So at the beginning of this week, I’d finished a draft of my novel and was raring to do a rewrite the second the kids went back to school. This was going to be my week of productivity: I’d planned on getting pretty far in a new draft, planned on writing several blog posts, planned on even hitting the gym!
Well. Yeah. Three days in, my kids got sick. Back to school bacteria. And here we are, several days later, the illness going from one family member to another. So my two daughters and I are doped up on pain-killers and fever reducers and that blank, dull high you get from too many Disney movies back to back.
But I don’t want to give up all my time to this stupid sickness. So I’ve rethought how to handle things and have come up with ways to be productive from my bed (or the couch), with half my brain already oozing out my ears. I’ve come up with ways to squeeze the most out of bed-ridden days:
1. Beg your family members for help. Looking pathetic and weak can get your spouse or children to do something they may not normally do. My oldest daughter was feeling pretty darn good for about an hour this morning, so I asked her in a tiny voice to write my blog post for me. She did! It looked like this: Mommy is lazy. I’m doing her work for her today. Buy her book so I can have enough money to buy more Monster High dolls. I figure I’ll save that post for a day when I’m really stuck.
2. Revel in the pain and the inability to get any relief. Remember how it feels when you need a fresh way to describe love-sickness in your next novel.
3. For risk takers: forget the fever-reducers. High fever induces delirium. Delirium creates some kick-ass stories. Let your brain start on fire and, if you can, jot down any ideas that pass through that lava-laced brain of yours. Some of the great thoughts that have come out of my head this way? How about: not really a vampire on the stairs, or get the bad guys with the green jelly. Hey, I’m sure there’s a great story in there somewhere.
4. Use a dictaphone. If writing is too much of an effort for you, just press a button and talk out all your plot ideas or new character traits . While on playback, I got something like, “The grmmmph goes to the slmmlloth and guuuuuuuh,” it was because my tongue was swollen from dehydration (see number 3). If you use a dictaphone I suggest you take your fever-reducers and drink a lot of water.
5. Creative writing exercise: Place a small mirror in front of you. Make faces to recreate your emotions or suffering and try to describe what you see in words.
6. Have your daughter keep your social media pages active. She’ll upload that picture of the kitten reading. That’s the only post you’ll get more that three ‘likes’ on, anyways.
7. And if you really, really want to be productive: Take a freakin’ break. Then work like hell next week. In the end, I think that’s what I’m going to end up doing.