• ahcrowley

No Sick Leave


An electronic thermometer in white and red plastic with grey buttons. It has the brand name "Kinetix" written above a digital readout screen. The screen reads "38.4 c"
Thermometer

I do my best writing when I'm ill. Ok, that probably isn't true, but it feels that way. The thing is, when I'm not ill, when I'm really focused on everything I'm doing, when I have the wit and the energy to fret over every word and beat myself over the head over every perceived imperfection, I probably write better, but it still feels worse. When I'm ill I don't do all that.

No, sorry, that's also a lie. I absolutely do all of that, but I only have the energy to do so much of it before I collapse into a tragic heap of pillows and remorse, so either I hit a streak of good writing - the kind where the story is coming easily and the words flow naturally and none of the characters disagree with anything you want them to do, or else I stop. Which in the normal way of things would be a terrible way to write but when I'm ill there's not much I can do about it either way. So, since if I'm ill I either write well or stop writing I certainly feel as though I write better when I'm ill.

The other thing is that I mostly can't remember what I write when I'm unwell. There are degrees of illness, you see, and Ill-me only really writes in a very specific pocket of time when I'm well enough to sit up and handle a keyboard, but not well enough to realise that trying to write when you're ill is a really bad idea. Which means that while the words of Healthy-me are already engraved on my brain by the time to read them over, the work of Ill-me, scribbled in the delirious fog between naps and paracetamol is always excitingly new. It's a little like reading for pleasure, really: I don't know what to expect; I don't have any memory of working hard to create it; and I can be a little kinder to myself, the way I would be with any other author who wasn't myself, because I know I wasn't at my best when I wrote this, it's understandable, allowances can be made. Besides, if I don't remember writing it, and I don't remember what it says, did I really write it at all? Yes. Yes I did, sorry, that's nonsense isn't it? You'll have to excuse me, only I'm a little under the weather right now. Still, I'm sure this blog will make a rambling sort of sense. After all, I do my best writing when I'm ill.

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