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Should We Write When We Are Sick?
Category: Writing
Tags: NaNo Writing when sick



Not a Christmas blog for you, nevertheless, it is seasonal for many, I am sure.






You’re as weak as a kitten, high on medication, defying healing advice, and the ‘r’ word: ‘rest’.


Why the defiance? Why can’t you just give in and concentrate on getting well?


Because you are a writer of course, and you are at a time in your life when writing is on a par with breathing. You have words to capture, protagonists to develop, and scenes and sequels abounding in your head. And yes, you still have stories to tell.


Especially in November.


November seems to be my month for picking up some bug or other and depleting my strength. It keeps me housebound and I get through copious amounts of tea.


It is also National Novel Writing Month. A month on thousands of writers’ calendars as the 30 days in which to draft a novel. This year was my 11th official year, and I’d almost decided give NaNo a miss. That was until some of the members of Writers Abroad threw the temptation my way.


But I was sick.


I kicked the month off with cellulitis requiring high dose antibiotics, you don’t really need to know that, other than it affected all I did for the rest of the month. Mid month left-eye cataract surgery meant I was functioning on blurry vision while waiting for the right eye. Then, shock horror, a serious chest infection flattened me.  Some of the meds induced hallucinating effects. 


But, you know what, I didn’t stop writing. Hallucinating effects can be precious to a writer. Delirium is like treasure. My NaNo novel was like a runaway train, sometimes clocking up over 3,000 words a day. I began on November 1st with only a title and a book cover design (because that’s the way I roll), and then I wrote up a storm to fill those covers and do the title justice.



I crossed the finish line on November 20th, a week before my 74th birthday. Over 50,000 words accomplished in under 3 weeks.


So, I ask you again, should you write when you are sick? It’s a personal question. My reply is, ‘yes’. This draft novel wouldn’t exist without the NaNo challenge and the team spirit of Writers Abroad, and here’s the thing, those words would be different if I hadn’t been sick, if I’d been bright eyed and bushy tailed. Quite different.


And that’s what makes our writing unique, we haven’t just captured words, protagonists, scenes et al, we’ve captured the way we, as writers, feel at a particular moment in time.


And I know that when I open up my draft novel in the new year I will ask myself, ‘did I really write that?'


My congratulations to my WA colleagues on achieving their NaNo novels too. Between us, we’ve written over a quarter of a million words in 30 days.


A very happy Christmas to you all.


This Week 11th December 2017
Category: Site News


Chris Nedahl has posted an interesting blog about making the most of the time available to us. Something we all need to do.


Sue has provided some fabulous muses to inspire us this week. I love the beach photo and am thinking of a story…

Bragging stool

Chris, Sue, and Sally are all included in the latest issue of Ad Hoc Fiction. Congratulations, especially Sue who has managed 87 consecutive weeks. Wow!

Sadly, Angela was just pipped at the post in the Housesitting Blog competition, but a wonderful entry all the same. And well done for getting into the final – a great achievement.

December Challenge

There’s still plenty of time to post something for the December Challenge, or perhaps a poem in the Poetry project.


Members fees have been requested for the next year.

Sadly, Dianne has decided to leave Writers Abroad due to heavy commitments elsewhere – she will be missed by all of us.

And a huge welcome to Jim from Lussat, France. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to learning more about Jim and sharing our work.

And finally – hope you’re all getting ready for Christmas and are working on those 2018 writing goals!

Don't let time be a thief...
Category: Writing

How is it possible we are approaching the end of 2017? Where did the time go?

This year has not been the best health wise. Nothing life threatening but just as we cleared one hurdle, another appeared! We are not out of the woods yet as Rod has one more appointment coming up next Thursday to check his coronary arteries. It might be a four hour hospital stint or it could be an overnight stay for a medical procedure to be carried out. So hope it turns out to be the former.

This is not going to be a medical blog, folks, just thinking how such a year could have made me somewhat more productive rather than less. Could it be the need to achieve is strong during times of doubt creeping in whether the moment might come when one truly doesn't have the time to do those things?

From my writing vision posted in July, (I can't find it on the forum now) I have achieved one of my goals of creating a paper file of all my poetry. Also, my blog is up, and almost running! I need to try and get it 'out there' more successfully. I haven't quite got the hang of navigating the Wordpress site so I need to work on that. An example is last Friday's poem, Time, which I thought I'd published. When I took a look earlier, it was in drafts. I have no idea what I did, or didn't do, but it is definitely published for all to read now - I think that amounts to 7 people!

As 2018 fast approaches I want to be ready to hit January running. Firstly, my NaNo script is not quite finished but I have over 51,000 words and it is close to being ready for editing. I need to start that as soon as possible or it will go the way of a couple of other 'novels that languish in the depths of this laptop, and partially in paper files. As I edit, I will post each chapter on the site for some constructive critiquing which WA members are so good at. Hopefully, I will have a viable manuscript by the spring.

Secondly, I will work at becoming more adept at the technology required to enable me to create more of an online presence. It isn't where my interest lies but I am very aware of its importance if you are a writer and want to be read.  

To each of my friends on here, I wish you a healthy, happy, and peaceful New Year. May 2018 be kind to us all and allow us to make our wishes come true.






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