Do writers get sick days?

Since I basically work for myself in terms of my writing life, I guess the answer to that question is “yes.” The bigger question is, “Will a writer actually take one?” I’ve been battling some kind of upper respiratory bug since before Christmas and the bug seems to be winning. Although I just spent the last two weeks working like crazy on promotional items, short stories and other efforts, I still feel the need to be working on something even when my head feels like it could literally, roll right off of my shoulders.

Taking a sick day gives you the time you need to recharge and as an added bonus, you can justify not spending every waking moment thinking about what you have to do on the very basis of the fact that you are taking a sick day. In spite of this, I have a real problem with being anywhere near my laptop and not working on something. Sure, I feel guilty any time I call in sick to my job as a librarian, but I can’t seem to let myself call in completely sick to being a writer. It’s like being a mom. Even when you’re sick, you’re still expected to be a mom and take care of every little thing that your child might need. It’s a given.

To me, working on my writing and promoting my writing is what feels normal. It’s what feels like home. When I can’t do this, I feel disconnected; out of sorts. That feeling only adds to the crappiness of being sick. The problem is that by not allowing myself to rest from my writing, I only get worse. I go from being sick to being SICK. And then when I’m coughing my head off and feeling downright crummy as I have been for the past couple of weeks, I can’t seem to remember what I was writing about from one moment to the next. This makes me feel like a big idiot and I really hate feeling like any size of an idiot.

That said, I have to admit that today, instead of getting up and heading for the computer, I stayed in bed until 10 a.m. for the first time in years. It felt good to rest for a change and I’m trying to lay low for the rest of today so that I can be better for tomorrow. I know that if I don’t, I’ll never be able to get back to what I love doing; the writing. So, as I hit the publish button on this post, I’m going to get ready for yet another nap. No e-mails, no tweets, just sleep.

How do you recharge when you’ve run yourself into the ground with writing, promotion, networking, etc.? Help your fellow writers out by commenting with your best tips here.

Until next time…

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