As probably deduced from the above title, I am sick. I just entered week two of misery, so it’s either the flu or a stray common cold virus vacationed too close to a certain beleaguered Japanese nuclear facility and mutated its way to my door. I haven’t been this sick in years and had almost forgotten just how awful it can be. The only bright spot is that if I can get enough rest, I have hope of avoiding the dreaded relapse. Until sufficient time passes to know how much time will have to pass before I feel at least semi-human again, I’ve been struggling with the question that has no real answer: When should I go back to writing?

Here are 5 reasons I’m having trouble knowing the right answer.

1. I get scatterbrained when I’m too tired. When I’m really, really Oh, when will this torture end? sick the scatterbrainedness evolves into a state where I cannot absolutely trust myself to spell my own name. Correctly, anyway. It’s as if my actual thought process turns into an organic computer version of autocorrect. For all I know I could type in a file name that would lose my WIP in the bowels of my computer’s filing system. And it’s not all that trustworthy to begin with.

2. My WIP happens to be set in Paris. The France one, not the Texas one. I have enough trouble making sure I’m using French words properly. Double that for spelling. If I go fooling around with someone else’s language while I’m so sick, I could inadvertently invent an entirely new one. Or insult the good people of France, who would have no way of knowing the obnoxious American author was fighting off a mutated uncommon cold, when committing linguistic faux pas. I could switch off to my inprog screenplay…no…I can’t. I’m not tackling the highly motivated serial killer who’s taken up residence in my head flu addled!

3. When I’m writing it’s as if I ride a flying carpet made of words. They dip, they flow, they soar. This sick they could very likely wobble, and crash, and burn.

4. I write in the moment. The way I’ve been feeling, the moment lags like the sands in a clogged up hourglass. I don’t trust the right words not to be clogged up as well. I had a perfect micro scene pop into my head a couple of days ago. I want to be at my best when I write it, so it will be the best I can make it. I just can’t trust my coughing, sniffling, laryngitis plagued self to do its best of anything right now.

5. A sick person is incapable of truly enjoying chocolate. No chocolate…no writey.

What it comes down to is the simple fear of messing up something I’ve invested time and brain power in. Something I love creating. I need all my powers of concentration and creative juicery to do it justice. If that means letting this writing thwarter run its course, so be it. Rather that than risk sending my characters on a cruise along the Nile, instead of the Seine.

Oooh, look! The Mona Lisa looks so cool riding that camel….

Back to bed. The flu wins another day.

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