The flu and writing

This week, I had one of the worst cases of the flu that I’ve had in years—first the stomach flu, then it morphed into a roaring sinus infestation, then a cough fest that made my head and chest hurt, all mixed with aches and fevers and plugged ears. By day six, I was begging my husband to take me out back and put me out of my misery. The poor guy had been waiting on me hand-and-foot while taking care of the kids double-time all week—I think he might have actually considered my request for a couple of seconds. 

When you’re sick, do you keep writing? Can you keep writing? Or does everything shut down in your creative brain?

I wanted to have everything shut down, but I couldn’t. I had a book club event that hit in the eye of the storm (in other words, the day after the stomach flu part finished and the day before the sinus infestation split my head in two). I still wasn’t eating at that point out of fear of it coming back up, but I could drink, so I bought a big frozen coke Slurpee from 7-11 on the way to the event and pushed through the two and a half hours, fueled by sugar and caffeine.

I had the second of my three Introduction to Paranormal Investigations classes the night of the head splitter. I made it through those three hours thanks to the help of modern chemistry, then I went home and collapsed.

The first night of my coughing fest I had an online chat in which I was the on-stage author. I sat huddled under a blanket, typing my fingers off while coughing up a lung. Thankfully, in cyberspace, no one can hear you cough.

I wrote three different guest blog posts during the flu week, including the one for tomorrow, my Cage Match post for the spring Indie Book Collective Blog Tour de Force (stop over and comment on my blog, please, and help me beat my opponent: Whenever my fever would break, I’d be back at the keyboard, typing away.

My husband thought I was insane to be doing all of this, but we authors know that “the show must go on.”

So it did.

And it looked seamless.

Lucky for me, nobody looked behind the green velvet curtain.

Share your flu writing stories with me. I’m all ears now that they are unplugged. 

Ann Charles

5 responses to “The flu and writing

  1. Oh, Ann, you poor thing! This sounds awful. I’ve pushed through writing stuff and parenting on days when I’m sick, but I’ve been lucky so far this year. Both times I was under the weather, it happened on weekends and I just crawled into bed and stayed there. Hopefully that trend continues, or better yet, that I just stay healthy! *knock wood*

    I hope you’re feeling better and can take some down time now to really recuperate. You don’t want a relapse! *wags finger at you*

  2. That is sucky! 😦

    Honestly I don’t have any good stories. When I’m sick, it’s usually of the “on-death’s-doorstep” variety where I can’t even move, let alone think about writing.

  3. K.B. and Lisa, thanks for your comments and thoughts and sharing in my wah-wahs. One more day until the weekend when I can sleep in and take several naps. Yay!


  4. That sounds awful. Spring is my allergy/sinus months of doom, so I feel your pain.

  5. Ann, all I can say is yuch! Okay, it’s not ALL I can say. For me, when I’m sick, all I want to do is lie around and feel sick – sometimes, though, it does seem to go faster when there are a few (not as many of you, though) things I have to do.

    Hope you have a lovely – and restful – weekend.


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