There are huge advantages to being a writer. There are huge advantages to being freelance.
The downside is an unwillingness to turn down any job, or to leave my desk for more than a few hours at a time. This is how I live and work.
Getting sick is not really an option.
Naturally, I do get sick. I am, after all, only human.
I try not to think about it, and I certainly try not to talk about it.
I try not to tweet or FaceBook my complaints and ailments such as they are, as infrequently as they occur.
They too, however, have their uses.
I am in the unenviable position of being able to sit and write in bed, if I so desire. Nothing need stop me from working, including altered states of mind brought on by... Well... Brought on by anything. A decent temperature can alter my state of mind enough to make what I write odd or surreal or interesting, or just unlike anything I might usually do.
This is a good thing.
So, when I get sick, on those rare occasions when I don’t feel able to get up and face the World in a meaningful way, I don’t just stay in bed and watch bad tv and swallow my weight in paracetamol.
When I get sick, on those rare occasions when I don’t feel I can continue with the project that I might be working on, I do, nonetheless, take a laptop to bed with me, and I write. Sometimes, I write the stuff of fever dreams, and there’s unlikely to be any immediate use for the words I produce.
Those words are useful, though. They’re useful if they remind me what being sick feels like. They’re useful if they remind me of altered physical and mental states. They’re useful if they describe unmedicated pain and medicated indifference. They’re useful if they capture the fraying edges of the human condition in all its physical frailty.
A sick day can be an inconvenience, might not be very pleasant, and I’m not about to wish one on myself, or on you, for that matter, but, for artistic purposes at least, a sick day need not be a lost day.
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