Saturday, June 12, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

I'm in the middle of a four-book marathon to meet my deadlines for 2011's books, and it's a grind. My day job has been uncooperative in terms of allowing me a full lunch hour in which to work, and it can be hard to write at home with a mother, a sister, two nieces, and various dogs, cats and kittens vying for your attention while you're trying to take a little time to just meet your daily page goals.

I was starting to wish I could just take a break, do nothing but lie around and sleep for a few days.

Bad move.

On Sunday, out of the blue, two ailments struck at the same time: stomach flu and cellulitis in my left leg. The next four days were a blur. I wasn't able to eat the first three days and ended up losing 12 pounds. (Have since gained back some weight, which I'm fine with, because sheesh, that's a lot to lose in three days). And after the stomach ailment passed, I still had a red-splotched, painful and swollen legs (not to mention a boatload of antibiotics to take).

At least I got my days of lying around and sleeping.

Yay?

Writing is a job. It's a joy sometimes, and it's a pain sometimes. It's frustrating, exhilarating, scary and rewarding. But you never quite appreciate just how much it's a part of you until you're lying flat on your back, sick as a dog and chained to a barf bucket, and one of your first glum thoughts is, "All this downtime and I'm too sick to write."

Do you ever take writing for granted?

8 comments:

Piedmont Writer said...

Most of the time I take it for granted, until, like you, I can't.

But then usually the forced break allows me to let the story stew and I come out of the break stronger for it.

Jeanie said...

No! I totally understand where you're coming from, having my first ever deadline to meet. And I work full time, too, though my job is not as demanding as yours. And I live with a husband, two daughters and two dogs. The telephone, the big screen tv, the husband playing war games on the computer in the next room, the doorbell ringing, the dogs wanting in and out . . . all make it nearly impossible for me to write at home.

My solution? I slip off to my church for a few hours on the weekends. Total quiet . . . except for the church phone ringing and the people coming in and out for meetings and the church secretary and the senior warden and . . .

Sigh. I feel your pain.

Carla Swafford said...

I really not sure what you mean by take writing for granted. With that said, maybe I do understand. Sound like a politician, don't I?

Writing to me is, just is. It's part of me and who I am. It took me years to put my foot down with my family and say "This is how it is." They have a hard time with it and in turn I've had to learn to carve time out for them. As really, I rather be writing.

Gwen Hernandez said...

I'm sorry you had such a tough week. Hope you feel better soon.

It's so easy to get distracted (as I can attest to during the last few weeks of moving). I definitely took my quiet time for granted, especially now that my kids are out of school and my husband is off until August!

Good luck finding the time to get it done!

Gwen Hernandez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louisa Cornell said...

Feel better soon, Paula! Goodness, that is a lot to deal with at one time. I have had those times as well. Take a few days off from work (I call them mental health days because if I don't take them off I will go nuts!) I have all of these plans to write on those days and then I get sick, or something breaks in the house or something else comes along and eats up all of that down time I wanted to use to write.

That is my biggest problem. When you live alone your down time is at a premium, almost as much as if I had kids and/or a husband to deal with. Anything that has to be done outside of work has to be done by me. Makes working in the writing a pain at times.

Then again, I want to sell, so I keep telling God "Please give me a chance to prove that a deadline won't make me crazy!"

M.V.Freeman said...

Poor you, two things at once. That is insanity!

I hope that you are feeling better.

As for taking my writing for granted...sometimes I do. But, I have that luxury (and angst)-I'm unpubbed. But when I am..I know all that will change.

Hang in there!

Cari Hislop said...

Sorry to hear your wish came true! I hope you feel MUCH better soon. Good luck with making your deadline!