Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly

Allowing for the Ups and Downs of a Creative Life

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A woman in bed with flu. If only we all looked this photogenic when we have the flu...

Image Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

I’ve had the flu for the past week. An icky, throat-scratching, sleep-inducing lurgy.

Last week I had a decision to make. What should I do about writing?

Should I write through my illness?

The answer came quickly. Definitely not!

There were several reasons why.

The most obvious was that I wouldn’t do my best work. But more importantly, I thought about the implications of pushing onwards.

If an employer gives their employee time off work for illness, should I not also do the same for my Creativity? Asking my Creativity to continue working while I’m ill is tantamount to slave labour within my head.

I’ve earned my Creativity’s trust over a long period of time, and I didn’t want to blow that now.

I’ve taught my Creativity that:

  • I’ll be patient when she’s having an off day.
  • I’ll give her time to play around with ideas, no matter how crazy they sound.
  • I’ll not laugh at her first ideas.
  • I’ll face the page every morning whether she’s there or not.

Now I promised my Creativity that if I wasn’t well enough to do paying work, then I would also class myself too sick to write.

Like many writers, I have a damaged relationship with rest. I keep pushing when I should stop and allow myself to recover. I decided my flu was the perfect time to practice a healthier approach to relaxation and recovery.

My decision was quickly followed another question: What should I do with my blog for the week?

I did have a blog post mostly written. With a bit of polishing I could put it up. I was also thinking about a question I really wanted to ask my e-mail subscribers. I had a number of things to do! Should I just push on and do them?

I decided to break my blogging schedule and my e-mail schedule and wait until I was feeling better.


Because I value you guys too much. I know that each time I post a blog or send an e-mail, I’m asking you to spend something worth just as much as money – your time. I’m requesting your attention for a couple of minutes while you read my words.

I take that request seriously, and therefore I want to make sure each post and e-mail is worth your time.

I took a week off and rested completely so I could return ready to give you my best again.

What do you think? Did I do the right thing?

How do you make decisions on how to spend your time when you’re ill?


Author: Jessica

I'm a writer who refuses to pin myself down to one genre, hopping from science-fiction and fantasy through to literary and even the odd western now and then. Check out what I've written at or follow me on Twitter @jessbaverstock.

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