Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Creative Diversions

Never try to write while you're battling a stomach virus. Keep your muse as far away from the GI germs as you can. Writing while sick can be hazardous to your health. At least, that's what I learned today.

I've been tending sick kids for two days, doing some work from home while keeping an ear out for anyone scrambling for the bathroom. Today, after spending some not-so-high quality time in there myself, I decided to actually use some sick time and not try to push myself to do work work. I thought, oh wow! Some time to myself for a change. So instead of trying to work, I thought I would write instead, somehow convincing myself that this wasn't actually work since I'm not actually getting paid for it. (Yet.) And hey, nausea and stomach cramps aren't as bad as a migraine--I didn't even need to stay in bed.

I could not coax my muse out of the bathroom long enough to write a word. Even trying to read my last round of revisions made me want to throw up. (The writing isn't really that bad, but I'm writing about a girl who has cancer. Reading about her feeling sick was making me feel even worse.) But you have time, Patti! You should be writing! I repeated this phrase over and over as I watched the minute hand march around the face of the clock like a soldier. It didn't help. Guilt added to nausea makes the stomach feel one hundred percent worse.

Finally I resigned myself to piddling around and doing something which required no concentration, something I could easily pick up again when I had to stop to tend to a sick child or sick me. I thought I would just do a little work on my website while nibbling on saltines.

Well, my website proved to be a nice diversion for both me and my muse. It's now flash central! I had fun making little sparkly things come out of the pen and pictures glow when the cursor rolls over them. Cleaning up my website lead to cleaning up and revamping my blog site (hope you like it). It was a little challenging, time consuming, and it made me feel better (by keeping my mind off my nausea, no doubt).

I spent hours going through dozens of writing resource links that I've collected over the years, picking out which I wanted to include on my site. In the process, I stopped to read many articles and bookmark new resources that I found in my web wanderings. I think I spent an over an hour on Cynthia Leitich Smith's website, and I didn't even get to all of the pages! I wasn't writing, but at least I was doing something writing related.

You'll have to poke around my new website and check out the writing resources I found. I'm not done yet, but I've got a great start. I'm excited to have a website that can provide resources to young readers and writers (and not-so-young readers and writers, too). Despite the physical discomforts and the worries about my two sick kids, it was a relatively productive day. Who knows when I will have time to do this again? Hopefully not too soon... me and my muse have seen enough of that bathroom today.

I'm praying that my husband and my other two kids don't catch this GI bug. I need to get back to writing. And, we're running out of saltines.


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