-swilling writer, and with 5 cats you’re never alone, right?). It’s possible to take a break from that keyboard and stretch or even exercise. Switch from coffee to tea if you can stand it. I’ve made a rule that my office area is a potato-chip-free zone–only fruits and veggies get in here. Seriously, cough into your elbow, keep those fingers away from your face and use sanitizer. If you have small children, better luck next year.
  • If you catch the 24 hour virus-du-jour, realize that your writing might not be at its best for a few days. Write anyway, at least try to. It may all need to be deleted later, and that’s OK. If you can jog with a cold you can write with one, that is until you get the chills or you run out of tissues. Then, take a nap, do some light editing or organize your files until you feel better.
  • And if all else fails, write down the feelings of your terrible cold. Spare us the details of your “ins” and “outs,” but be creative in describing how awful you feel. The next sickly character you write might not need to reach for the cliche, “She was sick as a dog.” I am though, and thank goodness for migraine meds. I’m going to take that nap.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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