Writer’s Journal: When illness strikes

Welcome back to Austen Promises and the Writer’s Journal!


Well, it happened. I was sick this past week. And when I mean sick, I mean, “please just let me die” SICK. I was often feverish, and when that happened, I was queasy and not able to read or write.

This could not have happened at a worse time, really. My truck was in the shop, I was scheduled to go to both an event in Cleveland on November 3rd, and a Dwight Yoakam concert in Warren on October 25th. I had stripped the bed and had not gotten clean sheets on it, so for a week, I shivered and sweated and slept on a bare mattress, with my bucket beside the bed. And, I had just released a new book, which I could not promote because I was so ill.

At first, I was so sick I didn’t really care. Honestly, I spent much of the first day of the worst of the illness wishing I was dead, it was that bad. Without going into lots of details as to why, I was in pain. Even once the pain receded, with the frequent fevers, my new book release was only on the fringes of my mind for a few days.

I did improve enough to go to the concert, though I had strained my back and side muscles. As long as I did not cough, sneeze, or laugh, I was ok, at least until I was squeezed like a sardine into a seat at the venue. Even then, the music took my mind off my increasing pain. However, between that outing and trying, in a burst of “I feel SOOOOO GOOD” the following morning, I had a relapse. I spent much of Friday and all of Saturday in that blasted bed, feverish. Sigh

Here I am, a week after my initial symptoms appeared (I was getting sick on the weekend and did not know; I blamed bad diet choices for my tummy ache—dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb) and I feel a whole lot better. I am now, however, overwhelmed with all that I have to do:

  • Wash the dishes, because every dish in the house is dirty.
  • Do six or seven loads of laundry, because every clothing item I own is dirty.
  • Clean the mattress and pillows and put clean sheets and pillowcases on.
  • Close out the October workshop and get the November one ready, for the RWA chapter.
  • Create blog posts for the week and schedule them.
  • Promote the new book.
  • Two stories.
  • Catch up on web posts.

Now, I could have added “prep for Cleveland event” to the list, but once I realized this morning the amount of work I have to do to get caught up just around the house, I knew I could not prep for this event on top of it all. I’m exhausted and still recovering. I had to email the organizer and explain the situation, and tell her that I was going to be unable to come. I felt bad about it, and still do, but I have to take care of myself. No one else is going to, and I have two dogs that depend on me, not to mention readers who eagerly await the next Zoe Burton book. I’ve posted more than once that I’m learning to care better for myself, and this falls under that category.

Another decision I made is to not try to rush new words for either story. I know that blog readers will simply wait for next week, and Patreon patrons care about me enough to support me with a monthly pledge, so they want me to be healthy and won’t mind waiting a little while longer for their story.

For my Tuesday blog post, I chose to re-post one of my favorite inspirational quotes, so I didn’t have to go through the work of creating a new graphic.

I started one sink full of dishes soaking, so I have made a small amount of progress in the kitchen clean-up effort. I also washed bath towels and colored clothes, so I can both shower and put on clean clothing tomorrow. These are important things in the recovery process. 😀

Mentally, now that I’m feeling more like myself again, I waver between stressed-out and resigned. Nothing can change the fact that I lost income for the month by failing to promote the book. I have made my minimum, so I’m not going to be hurting in two months, and I can rest easy about that. Plus, I can start the promo process all over again this week, and hopefully make up those lost sales. I have both a schedule and the capability of putting my nose to the grindstone, so while I may not be able to make up that lost writing time, I can pour the words out in the coming weeks and still get the book completed when I wanted to.

What really causes me stress is the housework. I know, though, that by chipping away at it a little at a time, I’ll have it all caught up in a few days. I may hate looking at it, and despise doing it, and curse the day I picked up whatever ugly little bug I got, but I will get it done.

In the end, my attitude is going to make all the difference, so I’m keeping it as positive as I can. How do you handle the backlog of work, both at home and at your job, after you’ve been sick?

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3

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4 thoughts on “Writer’s Journal: When illness strikes

  1. Hey Zoe feel better soon. My mother always said that the great thing about housework is it is not going anywhere. Take care of yourself first the rest will get done.

    • Thanks, Lisa! I’m happily feeling less tired every day, and more like myself! <3 I like what your Mom says, and it's true, and I'm slowly getting it all caught up. 🙂

  2. Sorry you had been ill Zoe. I hope you continue your recovery and no set backs. (Take it easy with your to do list). Don’t forget to eat and take plenty of rest/sleep, Don’t worry about the blog, once you are fully recovered we will all be here still waiting.

    • Thanks! I’m starting to feel more like myself again, so hopefully I’ll be back in the swing of things again in a day or two!

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