One thing I am very, very, very bad at is being sick. When sickness comes to my door, I tend to deny it for a while. Then I acknowledge it grudgingly. Then I go to bed and spend hours on end being really angry about it. Finally, I admit that I’m sick and get teary and tense, thinking about (a) how much I’m scarring my children by not being with them and also by being some Victorian figure of a pale, sickly mother (‘kiss Mamma’s withered cheek, my darling, and perhaps we shall meet again if it is God’s will!”), and (b) how much I have to do that isn’t getting done. I have been ill this week and so I haven’t written a word. This particular illness, or the medicine I’m taking for it, has made me vague and confused, so I haven’t even really been able to think about my book. I have a chapter outline that hasn’t been developed beyond what I’ve already written, and only an incomplete sense of where I’m going to go next. Of course, any extended time away from the story makes it that much harder to get back in. And I was going so well! I was past 20 000 words, which is usually a bit of a milestone for me.
I’m always pressing upon my students the need for contingency plans. Life does intervene in the writing process, of course it does. But I realise that I have no such plans for myself. I am such an unforgiving taskmaster. My boss totally sucks!